France | Better!

Avignon’s been nuts. Nuts! Nüts!

Well it hasn’t been that nuts. But kind of. Here – watch me as I write another gorgeous diary entry for you.

My first week was a little intense and not particularly fun. A string of bad luck, so it was: Seth got sick, so he couldn’t hang out, and Clara was away for the week, and the cat kept climbing on me and putting its horrible ass in my face, and Clara didn’t have wifi so I had to use my phone data to teach English, and then my phone data ran out so I had to try buy a sim card, but my French was bad and I made multiple boobs of myself.

And a French man wasn’t very friendly in a shop one time, and it made me hate France to death, and I kept thinking about the past because France reminds me of a past that hurts, and I got very lonely and drew some pictures in my journal and went insane and thought ‘I can’t do this another god damn day’. And it was also very windy, you know, which isn’t that big of a deal if things are going well but when you’re already tired and scared and lost it can be the LAST FUCKINg STRAW.

But that was last week, and I’m fine now! Silly me.

Got my phone sorted, Seth got better, Clara came home, I got braver with French and forced the rude shop man to be my friend. The cat still climbs on me and puts its ridiculously exposed ass hole right in my eyeline whenever I sit down, but other than that: better! And the cat is nice anyway, when it’s on the ground.

I’ve been seeing a lot of Seth and his friends, and in the evenings I’ve been sitting with Clara on the balcony and having ‘conversation’. I have to use inverted commas because I’d feel like a liar if I didn’t: my French chat is convoluted and panicked and limp. But it exists, at least.

Tomorrow I have a viewing for a flat in the town centre. Can you believe that? In the old town – the gorgeous, bicycle-bell, bread-basket old town inside the ramparts. It’s 430 euros for the month, bills inc, which – assuming the woman isn’t put off by my mashed-up attempts at her language – will give me a really nice June.

After June I’ll leave Avignon and go back to the UK (via Amsterdam, to see old friends). I intend to make a home in Manchester. A couple of years there would be nice. Paris is a dream, but that’ll probably have to wait for some time. I’m in no rush. I’m 30 years old, who gives a cobbler’s earlobe about time anymore? I’m out of my 20s and it’s sort of freeing to have that over and done with. No more worries about not being part of da yoof anymore and what it might mean. It doesn’t actually mean that much now that it’s finally happened. It’s just another week.

I finished work at 3pm today because a few students had to cancel last minute. And teaching is so damn good man. It’s a feeling I’ve never had before. Get this:

I make up games, I listen to stories, I give homework, I explain grammar. I’m learning tons and tons about grammar. I never knew what the perfect present tense was in English before! I do now! I could explain it to you if you asked me to!

And multiple times a day I get to help people. I help many of my students prepare for job interviews in English, or exams. And then they get the job! I’m having a net positive impact on the world, for potentially the first time. And the work’s hard and the days are long but that’s absolutely fine in Avignon because even when I finish at 9pm I can head out to meet Seth and the boys and we can play pool – and win, because the French are absolutely wet at pool for some reason.

Seth is on his way over as I write this, and we’re gonna have a beer on the balcony and then I’m gonna go with him to the campsite he works at, and I’ll sit and read and draw or whatever and watch the world go by, and this evening Blanche will join me and we’ll have dinner there. And tomorrow there’s a party, and a whopping six of us from Toku Iwi will be there. Lovely.

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