Okay, here goes my attempt at a blog about my upcoming experiences in France! First, a question: I would really like a white page background with this template. Is that possible?
I've been hired by the French government to teach English to elementary school kids, 12 hours a week, for 9 months. I was placed in the academie d'Amiens and the departement de l'Aisne in the north of France. More specifically I'll be teaching in two elementary schools in Belleu, which is a tiny town of about 4000 people but right next door to Soissons, "the big city" as I've been describing it to my friends and family, of about 30,000. Through the grapevine (ie the former assistants from Belleu and Soissons that I've hunted down through the internet) I learned that I'll actually be living in a dorm right in the centre ville of Soissons. I'm planning to call the nspection Academique on Monday to double check this, but I'm pretty sure it should be all set up. So I think I have the best of both worlds: I'll have the opportunity to integrate into a really small community but also be in a larger town with more things to do (clubs, bars, people, etc). And I'll only be an hour or an hour and a half away from Paris by train! I'm sure Paris will call me often, especially since my housing is going to be ridiculously cheap.
In exactly 16 days I will be in the car on my way to the airport to catch my flight to France. I can't believe it's coming up so quickly! I haven't started packing yet - that will be next week's adventure. For the past couple of days I've been thinking about the food I'll miss while I'm in France. I love spicy food, I can't get enough of it, and I'm planning to overload on it before I go because I don't think I'll get much of it in France. I plan to have my favorite Indian buffet at least a few times before I leave and lots of Mexican. There's a new Thai restaurant and a new Middle Eastern place, both of which I want to try. And I have to eat at one of my favorite restaurants ever, Seva, which is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant here.
As you may be able to guess, I like food, I like to eat, and I think and talk about food a lot. There will probably be a lot written about food here. Eating Mission One: Do not eat so much French cheese that I turn into a giant round of Brie. Actually, that should be way down the list. The real Eating Mission One should be to try everything once. I'm expecting escargot to be disgusting, but hey, you only live once!
My philosophy while in France will be to take every opportunity to enjoy myself, try new things, and push my boundaries. That is what my blog title, au soleil levant, refers to. The rising sun is a symbol of new beginnings and new opportunities. I have waited a very long time for this opportunity, and I intend to enjoy it completely!