(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
For some reason, today was a day where I really felt like I am living here. Like, hey people I AM ALL LIVING IN FRANCE AND SHIT!
I went to the Prefecture in Périgueux for the 4th time with my last, previously missing document (recovered this week-end). It was basically a form letter with pictures at the bottom of 5 taxation stamps. Apparently, monsieur has to affix my 5 'timbres', purchased for the princely sum of 55euros each, to these pictures and then send my file to Paris. Even better news than finding the previously missing document is today his opinion was that I wouldn't have to get an extension. But keep an eye on the dates just in case. I was so pleased I jumped up and, after a few mercis!, ran out and forgot to ask him my questions about getting papers in order to run my own business.
I'll just look forward to another trip to Périgueux. Which actually is true, the little city is beginning to grow on me. I headed off back to the parking lot and then decided, what the hell ... why not stroll around the city? It was around 11:00 and what else was going on? We've paused this week on my house (another story) so ...
I headed up one of the tiny streets in a shopping district I unearthed the last time I came here. I just took a deep breath and let myself enjoy strolling along with others, pausing to window shop at boutiques, the fromagerie, the patisserie, etc. I discovered a coffee bean vendor and ducked in and bought a bag of beans. I continued strolling and came across a hair salon. I looked inside at several attractive stylists and smartly-dressed patrons. There was a 'avant and aprés' display in their window, with many clients looking better for the visit. I completed my internal debate and went for it. Lo and behold, they had time to take me and the lovely and well-coiffed Celine did my hair. I actually ended up loving it! I left the length and added soft layers all over. She took the time to show me how to replicate her style. I have some of those adorable, super-short bangs (just a few) that I've always wanted but never got. It was the first time in years I have sat in that chair and not looked at myself with distaste, internally disparaging my fat chipmunk cheeks!
I left feeling like a million bucks ... I moved on to lunch in a little spot discovered last trip. The one with the 10 euro Plat du Jour that was so delicious. It was slightly rainy today so everyone was inside. I entered to discover the entire restaurant (small, actually only 24 seats) was filled with women! I felt right at home and today the Plat du Jour was only 8.50 euros! I got out with wine and coffee for less than 12 euros. I mosied along to Monoprix and bought some hair stuff for my new do. On the way back, I popped in to a candy shop I had spied earlier and bought Etienne (J-Y's son) a little Halloween treat.
As I continued back to the car, again doing my best to be fully present in the moments, I really felt a sense of belonging.
Tonight, I finally attended the yoga course I discovered about a month ago but haven't enrolled in because of visitors. It is in Brantome, taught by an older French woman. Seven students, 6 French and me! It was a little unnerving, especially when Madame asked me (I think!) to introduce myself to the class. Of course, after I said a few sentences and laid down, I spent about 15 minutes wondering if that REALLY was what she asked me or if I just made a damn fool of myself! ha! But everyone was kind and welcoming, especially since I arrived sans mat. A couple of the women loaned me their extra blankets and I made do.
My journey progresses and it was all in all, a good day.