Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still in Transition

We continue to be in transition, and any form of "settling" is still not close enough to have a date attached to it. Perhaps this is because we are having a hard time finding a place to live. We did not get the house that we initially wanted to rent--for reasons that are yet unclear to us. There are very few places available in Massy, the town where our language school is, and so we are broadening our search to surrounding areas.

Even so, there is absolutely nothing over 100 square meters (about 1000 square feet) and most homes and apartments in our price range are about 70 square meters (700 square feet). In France you have to use a Realtor to find a rental, but the Realtors have so much business that they do not bother to return phone calls. We are still more bemused than frustrated by this process, but the shipping container with our stuff is due to arrive in France next week, and it would be nice to be able to give them an address for delivery!

Building on this post about transition, let me add a few to the list:

You know you are in the midst of transition when...

...you have been living out of a suitcase for 6 solid weeks, and your clothes have forgotten what hangers are.

....you go to a church for the first time, and friendly people welcome you and ask (in English), "Where are you from?" and you stare at them blankly because you really do not know how to answer the question.

...you can't part with your cell phone even though it has been "out of service area" for a good four weeks. You dream of owning a cell phone that will work, but for some reason this seems to be an impossible dream.

...you enter the place where you are staying and begin looking for your pets, and then remember you don't have any pets with you at the moment and you haven't had pets with you for a month.

...you grocery shop for one meal at a time because you are not exactly sure where you are going to be the next time you need to eat.

...you finally have a checkbook, but it doesn't look like an American checkbook, and so you have to call a friend to ask HOW to write a check in France. Then you hope that you can spell French numbers correctly.

...every day is an adventure. You no longer know how to plan a day or anticipate events. You go with the flow, because you simply do not have a choice.

On Monday we found ourselves without any hope of meeting with a Realtor, in the midst of a waiting period for getting our car, and discovering that the cell phones we want to buy have to be ordered from another store. Realizing that it would be impossible to check any tasks off of our to-do list, we decided to head in to Paris for a day of R and R.

We went to see Napoleon's tomb and a War Museum, then bought crepes and ate them in this garden behind Notre Dame. After lunch we stood in line for an hour to see Sainte Chapelle. Then we grabbed a scoop of ice cream before hopping on the Metro and a train back to Chantilly.

Today we are back on the hunt for a homestead and the venture for a vehicle--wondering if "transition" is our new normal.


  1. What a lovely garden in which to eat lunch! You know, those little things could become the big things of your memory - rather than the things that seem big at the moment! Thanks for the beautiful pictures! Love you!

  2. Ok...despite any and all headaches, I envy you incredibly for being able to just "head in to Paris for a day of R and R"!
    Pictures are beautiful and amazing...
    Praying for you! :)