Week 9

Sunday: The weather was 2 degrees today, but I was blissfully unaware. When I got up to go to church though, it became a different story. I was wearing the warmest clothing I own, yet I was freezing. And the wind, oh dear. I would later learn that it was something called ‘mistral wind’, and the last occurrence in this town was about 10 years ago. Who cares abeg, I’m freezing. Today officially marked the end of our daylight savings, so we’ve moved back by 1 hour. The result of this is that 6pm is now really dark, and I can’t help but remember when I came here towards the end of summer, where 8.30pm was still quite bright…

Monday: I found out late yesterday, that they fixed an Accounting class for today. So, instead of the free day that was originally on the schedule, I had to bundle my tiny body into warm clothing and go to school. The clothing didn’t help one bit; what more could I possibly wear? Oh I have one funny Eskimo looking jacket, but I’m not sure things are not that bad yet… The accounting class was actually not so bad, and I like the fact that the lecturer tried his best to simplify it in more ways than one. However, despite all his effort, my eyes still crossed at some point. #sigh

Tuesday: today is the programming class. I think I’m fed up at this point, and I’m just breathing for the Le/La Toussaints (All Saints) 1 week holiday coming up tomorrow. Like, I don’t think I want to do anything or go anywhere, I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. Sadly, I have tons of reports that won’t write themselves, and their deadlines are looming too. I also need to study this Accounting and Programming, if I’m to make sense of it *tears* I want to sleep and travel to Barcelona and watch tv! Oh well…c’est la vie. You know that thing people say about ‘culture shock’ when you go to a new country? My school even wrote about it and offered counseling if it ever happens, in the handbook they sent. Well, I don’t think I’ve experienced much of it, but one thing I know is this: it’s going to be extremely hilarious if the 1st thing that frustrates me to tears in France is food. I’m ‘this’ close to throwing up, for real. I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but their food just doesn’t agree with my palate, I think. And I think it’s because of the spices they use, which I’m not used to. I really hope I find a way to adjust real quick because like I said, clothes can’t help me anymore, I need to put on some flesh. I tasted chestnuts for the first time today, I like.

Wednesday: today is OFII day. It’s raining as I step out, and not in a nice way. I don’t think it would hamper me that much. I am right, it doesn’t hamper my movement, but it certainly makes it very inconvenient. Think on broken umbrellas, wet shoes, wet feet, cars splashing water on you without care or remorse, and constantly sidestepping to avoid wet dog poop. Now I’m sure you get the picture, let us move on to other issues of concern. You see, this my OFII appointment is supposed to turn out in the issuance of a carte de sejour, which means I’m legal in France and can work and travel to schengen countries for the duration of my visa. Now, before you get this stamp, you have to undergo a random medical exam (thankfully not involving needles), and it is during this exam that I discover I have lost weight. Not that I’m stunned or anything, given the fact that I’m yet to find what works for me in terms of French food and spices. Still, I’m not pleased, this was not the plan. Other people travel to ‘obodo oyibo’ and add weight, but it appears my body is just too stubborn. And it’s unfortunate that I actually need to put on some flesh, for the cold days ahead. Yes, in the spirit of cold days, I had to purchase more warm clothing at Marseille, and I think I’m getting used to spending money without shuddering when I think of the equivalent amount in Naira. Progress, no?

Good times: later that night, a friend invites me to dinner at her apartment; spaghetti and some sauce containing sweet corn, chicken, mushrooms, sweet peppers, etc. We watch Tower Heist while eating said dinner, and for a while, all is well with the world 😀

Thursday: Today finds me lying in bed all through, doing nothing productive. So much for planning to study during this holiday. Oh it’s All Saints Day (Toussaints), and well, I have a break till Tuesday next week. At 4p.m., I decide to go see Skyfall. It’s supposed to start at 6pm, so I leave my house at 5, get there at 5.20. Tickets sold out. Why did I assume these people would behave any different from Nigerians on a public holiday? I decide to go grocery shopping then, might as well. I buy new spices, but this time I stick to the familiar Ducros and Knorr, and I buy beef. Now, time to cook the beef, and it smells weird. Hian. On the package, it is indicated that said beef was prepared yesterday. I put it on fire, and after a while, I see the blood boiling out into the water. Very irritating, so I pour the water away and put a fresh one, then spice it. I proceed to make sauce, see below. As for the beef, I fry it when it’s done, don’t want to taste anything weird. Err, anyone remember Uncle Ben’s Rice? Yes? Okay so as I said earlier, I’m sticking with name brands I know, so I bought that. Apparently it now comes in sachets, which is not bad, the only thing is you have to cook the entire sachet. It’s riddled with holes, so you place it in a pot of boiling water to which you have added salt if you wish, and you let it cook for about 20 minutes. Then you remove, drain and tear the sachet along the perforated line. Problem is, this sachet is too big for me, I’d probably eat that rice like 3x.

P.S.: the sauce tastes better than any real food I’ve eaten since I got to France, yay me.

Friday: Today, I take out my braids, and begin the process of carrying my normal hair, probably for the next 9 months.
At some point during the day, I get a phone call, from an unknown number. Turns out its the Finnish Embassy in Paris, and they need me to come ALL the way there at my earliest convenience, with an extra 125€, i.e apart from the fees I already paid last week in Marseille. I’m just tired, really, because tickets to Paris are hardly cheap. Silver lining is I get to see Paris, even though it’s not the way I want.
Next up, Skyfall. This time, I make sure I buy tickets in advance.
PS: that rice of yesterday is still remaining, and it appears it will still be remaining by tomorrow 😦

About Skyfall, shall I give you some spoilers? Yes? No? I’m too lazy to type anymore anyway, but Silva is psychotic. And hydrogen cyanide has disturbing effects.
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My sauce 😀

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Beloved Uncle Ben’s

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Took this on my 1st trip to Marseille last week.

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The well behaved doggy at the Finnish Consulate. Forgotten what breed it is.

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