So that's what I've been doing lately! Multiple emails a day, phone calls to the consulate, and talking with the family's previous au pair. I'm really excited. It's all happened really quickly, but I don't want to let this opportunity slip through my fingers.
I'll be living in a studio apartment (separate from the family's home) in Neuilly-sur-Seine. It's right outside Paris city limits, so I can walk into the city (or ride the metro). I'll have to take a language course (as per government regulations), but that's only 6 hours a week. The rest of my time will be hanging out with tweens (I'll speak English with the kids, French with the parents), roaming Paris, enjoying weekends off, and getting completely immersed in French culture.
Paris is the circular boundary in the center (this is a map of the Île-de-France region of France), and Neuilly is the red area.
Also, my dad's family is in town from California and Pennsylvania. We're having a reunion on Saturday, which will be full of awkward hilarity. Saturday is also my birthday. Imma tryin' to dance!
I woke up this morning (from a really wonderful dream no less) humming KC & The Sunshine Band's Give It Up. I think that means today will be a good day.
For more information and to be updated on the search, this Facebook group is amazingly active.
I got a bit of a pep-talk (or maybe more of a kick in the butt) from a friend last night about how I need to stop being so passive in my life and to make things happen. He criticized me for knowing so many French people in Richmond and not talking to any of them. I really need to improve my French, and I'm just not being proactive about it. I suppose I seem like such a privileged American to him. He grew up in Iraq, fled with his family to Lebanon when the war started, and now he's studying in America. And he's so fucking serious about his studies. He knows what he wants and he's doing it. I really need to stop whining about how things aren't falling in place in my life and actually pick them up and put them in place how I want them.
Yesterday I felt the urge to read poetry. So I went to the county library (for the first time since I was in 7th grade) and checked out 8 books. I've put my Dostoevsky novel aside for the week and will exclusively read poems. I've got Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet next to me now (though that's more prose poetry), and I think I'll read some Charles Bukowski later. I've never read any of his work, so it'll be interesting. And because I love him dearly, Baudelaire is on my nightstand.
Also, today is my dad's birthday. Too bad it's such a sick house.
Sri Lanka seems to have become my comfortable fall back plan. It's the place I know I'll return to, but there's another place that I know I need to be. I know that spending time in Paris is something that I need to do for myself. I need to push myself to do something daring and overwhelming, even though the normalcy and safety of Colombo is extremely tempting.
I know I just need to get motivated, register for a class, complete all the visa requirements, find a sublease in Paris for a month or so (I'd find a more permanent arrangement once I got there), and buy a plane ticket. I want to be in France before my birthday. That's my timeline.
And since we're talking timelines, let's say I'll be in France for 9-12 months. The 2011 Cricket World Cup (hosted by Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh) is in February. As much as I hope to visit Colombo before 2011, this is definitely a long term goal. Because I love cricket.
I'm going to miss having Scott around. I like running errands with him that are punctuated with Dunkin Donuts coffee breaks, then Starbucks coffee breaks, then visiting with John from Giovanni's and drinking three cups of coffee. And he and I keep similar sleep schedules. And I'm the only one who [kind of] cares when he gets excited about the latest spike in the Colombo Stock Exchange. Sheesh, I'm going to make myself even more sad thinking about not having him around like this. I suppose it's suffice to say that he and I got pretty close the past few months.
I'm going to stop being so mellow yellow, enjoy my weekend, then get crackin' on making this plan work.
On another note, I'm really not excited for another snow storm. Thus, I'm purposely getting myself snowed-in in the city as opposed to being stuck at my parents' house for four days. Hopefully I can find enough couches to sleep on.
Also, I think I'm going to register for a language class in Paris and go to France on a student visa instead of an au pair visa. That's my edited Plan A. Plan B still is to return to Colombo.