Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Weather Is Probably Not An Exciting Blog Topic

It's been quite a while since I posted, and I now have a ridiculous backlog again (as opposed to the relatively manageable backlog I had before this most recent vacation and trip). I'm really not very good at this. On a travel level, my parents were in France for a short visit earlier this month, so that story to come, and after that I went to Denmark to visit a good friend who's spending the year in Copenhagen, so that story also to come. On a personal level, my free time continues to be mostly taken up with an increasingly stressful job search, not to mention my assorted existential crises, and it is increasingly looking like I'm going to be either going home or moving someplace random and taking a menial job for a while. (Not that some people wouldn't argue that being an archaeological field tech is something of a menial job itself.) There's even a part of me that's okay with that, especially since I'm not really in the market for something permanent right now, and doing something that won't consume my life would maybe give me some time to write, since I haven't done as much of that as I expected this year. But I'm still applying for other stuff, and I'm reluctantly reevaluating my claim that I don't want to live in France anymore, because this makes it seem like France might well be the easiest place in western Europe for me to get permission live at the moment. I'm also considering volunteering to teach at one of several interesting schools in Central America for a while. I'm ALMOST done (finally) with my TESOL certification course; I have to write an essay for the last unit (blergh) and then I'm free. I guess that probably would have been a good way to spend the last few days of the holiday, but, well, Pottermore finally opened up to the public while I was away...

Anyway, here's what's to come: Not counting today, I have three days left at my job, which is crazy (and means that a lot of my unfinished posts on my observations about school-related things are going to be up after the fact). On the one hand, I'm kind of ready to move on to something else, but on the other hand, I can't believe how fast seven months have gone. The day after my contract ends, I'm flying to Marseilles with some friends and we've rented a house in the coastal town of Cassis for the week. That means I have just a week to get a lot of stuff done, including buying souvenirs, shipping some books home, finding out how to deal with closing my bank account, cleaning my room, and finding some way to pack all of my things and get them out of here. Should be interesting. After Cassis, I'm heading back to Paris, from where I'm flying to Dakar with another friend to visit our friend in the Peace Corps in northeastern Senegal. I'm super excited about that! Then once we get back, I have just a week left in France before my flight back to the U.S. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to spend it. I know all of this is going to go by so fast.

The last couple of days we've had some pretty classic Brittany weather. That means it changes at least every ten minutes, and going through three or four seasons in the span of half a day is par for the course. This experience pretty much sums it up: I got up today and it was what I'd call partly sunny and cold. I walked to the supermarket between classes this morning and when I walked outside again, there was a perfect rainbow hanging over the street I was about to walk down. By the time I reached the corner, not a minute later, it was pissing rain, as the Brits say, and that good old Brest wind (which last night attempted to physically prevent us from walking home from downtown) was driving it all right into my face. By the time I reached the steps down to the school, which probably takes all of five minutes, the rain had backed off to barely a drizzle and the sun was peeking out again. 

I've actually kind of grown to love the atmospheric mood swings, howling wind and all, thought I certainly prefer it when it's not cold. My favorite weather is probably light rain that falls while the sun is shining, and I've seen that more in my seven months in Brittany than ever before in my life.

There's a saying here that "En Bretagne, il ne pleut que sur les cons," which can basically be translated as "In Brittany, it only rains on idiots."* It basically means if you hate it enough to complain, go somewhere else.

It hasn't quite sunk in yet that I AM going somewhere else very soon. I don't know if I will miss Brest, exactly, but I will miss Brittany. I talked to some students yesterday about stereotypes; what they had to say about les Bretons made me preemptively nostalgic (and all of us hungry!). 

My other random thought for the day is my favorite thing about market day. Is it the delicious food? The beautiful produce? The cheap clothes? The stacks of used books? The concentration of adorable dogs? 

Nope. It's the sight of cute toddlers shuffling along gnawing on baguettes as tall as themselves. Never gets old, that.

* Or "on assholes", if you prefer a more hostile interpretation

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