The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Immigrant Experience

When we were at Ellis Island in New York, Courtney and I made all kinds of immigrant jokes, mainly that we felt like immigrants when we were on the Ferry to get to the Island, being herded like cattle, being inspected thoroughly, etc. Now I really do feel like an immigrant. There's a lot of paperwork, and I even have to go for a medical exam on Monday. I'll be glad when all this administrative stuff is over with and I just have to worry about how to feed myself.

It's really cold and windy here now, and raining a lot. Of course. It will probably be like this for the next 6 months, so I guess I better get used to it. I was expecting the weather here to be really similar to London, because after all, London is only a couple hundred miles north of here, if that much. Still, the weather is much worse here for some reason. Puh.

I actually got to work yesterday, and I am again today. Mostly I stand in front of the class and have them ask me questions about myself in English. Then I ask them questions in English and they have to respond. Most of the time it's kind of boring stuff, from the standard vocabulary they teach in every high school language class ever: How many brothers and sisters do you have? Do you have any pets? etc. Still, sometimes there's a jewel in there, such as from this morning: "How big are the fries at McDonald's in America?" At first I thought she was asking about an actual fry, and then I realized she wanted to know how big an order was. I drew an approximation of a Super Size fry on the board (though I don't think I've seen one in years, so I wasn't sure). They were of course shocked by the monstrosity. If anyone wants to mail me something like an empty fry box or something else equally american, I would be most grateful. ;) Yesterday I told them that there was a movie theater in Springfield that has 16 screens, and everyone gasped. It was rather amusing.

Last night I went to the Brasserie on the corner and had hard cider and pizza for dinner. It was great. The waiter there knows me on sight and waves to me on the street. It is a bit boring to be living in such a small town, but the upside is that everyone is very nice. Another nice thing about France is that everywhere I go, they all have a huge selection of hot teas. It's quite nice.

Wednesday night, season 4 of Grey's Anatomy premiered on french TV. It was awesome. Watching American shows in French is not just a great way to work on my language skills, but it's also hilarious. Last week I watched CSI, which they call "Les Experts," and I've also seen Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives. My students love Grey's Anatomy, and House is very popular is well. So is Prison Break, which apparently all the girls love because they think the guy in it is hot. Yesterday I found a kindred spirit in the form of a girl who said her favorite shows were Angel and Buffy. I totally lost it. I actually brought almost all of my Buffy DVDs with me and a few of the Angel DVDs. I've been watching Buffy as I eat my dinner (alone, all alone, in my empty apartment). Last night, however, I watched portions of Mean Girls with the French audio on, which was also cool. I can tell my listening is getting better, at least with films and such.

I'm excited to start traveling soon. I hope to go up to London sometime in the next few weeks, and perhaps meet some of my old Londonite friends there. Craig facebooked me the other day, so we'll see.

Well, I've got to go to another class, so a bientot! Write me letters!


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