As one finds out fairly quickly living in France, air conditioning isn’t very common in the average residence. Thus, this requires opening windows for air to circulate. This was quite annoying during the first few days since there are no screens resulting in mosquito bites being rather plentiful and the close proximity to the train station and a tram stop making for noisy evenings. However, with the sudden change in the weather, the mosquitoes aren’t as plentiful and the temps low enough that I can leave the windows closed at night without getting too hot. On nights like this though when I’m alone in my room and just in need of relaxation, it’s nice to open the window and hear the sounds of the city while playing some calming Chopin or Debussy in the background.
This past week was indeed full. It was full of new faces, full of filling out forms, full of speaking French, and it was as full of joy as it was sorrow. The best part though is that I have a home now! My landlady decided a couple of days ago when she came back from vacation that I could stay. That was a relief and an answer to prayer. I’ve grown to like my little room and am getting to know this area of town rather well. She also helped me find a store nearby that I didn’t know about and gave me some other little tips such as there being a good little Italian restaurant down the street, where to find a good butcher, and that there’s actually a doctor who lives in our apartment complex who is very kind and does house calls. All good information to know for someone still getting acquainted with the neighborhood. I definitely like how everything is basically within walking distance which is far different from my life in Indiana where I typically have to jump in my car if I need to go to the store or find something to eat.
Today has been a blissfully quiet, secluded day. Since the day I arrived, I haven’t been able to just step back, relax, and recharge from all the change that has taken place in the last couple of weeks. I used to feel guilty for wanting to stay inside when I was here previously, but the way I look at it, I have plenty of time to discover and explore, but I also need my rest/sanity to be able to fully enjoy it. I was so tired last night after getting back from a meeting to set up my health insurance (fun indeed) that I decided then that I wouldn’t force myself to go out today unless I specifically felt the inclination. The windy, cool weather this morning was not exactly inviting for a stroll, so reading, journal writing, and coffee consumption have been the top three activities of the day. I feel quite content with my choice to stay in. I think I needed it.
I do often feel a twinge of homesickness and miss all of you dear ones at home. There’s been a few times while watching from my window the trains come in and depart at the station that I almost wished to hop on one and go to the airport to catch the first plane back home. However, about then, I usually stop and realize that I’m not ready to leave yet. The time will come when I know it’s time to go home, but for now, I’m excited to see what’s ahead. I can’t wait to start doing some traveling of my own once I get through with all of the paperwork I’m required to do to set up my life here. I really don’t want to leave on a trip just yet with so many things still needing to be dealt with. Besides all that, I just finally this weekend began feeling normal after several days of dealing with jet lag. Jet lag is essentially the monster of international travel that no one fully escapes from, and there’s not really just one set formula for how to deal with it although there are plenty of tips to be found on the subject. I’ve done something different every time, but I will say this time around was about the mildest I’ve dealt with probably due to trying to sleep as much as possible on the trip over.
I’m looking forward to a blessed time of worship tomorrow and wish you all the same!
Que Dieu vous bénisse…