Moving was the easy part.

Settling in is the hard part. I am very anxious to just feel at home in the new place, but it’s difficult without furniture in certain rooms. But because it’s Sunday, almost all stores are closed and I can’t accomplish much.

I’m going crazy with the lack of, well, everything in the kitchen because it was basically a sink in the corner with a closet that’s already half full from the water heater. And one electrical outlet. ONE! The weird thing is, we are not allowed to drill or nail holes in any walls, so that means no pictures or shelves anywhere in the entire apartment. At least the living room and bedroom have a little color on the walls, but the kitchen is just plain white. So I’ve also been going crazy buying adhesive and suction-cup hooks to hang things up and add a little color. Thank goodness Gifi is open on Sundays.

Hopefully we’ll get all the furniture within the next 2 days before David starts work, but we have a ton of things to do. I forgot how much of a pain it is changing your address in France. I need to go to my bank first to see if I need to change my agency too, and then the prefecture to get a new registration and license plate number (since I changed départements) and to change the address on my carte de séjour which I’m sure will be a super official handwritten label like last time. We’re also in the middle of changing our mutuelle to a much better and cheaper one (fonctionnaires are so spoiled, I tell ya).

And then we have to go back to the rental agency and figure out why we still do not have the keys to the garage we supposedly rented for my car. Luckily we haven’t paid for it yet since the agency couldn’t find the right keys (I’m not even kidding), but it’s just another stupid thing we have to deal with. And we’re thinking about getting Canaille de-clawed so that he can’t mess up the wallpaper here. He’s getting more and more comfortable here, and even though he hasn’t scratched anything yet, we’d like to keep it that way. We certainly won’t be able to fix this wallpaper like at the old place because it’s ALL covered in paint for some strange reason (and there’s painted wallpaper on the ceilings in some rooms too!)

But I’ve got to say, having balconies is a must and I will never live in an apartment again without one. My clothes dry so quickly because I can put the drying rack in the sun, I constantly smell the flowers from the neighbors’ balconies, and the breeze is so nice at night that we don’t need a fan. And there’s even a little canal that runs along the main road so I can hear the water trickling by all the time. Someone else really likes the balconies already too. Now if only that bird’s nest were more than 5 feet away so he doesn’t get too courageous and jump…

The Beauty of Istanbul

Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) Blue Mosque Basilica Cistern Istiklal Caddesi when it’s not busy Shopping on Istiklal Grand Bazaar Spice Market New Mosque across the Bosphorous Galata Tower Random adorable cat # 2,547 French Quarter Çay (Tea) Hope to see you again someday, Turkey!

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Istanbul in one word: AMAZING

Istanbul was the most beautiful, interesting, amazing place I have ever been. I loved the mixture of old and new and east and west. It is very European in some ways, and not so European in other ways. Trying to figure out Turkish was slightly exhausting as it’s not an Indo-European language, but now I […]

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Thoughts on: Trip, Apartment, and Conference

Trip: Of course my trip was amazing. We saw so many places and I took far too many photos. The weather was mostly hot and sunny and we didn’t have any major traveling problems. I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface of all the wonderful sites France has to offer, and I’m dying […]

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Week Two: La Camargue and Languedoc-Roussillon

La Camargue Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer La Grande Motte Montpellier Nîmes Pont du Gard Carcassonne

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Week One: Milan, Côte d’Azur and Provence

Just a few photos for now… Milan Lake Como Nice Monaco Antibes Cannes Aix-en-Provence Saint-Remy-de-Provence Fontvieille

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One trip down, one to go

I’m back in Chambéry! Almost 500 photos to sort through and upload, 3 days of work this week, and then Jason and I are off to Istanbul at 7 AM Saturday morning. I love love love the south. Still want to move to Provence. Vacation was too short, as always. Need to finish unpacking and […]

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Off to Milan, and then Southern France

Michelle and I leave tomorrow morning at 10:45am for Milan, and then we’re heading back to France via Nice, and then over to Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier (and all the cool villages in between). We just spent the past two days in Chambéry and Annecy wandering around the old towns and the lake. Today I found […]

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Still No Answer… But Michelle Arrives on Sunday!!!

We still don’t know if we got the apartment. Hopefully they will tell us Monday morning, and they let us sign the lease the same day or early Tuesday since I leave for Milan at 10:45 AM. If not, I have no idea what we’ll do. I’ll be back the 30th, but David will be […]

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Renting an Apartment in France (Involves Killing Trees)

We just spent all day in Chambéry looking at apartments, and I think we’ve finally found one. We’re going to call the agence in the morning and head back to Chambé tomorrow to turn in our dossier (i.e. mountain of paperwork). If for some reason we don’t get it, we do have 2 alternate apartments […]

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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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