January 2016: Tiny Victories
One whole month (and a few days) into the new year with a few more victories to share. Time for the monthly update...
A new side job.
Each week, I teach an English class to five kiddos. On Monday afternoons, I get to play games, sing a song, and teach them new words all focusing on a specific topic - things like clothes or family or shapes or the body. They are fun to teach and actually starting to understand me beyond the vocab words! At the start, they would blindly repeat me anytime I said anything, especially if I tried to ask them a question. It's been four weeks and even though it still happens, I can see them thinking about what I’m saying rather than just repeating.
Bonding over The Bachelor.
This is silly, but it's one of those things that just needed to happen - bonding over bad reality TV. I found a new friend who used to gather 'round the tube with her friends on Monday nights, just as I did in LA. Naturally, we decided to do it together while we're in Paris. And the group keeps growing. We watch on Tuesdays rather than Mondays, but we still drink wine.
My residence card is here.
FINALLY! If you’re ever in this situation, don’t forget to buy your timbres fiscaux from a local tabac! It's the only payment they will accept. I didn't realize this until I was waiting for my number to be called. I ran out on a mad search for a tabac that sold timbres (not all of them do) and had to go through Prefecture security line twice. Luckily, I was back 15 minutes before my number was up. And since then, my titre de sejour has been nestled snugly in my wallet.
Resisted temptation from the soldes.
Every January, the signs touting the soldes (sales) are posted up in the windows of just about every shop. Since we live in a major shopping district, I would pass by these windows anytime I left the house. I resisted the temptation… mostly. I bought a few things that I couldn’t pass up: a skirt (I had been wanting it for almost a year), tights (because you always need more), and warm cozy dress. And maybe a couple of other things...
The apartment still stands.
I almost (but not quite) caught our apartment on fire. I wanted one measly, lightly-toasted tortilla. Instead, I got a blackened-to-ash thing along with a face full of smoke and an apartment that needed to be aired out for days. Although I opened the oven door to flames, nothing serious happened. Thank goodness. One advantage of owning a small, portable oven is that you can pick it up and take it over to the window if anything goes awry...
And that’s all for January! One of these days, I will post this series in the correct month…
Vocab for today:
- Janvier - January
- enseigner - to teach
- carte de sejour - residence permit
- timbres fiscaux - revenue stamps a.k.a. the official form of payment for many government transactions.
- le feu - fire