18 October 2008

Bordeaux

On Friday, Andrew and I went to Bordeaux for my medical visit and to explore the city a little bit. The train into the city takes forever because it stops at every little town on the way there. So we left at little before 10 in the morning and arrived a little before 2. My appointment was at 3 so we headed over to the immigrations office where I had a quick check-up including a chest x-ray that I got to keep. There was also another assistant from Los Angeles waiting. Overall, the appointment was rather worthless because I had to have a physical to apply for the program and they didn’t do anything different, but I have now officially been cleared as health threat to France. Afterwards we wondered around downtown Bordeaux. We saw Notre-Dame of Bordeaux, the monument to Girondes that died during the French Revolution, and lots of upscale stores. There was also a carnival going on so where we bought waffles to eat and saw a stand called Mickey boy instead of Mickey Mouse. We left Bordeaux at around 6pm and didn’t get home until close to 10 after a very annoying bus ride with drunken French people sitting by us.

On to my own housing crisis, not be confused with the lesser known and rarely discussed American housing crisis, I finally signed the contract for my new apartment this morning and will be moving in on the 24th. I am moving because the lady I rent from wouldn’t give me a contract and in order to apply for housing assistance (which is basically the only reason I can subsist on my meager salary) I need a housing contract. Needless to say this lady is furious and has yelled at me a few times in French about how not nice I am and probably worse things. It’s also interesting because she keeps telling me that she was willing to give me a contract, however, I waited several days after telling her I needed one to start looking for another apartment and she never once came to tell me that she was working on it and it was only after I told her that I had found another apartment that she told me was getting a contract. I know that she has rented this apartment to assistants in the past and everybody I talk to says it’s illegal for her not to give me a contract so I don’t know if she thought she could fool me or what. She also told my contact person who found me the apartment that rent was one amount and then told me a slightly higher amount. So for the next week I will be living with a British friend here in Sarlat who has saved me from a couple meltdowns already.

Andrew leaves for Wageningen early tomorrow morning to start a week of exams before starting new classes. He will probably be happy to return to his calm, peaceful life after a week in my chaotic mess (I also received a bill for 170 euros for internet this month). Next Saturday I have my first holiday (All Saints) so I will be leaving on Saturday for the Netherlands.
--Amanda

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