Je suis de mauvaise humeur.

The strike is finally over! Well, almost. I don’t have to take a train again until Friday, so I’m happy. I want to know why the SNCF thinks they can replace a train with one little bus and think there will be enough room for everyone. Luckily I work close to the provenance of the line, or else I wouldn’t have made it home on Friday night. Just about everyone (mostly students) goes back to Annecy on Friday nights, so I knew there would be a problem with the lame autocar. And sure enough, one stop after I managed to get on the bus, we had to leave 20 or so students stranded at the station because there were no seats left. I have no idea how they got home.

Add to that the stress of being 30 minutes late and most likely missing the connection to Lyon, people were complaining and yelling the entire ride back to Annecy. I couldn’t wait to get off that bus and get home. I was so stressed out just listening to the people around me, even though I knew David would be waiting for me in Annecy.

Most days when I get home from work, I just want to change into my pajamas and crawl into bed right away because I’m so tired. With the strike the last two weeks, I’ve been in a really bad mood in addition to being dead-tired. I’m so angry and stressed for no real reason. Well, I guess the reason is dealing with angry French people during a public transportation strike.

It’s times like these that I really miss the US. And my car. France is so small and crowded; I’m forced to be in close contact with random people all the time and I hate it. I miss the privacy and independence and vastness of the US. And Thanksgiving. At least I had some friends over this year unlike last year. We had escalopes of turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, green beans, and pumpkin pie. But having to work the day of Thanksgiving and the day after, as well as trying to teach Thanksgiving to French kids who really don’t care about the holiday, makes me really sad.

Back to searching for an automatic car…

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  • Destination Metz

    That’s great you created your own Thanksgiving, although a belated one I guess? The lack of space here can be very suffocating..even just walking around in the street it’s a constant barrage of people, I’m used to loads of room..I think teaching plus all the travel you’re doing plus the weather it’s no wonder you’re so tired and stressed. On Tuesdays after I teach in the morning I usually go to bed as soon as I get home and sleep all day long until dinnertime. I feel like I’m turning into a bear!Try and do things that relax you and make you feel good, even something small, every day.

  • Destination Metz

    That’s great you created your own Thanksgiving, although a belated one I guess? The lack of space here can be very suffocating..even just walking around in the street it’s a constant barrage of people, I’m used to loads of room..
    I think teaching plus all the travel you’re doing plus the weather it’s no wonder you’re so tired and stressed. On Tuesdays after I teach in the morning I usually go to bed as soon as I get home and sleep all day long until dinnertime. I feel like I’m turning into a bear!
    Try and do things that relax you and make you feel good, even something small, every day.

  • Madame K

    “France is so small and crowded… I miss the privacy and independence and vastness of the US.”Yeah…you’ve obviously never lived in a big city. I doubt anyone would use those words to describe New York City. I think the smallness is primarily in your perception of things, and probably has to do more with cultural ideas concerning body space. In France people touch eachother more. It has nothing to do with the size of the country. My advice to you—never visit Tokyo!Car woes: Can’t you just find someone to teach you to drive a car with a manual gear box. I bet you could learn in a weekend….which is much faster than trying to find an automatic car in Europe.

  • Madame K

    “France is so small and crowded… I miss the privacy and independence and vastness of the US.”

    Yeah…you’ve obviously never lived in a big city. I doubt anyone would use those words to describe New York City. I think the smallness is primarily in your perception of things, and probably has to do more with cultural ideas concerning body space. In France people touch eachother more. It has nothing to do with the size of the country. My advice to you—never visit Tokyo!

    Car woes: Can’t you just find someone to teach you to drive a car with a manual gear box. I bet you could learn in a weekend….which is much faster than trying to find an automatic car in Europe.

  • Jennie

    Rochelle, I feel like I’m a bear too sometimes. I can’t get out of bed some days; I just want to hibernate through winter!Madame K, I’ve only lived in the countryside in the US (and Flint, but that’s like a ghost town now that GM abandoned it). I guess what I meant was that people have a lot more land and buildings are much more spread out because the US is so huge and there is actually room to do that. But here, the buildings and streets are so small that I feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t mind the differences in personal space so much; it’s just that I miss having a 5 acre back yard and neighbors that I can’t hear because they’re so far away.I’ve tried learning to drive with a manual car, and failed miserably. I just can’t get the coordination down. I will learn someday (I hope!), but I really want to drive right now, so I’ll start with an automatic car and sell it later when I become coordinated enough.

  • Jennie

    Rochelle, I feel like I’m a bear too sometimes. I can’t get out of bed some days; I just want to hibernate through winter!

    Madame K, I’ve only lived in the countryside in the US (and Flint, but that’s like a ghost town now that GM abandoned it). I guess what I meant was that people have a lot more land and buildings are much more spread out because the US is so huge and there is actually room to do that. But here, the buildings and streets are so small that I feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t mind the differences in personal space so much; it’s just that I miss having a 5 acre back yard and neighbors that I can’t hear because they’re so far away.

    I’ve tried learning to drive with a manual car, and failed miserably. I just can’t get the coordination down. I will learn someday (I hope!), but I really want to drive right now, so I’ll start with an automatic car and sell it later when I become coordinated enough.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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