I hadn't been to a new city since before Christmas (over a month ago) so I checked out a close-ish town. It was perfect. Just what I needed.
I did CouchSurfing again. The best part about that was, my host introduced me to his friends that he made through a former CouchSurfing party and brought me along to one that Saturday night. Everyone there spoke either French or English and most people could speak both. I had so much fun and it's something I really missed from my former life back in Sydney. I HAVE been to some soirées since coming to France but I can't express myself properly if I speak in French the whole time. I hadn't felt so 'alive' in ages, talking to strangers and yet never running out of things to talk about.
The place was very small (then again all young people's places are small in Europe!!) but we all managed to squeeze in somehow. We ate all the food that everyone brought along. I bought a gorgeous gâteau framboise (raspberry cake) from a nearby boulangerie. We talked, we laughed, we ate... Then after that we watched a LONG film (where I sort of fell asleep because I was so tired after having had about 5 hours sleep the night before and having walked all around the city during the day) and I didn't end up sleeping till almost 2am that night.
The next day there was another party at one of the CS girl's apartment. There were more people this time and it was held during lunch time. This girl lives by herself in a studio apartment and she seemed to be (like most French people) really into food and cooking and she explained to me some of the ingredients and things she was making. I saw again some of the lovely people (including her) from the night before and met a whole bunch of new ones!
The most interesting thing for me is finding out everyone's jobs. In my circle of friends in Australia the jobs are largely pretty much predictable - IT, accountancy, health, teaching or variations of those. In my town here in France people have more varied jobs but I don't know what they are since most of them work in Switzerland and I don't talk to them anyway and of course those who work in town have storybook jobs like shop assistant, post office worker, baker, teacher, doctor, dentist, policeman, etc.
For example, one of the (French) girls there.. her job is researching and restoring stained-glass windows in churches. Another person I met (Indian), his job is designing and making the parts in audio products like microphones and speakers. What was interesting about him was that the (French) company brought him over from India and he lives in a serviced apartment! How lucky.
Then there were post-grad students, there was an au pair (from Mexico) and then there were other people I unfortunately with whom didn't get to find out their jobs.
I could go on and on and on...
Going back to Friday night... Not long after I posted my blog post, I texted a friend who I saw at the soirée the other night. I did not get to talk to her by herself that night so I wanted to speak to her some more. But apart from that, I thought she was one of the few people qualified to give me advice about my 2 situations. She was so lovely, she said we could talk on Facebook chat to save money (I have no landline and try not to use my mobile too much for voice calls). Then, she said she could come around so she did. And she stayed for 3.5 hours chatting and told me a whole heap of stuff about people in this school and this town (since she's worked here for 4 years although over the last few months she was off on sick leave which is why I hadn't seen her/talked to her for ages). She also brought me some food/drinks which was so sweet. It was just what I needed.
She said to forgot the first 'thing'. It's over and done with and there's nothing I can do about it now and it's not going to happen again. She was right. I guess I was overreacting a bit too. I just can't stop thinking about it though.
The second 'thing', while not actually as bad as the first, is an ongoing thing. She said to speak to the person involved and let them know what I really think. I was really hating that person on Friday night and Saturday.. during my lovely weekend away now I had to put away all those thoughts and just have a good time (which I did). I walked around the town with my ipod in my ears, and my camera around my neck, and had a big smile on my face. Although cold, it was lovely and sunny and beautiful... I actually did really felt happier. I mean wasn't just pretending to be happy, but I was!
So it's ongoing but we'll see how it pans out. I think there might actually be a happy ending, at least I hope so.
So now anyway I feel a lot happier and content. However, I am suffering badly from lack of sleep. I find it impossible to sleep in and never get up later than 8am, no matter what time I go to bed.