09 August 2006

Starting to feel like home

The last few weeks have been ... hectic, I suppose! We've just had a lot to do, between a great wedding, a new car, visits with old friends, and (oh yea) job hunting. I'll try to sum things up a little bit.

Last Saturday, we went to our friends Ryan and Lisa's wedding. We had a blast! During the day, we managed to catch up over lunch with our friends Claudia and Miguel, and then braved a thunderstorm to go to the wedding itself. It was great to catch up with old friends and see two great people finally tie the knot. The next day, we went up to South Dakota to buy Colin's parents old car so that we have transportation again. After that, it was a two-day drive back to Michigan, stopping off in Sheboygan, WI, to see Katrina's family. (Katrina as in Kat's Korner, as linked to the right.) My only regret was not getting there earlier so that we could have really spent some time catching up! It was still great to see them and finally meet her two adorable boys.

Mixed in with all of this traveling, I've been going on job interviews and trying to unpack. I'm not sure which of these two activities is more successful lately, since I just got turned down for one job today and we still have an entire room of boxes to unpack! On the bright side, I got called back for a second interview on Friday with a small but very nice department at U of M. (I'm not sure whether I should say on the blog the exact places that I'm getting interviews, so I'll stay vague for now.) Besides that, I have a first-round interview next week with a non-LSA department. The job is really intriguing, but will I be happy outside of familiar territory? Guess I'll interview to find out.

The culture shock is largely worn off now -- I am no longer shocked and appalled by the size of drinks (i.e. "That's a small?" or "People still have dessert after this shake?"). It's fairly rare that I can finish a full meal in a restaurant, but I've decided to just accept that and not push to fill my already bulging gut. (I'm referring to my stomach as my "cheese weight" these days ... it had to have been all of that good French cheese that made my waistline expand, right?)

One thing that I'm still struggling with is our washing machine. It finishes a load of clothes so ridiculously fast! I feel like I've just closed the door to the laundry room when I hear the buzzer sound. Plus, it washes so many clothes! Folding laundry takes forever now!!

The other oddity is how much people talk to you here. Man, some people never shut up! On the bus, in the grocery store, on the street ... and they are so loud! One of my odder moments was when a woman saw me pick up a box of brownie mix in the grocery store, after which she felt compelled to tell me that another brand was on sale. I said thanks and switched my choice, but after a moment to grasp what had just transpired, I thought, "Who the heck was that lady? Do I know her? Why is she talking to me?" And smiling ... don't even get me started! What is everyone so happy about? Is my fly down? Do I have a giant piece of chocolate in my teeth?

On the other end of the spectrum, I haven't been quite as mesmerized by TV as Colin has (he'll probably argue with my word choice). Sure, I've watched my fair share of shows -- it is nice to be able to understand everything without making the squinty "I'm trying really hard to understand French" face. Amazingly, Days of our Lives is just as slow and dull as I remember it. I think I'll just stick to reading The Early Edition blog. At least then, I'll know when a good episode is coming on.

People keep asking me if we're starting to feel settled. I can finally say yes, but not because the last of the boxes is out the door. (I wish!) Instead, it's because we hung some of our pictures on the wall this evening. Finally, we've gone from living in a non-descript beige room to a place that looks vaguely familiar. We really like our new apartment/condo/whatever we're supposed to call it. The view isn't quite the same as our last place, but at least it's starting to feel like home.

As for this blog ... the jury is still out on what I'll do on the web once I'm employed. Right now, I'm expecting to use employment as the signal that I'm really not in France anymore, and can wrap up J'habite à Paris! at that time. I think I'll start a new blog, but I'm not yet sure what it will look like. So, I guess you'll just have to stay tuned to see what happens!


At 9/8/06 06:47, Blogger KatHarrmann said...

We had such a great time seeing you guys! Next time, we'll have to make it a longer visit! But it was FUN!! Hope you keep the blog going!

At 13/8/06 13:05, Anonymous Marci said...

If you like Days Of Our Lives you will love this site: http://prevuze.blogspot.com


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