Monday is the day of 6 essentials:
(1) Post office to mail out an Etsy order as well as mail samples of my necklaces to Brown Alumni Magazine ASAP so they can be photographed for the gift guide.
(2) Buy school supplies.
(3) Deposit cash into our new, but empty, bank account.
(4) Sign insurance papers at insurance office.
(5) Recharge Greg’s ancient cell phone (the 50euro mobicarte I bought for him doesn’t work on his phone and now he’s out of minutes----thought I had that one settled!), and find out why our landline is still not working.
(6) Sign up for French classes.
I also still need to pick up Kadin for his lovely 2 hour lunch in the middle of the day.
So here is the plan: Rees and I drop off Kadin in the morning then head to the hypermarché for school supplies.
Return to pick up Kadin.
Take Kadin back to school with his (late) supplies, decode the Post Office (find one, find out how it works, etc.), and then head to meet Greg near the bank and insurance agent.
Orange, the phone solution center, and Alliance Français for language classes will be our last destinations before it is time to pick Kadin up at the end of the day.
And it works like a charm. Rees and I get school supplies and Rees endures me asking “embarrassing” questions of other shoppers in the store about what it is that is really on our list. Things I learn include that a Cahier des Textes is the same as an Agenda Scholaire, and what I thought was a box of “sheets of paper” is actually a box of tissues, etc.
Kadin is picked up, fed, and supplied by afternoon.
The post office is actually really easy and the woman there extremely kind and helpful. It is all done by automated machine and she shows me what selections to make. The menu is even in English. One thing I can’t understand is the difference between “Abroad” rather than “Overseas.” I am told to select “Abroad” or “étranger.” I ask her why these are different. She doesn’t understand my question and tells me that letters and books have special mailing rates, they are different. Okay, that’s good to know too, but…. Only later do I figure out that “Abroad” is anything outside the EU, and “Overseas” applies to French overseas territories. That kind of distinction would be so obvious to someone who grew up here that she probably couldn’t even comprehend why I didn’t know. Makes so much sense after the fact! I can do this!
2 down, 4 to go.
I have with me the information we need for the bank deposit, but I hope Greg has remembered the paperwork for the insurance. We meet near the offices of both and take a wad of cash out of the ATM. Then it turns out that particular branch of our bank does not accept cash, but we are given directions to another one that does. More exploring! Also, we don’t have the paperwork for the insurance, so that will be another trip.
We head to the other branch of the bank. There we successfully deposit cash and learn what numbers we need to make deposits in the future and what the verb for deposit is, the noun for account, etc. We’ve got money in the bank now!
Then we head to Orange. On the way we see the Apple logo. I am drawn in. There we get a small click-on plug adapter that will give our laptops a French plug and do away with the multiple adaptors we’ve been using. Psych! That wasn’t even on our agenda.
Orange is good and they successfully top up Greg’s phone by making a call (something that is hard for us to do in French). Hopefully that will be enough for the duration of our stay. Then I wait a bit to talk to the same woman who helpfully set up our landline account. She gets on the phone, inquires into the delay, and says it should be working by tomorrow. Hooray!
Meanwhile, Greg has been scouting the location of the Alliance. We head there next and find out they offer French classes on a schedule of 5 hours per week. That fits our schedule better than the 20 hours per week another language school was offering. We make appointments for placement tests on Wednesday evening. We are jamming!
5 down (with an Apple bonus thrown in), 1 to go.
I head off to get Kadin while Greg heads home to get the insurance papers and Rees. We don’t even let Kadin have a breather, just take off on a march to the insurance office. We eventually find it and successfully sign our forms. We are insured (an important part of French life, it seems, something that is required by our landlords and the schools, etc.). So it is done.
But run-around Monday has left me exhausted. Sore even.
We are very nearly there.