13 to 19 June 2016
This week is back to the norm. Wake up, metro, work, metro, workout, dinner, bed.
But there were a few exciting things that happened this week:
Jer and I are OFFICIALLY French Residents! We got (handwritten) paper work to show up basically at the municipal building on Wednesday, June 15th between 08:30 and 15:30 to collect our residence cards.
Just like the DMV back home, there are some weird things. First, you can ONLY go on Wednesdays to get your residence cards and you have 2 months from the date given (so 8 chances) to get your residency cards or you have to resubmit all your paperwork. We were not chancing that, we wanted to go the first day possible. Second, you can not pay with cash, check or credit card. You have to pay with, for lack of a better way to explain, stamps. These stamps can be found at the Tabac (where all the Frenchies get their cigarettes and lottery tickets). You provide the store owner with a form of payment and in return they give you stamps in different denominations (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 or 30 euros). If you do not have these stamps, you can’t pay to get your ID cards.
You show up at the municipal building, go through security and get a number, just like you are at the deli counter. From the time we got there, until we got our IDs there were over 50 people in front of us, and it took a little over an hour. So I would say, it’s just as miserable as the DMV. But now that we have our residency cards, we can apply for social security, which here is our health insurance. This can take up to another 6 months (or for some of the friends we have made over here 12+ months). Needless to say, for any doctors visits we will save our receipts to then be reimbursed before we head back to the states in 3 years (hopefully).
EuroCup – Wednesday Match
France is in full EuroCup fever. Right now there are 3 matches a day throughout France. Where I work, I pass by Parc de Princes. Needless to say, some metro rides are more entertaining than others with the colorful fans and their chants.
For the France v Algeria match on Wednesday, we went to a local Cafe (Le Passy) to watch the match. Thankfully, we were smart enough to make a reservation because by match time, there wasn’t an empty seat in the place. When France scored in the 90th minute and in extra time, the place went insane. This may be out new spot.
Our weekend was pretty low key. We went to the market to get our groceries for the week. Then we got our hair cut. I was petrified. I looked like a 2 year old who was getting their hair cut for the first time. Just full of fear. I went to Jer’s ‘guy’ since he has now gone to get his hair cut like 4 times since coming here. Francois. He spoke English, thank god, but I was still scared. I told him to cut off a ‘few inches’ and then to just do a blunt cut. It turned out really nice, so I will be back. But I don’t think I un-clenched my hands for a few hours after we left the salon.
Jer and I have also been searching for terrace furniture. We finally bought some today. (I think he was sick of me dragging him all over town) We got it all from Casa, which is a shop down the street from our house. We needed to get a few pieces (which turned into 8 rather large boxes). The delivery fee from the store, to go the 5 blocks, would have been about 50 Euros and may not have been delivered that day. So instead we got an Uber van. Best 12 euros I’ve ever spent. So we spent (Jer spent, let’s be honest) the rest of the day setting up the furniture. I did contribute by cleaning the terrace and going out to buy my favorite dessert. The terrace is now all sparkly! I was out there in my rain boots with the hose on high with a scrub brush getting the dirt (pigeon merde) out of the tiles. I hope I never have to do this again, but that is wishful thinking.
We did have some slight issues. We got foot rests to go at the end of lounge chairs, which needed to be attached with 6 screws and there were no pilot holes started. Well, we do not have any power tools, so since we bought 2 chairs, Jer had to manually screwed in all 12 screws. But the screws were not cooperating and we wanted to get our workout in before the Union match. We’ll finish this Sunday.
Jer was super excited to be able to watch the Union v NYFC since the match was on in the afternoon in the US (for once) it was on at 19:00 local. Watching most American sporting events is very tough over here. Specially the way all of the NBA Finals games have been at 03:00 local time, so the fact that finally two events this weekend (the Union match and The US Open) were at time he was able to watch made him very happy.
We then had a very American dinner that I made. Burgers, potatoes to give the illusion of fries and a side salad with homemade apple cider vinegratte dressing. It was wonderful. (It would have been French if the beef was rare). We finished the night by finishing the last season of Peaky Blinders (thanks Jen for the recommendation, can’t wait to see what happens in season 4) and starting House of Cards. We decided that we are serial binge watches. And now we are hooked on House of Cards.
EuroCup – Sunday Match
Sunday we hung around at home in our sweats for most of the day. It has been unseasonablely chilly (which is suppose to change this upcoming week finally). After breakfast, we (Jer) decided to finished screwing in the screws on the lounge chairs. Well, either Jer is the world’s strongest man or we were provided really shitty screws, because he ended up breaking the heads off all 6 of them. Thankfully, we brought his tool box, which has extra screws. He finished screwing in all 12 screws (at the cost of some blisters on his hands) and viola! Our terrace is complete.
Today was one of the first days that the sun was out and there was no rain. So we decided to make the most of the terrace and sat out there enjoying the weather. I could get use to this view.
I also did some arts are crafts. Stay tuned for next weeks post to see why.
We then went out later to watch the France v Switzerland EuroCup match. We met some friends at McBrides Irish Pub for some beers and pub food (surprisingly good wings). The place was insane when the French national anthem played and for each goal attempt. The match ended 0-0 but that means that France is first in their group and onto the round of 16. Next France match is next Sunday afternoon! Allez les Bleus!
Our week ahead looks pretty low key as well. But all the big sales start on June 22nd and we have an event next Saturday that I am super excited for!
Things I learned this week
1) I really hate the rain
2) Frenchies bleed blue for their national football team
3) But no one wears their jersies to the bar, must not be fashionable
4) The DMV is the same miserable experience in any country
5) Haircuts in a new country are the scariest experience, ever