Had a few interesting adventures at the school this morning. Had to ask them to turn the school bell (which goes off more than 10 times a day) off because someone forgot to. Today's the last day where there are still staff around. Saw some students and teachers but have no idea what they were doing here because the school is closed.
Doing nothing much all day (yesterday) except sitting in front of the computer seems to make me not very sleepy so I stayed up till 2am... I went onto Skype to chat to this lawyer guy from Paris that I had spoken to once before... I told him I was looking for a job and he was so nice and encouraging (for a change). I'd read so much negative stuff online it was such a surprise to hear so much positivity and he actually gave me concrete examples of people at his work who were not European and who now work there full-time etc etc. What's interesting about him is... When I chat (type) to him online I notice that he uses HEAPS of words I do not know. I think I'm actually going to go through our chat and jot down all the new words (both proper words and slang) so I can learn them because when I chat to him I need to have wordreference.com opened at the same time to constantly look stuff up!
I thought about something else that I miss about my ex.. I realised that my French was improving heaps when I was with him, talking to each other, and reading his text messages. It's the constant input. It's why toddlers/children learn so quickly. Because they spend so much 1:1 time with their mother (or father or carer) who talks to them CONSTANTLY. It's something I miss heaps because we NEVER spoke English to each other. In fact, I found it cute, when he'd blurt out an English phrase once in a blue moon. As well as that, we listened to songs all the time when we were in the car (almost feels like most of our time together was spent in the car driving somewhere!) and he'd ask me if I understood the lyrics. If I said I didn't, he'd repeat it to me so that I'd get it. I could go on and on but it'll make me too sad. I really miss having someone to talk to constantly but it was just a bonus that I got to improve my French at the same time!
Anyway so around 1:30am I suddenly had this idea to look up people in my town on CouchSurfing. I have no idea why I did not think of this earlier?? I don't think I have looked it up since June 2010 when I first found out I was coming here. Why didn't I think of it before?!
So fed up with not having anyone to hang out with (all my friends seem to have disappeared on me now that it's school holidays)
• I clicked first on my own profile
• Then I clicked Show nearby Couches (100 K)
and that brings up everyone in your town, followed by everyone in the next closest town and so on and so forth. I can't remember how many people I messaged (maybe 5) but today I got 3 replies! So hopefully in the near future I'll get to meet up with them. Yay!
Today I decided to go to Geneva because I meant to go yesterday but couldn't get my CV finished in time. Being the first day of spring it was a lovely sunny day... nooooooo I'd love to say that but it was actually freezing! It was about 6° with strong winds and felt so cold. It didn't do much for my mood but the good thing is that I did manage to find the exact type of suit I wanted (for my upcoming job interviews of course :P ): black, with skirt AND pants and not hideously expensive and a decent fabric and in my size, etc. The blazer should ideally have a 'flap' at the back to aid movement.
I don't know how many shops I looked at but it was so hard to find a suit period. Now that spring's coming up all I saw were trendy colourful clothes in pastel colours and with flowers all over them! In Sydney I know exactly which shops to go to but here I have no idea... Eventually I went to one of my old favourites, Zara, and found one there. I was so lucky because it was the last one in my size. At first I found a nice 3-piece suit in H&M for a cheaper price but it was grey and I wanted black. I really wish female clothing stores would sell 'staples' sometimes instead of just weird trendy stuff like skirts and dresses with that horrible exposed metal industrial zipper (hate that!)
I tried to find shoes too (even though I already have the perfect pair at home back in Sydney) and it was an impossible task because my feet always fall out of shoes with no straps/buckles and I couldn't find any nice ones with straps/buckles that didn't look like something a kid or a granny would wear.
After walking around for 4 hours I am so tired. Found 2 employment agencies but I will have to go back later as I wasn't dressed for the part and I was not in a good mood to be 'selling' myself. Plus my hair was a great big mess from that wind.
I stumbled across, by accident, a big bookshop that has 2/3 of its books in English! Payot Librarie (a librarie is a bookshop in French, and a library in English is a bibliothèque). Gosh what a luxury to see English books in a bookstore. At first I didn't even go in because I thought Payot was a skincare brand (a quick Google image search shows me the logos are somewhat different) and the bookstore was for skincare related stuff.. but I went in and realised it was HUGE. 2 storeys and lots of nice books. With big Australian-style pricetags to match ;) But hey, beggars can't be choosers.
Every time I get on a train (which feels like hundreds of times now) I notice things about the train, about the landscape outside the window, but also about the passengers and their rituals and so many thoughts go through my head so next time I'm gonna do a post on my SNCF adventures! (SNCF stands for: La Société nationale des chemins de fer français (the national French railway company)).
PS I uploaded some Grenoble pics onto my Facebook too if you want to take a peek.