Au Pair

I found a family in France who want me to work for them as an au pair! We've started the paperwork process. I expedited some documents to them today and once they get them, they can complete a work contract and other things and mail it back to me. Then I can apply for my visa. Assuming everything goes smoothly, I'll be leaving the first week in May. That's just a few weeks away! I'll for sure be working through the summer, but the family doesn't know if they'll need me when school starts. The mother was confident that she could find me another family if they decide not to use me in the fall.

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!

Missing VCU student

Jonny Dorey has been on my mind since I heard about his disappearance on Friday (he's been missing since Tuesday, March 2). He and I share a lot of mutual friends, and everyone is extremely concerned and working so hard to find him. It's uplifting to see the community come together to give Jonny as much face time in the media as possible and to organize so many search parties. It's hard, though, to imagine anything other than the terrible in a situation like this.

For more information and to be updated on the search, this Facebook group is amazingly active.

Jonny Dorey


Animal Collective makes me think about the changing seasons, winter to spring in particular. And even more specifically, their Feels album reminds me of the sudden change in weather while I was studying in France. They put me in such a good mood. And it's so beautiful out today!

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.

mon semblable - mon frère!

My sister had a terrible 24-hour stomach bug on Sunday, and my brother woke up with it today. I feel like it's inevitable that I'll get it now. Last time I threw up was when I had that nasty norovirus back in 2006. It only lasted one hellish day, though.

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.

left behind/moving on

I've been feeling irritable lately, quietly losing my patience with my family, my dogs, news articles, not being able to find the shoes I want to wear, alarm clocks, conservative high school classmates writing stupid shit on their Facebook statuses... I think my mood has to do with Scott leaving in less than 12 hours. He'll be in New York until Wednesday, then fly back to Sri Lanka on Thursday. I'm sad that he's leaving without me. I'm jealous that he'll be back to a place that I've been missing every day since I've been home. But because it couldn't be as simple as "I miss Colombo," I'm still set on going back to Paris.

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.

flying a kite

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.

(no subject)

I've been watching Ted talks all day. They inspire me and make me feel so positive and motivated.

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.