20 August 2014
Inevitable Fails and Small Successes
Today, we needed groceries (again), underpants, shoes for Jane, and pencil pouches. We have yet to complete our full school supply shopping (daunting), but apparently pencil pouches are expected. My kids weren't thrilled with the comic character pouches at the grocery and I had noticed a Librairie (bookstore) in the center of town next to a promising shoe store. The Librairie had darling leather pouches of myriad electric colors (one for each child), plus needed post-it notes and the most darling cahiers. Cahiers being the French name for blank, lined notebooks. I'm certain I desperately need these for something.
We still need to find shoes for Lucette, as her recent growth spurt has her clad in only sandals. It's a challenge to find quality items at a good price when you don't know the lay of the land. I've already had a dismal experience of drastically over-paying for so-so items. Le sigh. So disappointing.
And I have been rather discouraged over my language abilities. It seems like I know so much in my head ... but everything is so rapid and I'm still so infantile in my language acquisition ... it really has been a struggle. I have to remind myself I've only been here a week. There is time to learn and improve. But right now? Très intimidé.
Tomorrow we make a trek into the bank. It will be very good to have a French credit card and not to have to explain "Je dois glisser!" I must swipe this card! (No need with the European cards. We have to convince them it is not a debit and indeed a credit card. In French. With hand gestures. And people in line staring at us.) And, we hope to get an appointment at the school Thursday or Friday to register the children. Bit intimidated about this, as well.
But in the midst of all my wide-eyed worries, I am glad to be here. Doing life with my family. In France. And of course, I can always write down my manic thoughts ... and small successes ... in my cute cahiers.
*Apparently, there is an odd right-hand right-of-way thing going on here in France. Sometimes when you are on a main road, people on side streets have to wait for you. Like one would expect. But other times, when it seems like you are still on a main road, if a person to your right, on a side-street, approaches ... they have the right away. Since I can't figure out the rhyme or reason, I am constantly and furtively glancing about and lurching to awkward stops. I've also nearly run a red light because the lights are on the side of the road and about 25 feet back from the intersection. Have mercy.