Tag Archives: sick

Je suis maladeeee

When I went to college I realized one of the worst things that can happen is to be sick while you’re living alone. Thankfully, the one time I was really sick at Goucher my mom happened to be visiting and nursed me back to health in the hotel. Unfortunately, there was no possible way for me to have such luck in Paris, unless my mom happened to win a free trip to Paris the same time that the whole Southington school system shut down. Since the world is not quite as topsy turvy as that, me getting sick this Thursday was a little complicated. Looking back I can laugh at it and have lots of “awww” moments at my amazing friends, but I will complain just a little that it still sucks to have my throat screaming and lots of missing pages in my mémoire. But that is all the complaining I will allow myself, so here’s the story.

Thursday, I got into work feeling pretty tired, but I just figured it was because Wednesday had been rough and that I hadn’t slept enough the night before. So, I let myself complain a little to my coworkers, because that is one habit I’m starting to let myself fall into in France, share everything,  and while I will never share my private life like some of the Frenchies do, if I’m having a rough day, you don’t always have to hide it. But anyway, as I’m about to do my visit my boss offers to let me go home early since she couldn’t find anybody to replace me to work Friday night and this would make up for the extra hours. I figure sure, why not, I could use a nap. Only, after my visit, I don’t really remember much of my visit, the kids and teachers seemed happy though, maybe I really needed a nap. So, not bothering to stay for lunch, I hop on the bus to head home. About halfway home, I start feeling sick, only problem is, I can’t get off the bus, because while getting carsick during the 15 minutes left of the bus ride is a risk, getting sick in the street while walking a half hour home with a very very heavy backpack is a guarantee. Somehow I survive the lesser of two evils, only having slightly scary faces respond to my very green one, and I run off the bus, promptly sitting down outside of Las Vegas (the leather shoe shop across from my foyer) and start scoping out the closet garbage can just in case, of course it’s across the street. After about a minute, the owner, who kinda looks your typical big Italian mafia thug, says “You OK?” To which I promptly reply “yeah…. yeah… Can I have a bag? thanks……. I think I can make it home…. I live…. there…. thanks…” And stumble across the street, up the stairs, into the foyer, to discover…. the elevators aren’t running! And won’t be running for another two hours!!! I must have looked like the most pathetic little girl lost in Paris as I told the worker “but…. I’m sick….. and… and I have 8 flights of stairs……” Now looking back, one of the workers probably would have helped me with my bag or I could have rested on the couch for a bit at least, but I really just wanted to get home, so I lugged my bag up 8 flights of stairs, got into my room, and collapsed on my bed, where I stayed until the next morning.

Friday morning, I woke up feeling a little off, but figured since I didn’t have a fever anymore, I could go to work. It being my last day and all, I really didn’t want to call in sick. So, I got on the metro and headed in for my last day. Only, when I got there I still felt off, but I figured some tea would help. However, when the tea didn’t help, and I explain to my coworkers how I was sick the day before, all the dots were connected and they kindly told me some one else could do my tour, it was no problem, just go sleep in the office. I’ve always loved my stage, but this just proves that not only are the place and what we do amazing, but the people are too. Not only did somebody do two tours in a row as I slept in the office, but they found somebody to work the night shift for me, we had been searching all week for somebody to replace me, everybody was heading home on the train, nobody was available, and the day of they found somebody, just so I could go home and sleep in my own bed. And that’s where I stayed for the rest of the night.

This morning I went for my first French doctors appointment, with a doctor who spoke English, and didn’t really give me any other choice. So, I have no advice for language barriers and doctors appointments. However, it was extremely easy to do, he gave me all the prescriptions I needed, and sent me on my way.

Last note about being sick, before heading off for a wonderful antibiotic filled sleep, is about my friend group here. Being sick has made me realize just how many amazing people I’m lucky enough to call my friends. Several people have gone out and bought stuff for me, made me food, checked on me throughout the day, basically if I needed anything there were always multiple people ready to come and help.

Well, I’ve kinda gotten side tracked while writing this and now am too tired to remember what I wanted to write in the first place, so hopefully this post was useful. I’ll be sure to update about my Paris adventures once I hand in my paper and can start having adventures again. 😛 Bonne nuit tout le monde!


Stuck in Paris

These first couple weeks have been interesting to say the least. I’m incredibly happy to be back in school, I didn’t realize how much I missed learning and really hearing French everyday. This week we switched teachers and started learning the most sociological and economic side to France.  The Prof is good and knows what he’s talking about, but it’s a tricky subject to stay awake for. Luckily there’s a new prof for next week, because while it’s important to learn about this side of France, there’s only so much I can take.

I am very happy to say that I am officially all better from being sick and even managed to eat a pizzwich and a kebab. Hooray! One thing that I learned from that very annoying week is that while being sick at college is a pain, being sick in another country is even worse. I couldn’t have any normal comfort foods, like toast or saltines, and had to find substitutes in bread and apple sauce. Anytime I needed something, I had to go out myself and get it. Meaning I still walked all the way to IFE on one of my worse days because I needed to pick up my homework. Next time I get sick here, I’m going to the doctor the first day instead of trying to wait it out like I do in the U.S.

Yesterday I got full out home sick for the first time since coming here. I think all the news about the snow back home, the crazy power outages going on at Goucher, and talking with my friends from back home just made me realize that major things are happening and I’m missing them completely. Also, I really miss the security of a good friend group. Not to say I don’t love my friends here, but it takes a lot of work to be completely confident in a friend group and I haven’t gotten there yet. Luckily this morning managed to pop me right out of my home sickness. I woke up, went outside, and discovered a completely sterotypical parisien day. Slightly cold, slightly wet, and no sun to be seen. Which should have bugged the heck out of me, but that’s the weather that’s been my home for a while now and it just felt so right that I started smiling and actually enjoyed my walk to IFE. I’ll admit that as the day went on I got a little home sick again, but I doubt that will ever completely go away because I’m not going to stop missing my friends or stop wishing I was with them, but that’s the way it should be. I also realized en promenant aujourd’hui that I’m kinda bored in Paris. With the new program of IFE I suddenly have more free time, but I haven’t quite figured out what to do with it. Also, my Visa is expired right now meaning I can’t leave France until my appointment to get it renewed in March, so I’m feeling a little claustrophobic in Paris. I was planning on going to Avignon for a long weekend, but the trains seem really expensive right now, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Basically, I’m in one of those funky transition phases where I still love Paris but need to find my new routine for this semester before I can be really comfortable again.

This post turned out a little more sombre than I anticipated, but I’m just in a bit of a funk. This weekend I’m going to go see MammaMia! on Saturday and then spend a day at Fontainebleau on Sunday, so I’ll be sure to be in a better mood after a weekend of singing and exploring. 🙂

Hope everyone back in the states is surviving the snow and the power outages. I think everyone who can needs to go sledding for me since I can’t, I’ll eat a baguette over here and it’ll be an equal trade. 🙂

Bonne soirée!

Two weeks

So, it’s officially been two weeks since my last update and by this time tomorrow I’ll have made it through two weeks of classes. Safe to say, vacation is officially over.

This semester I’m living in the same foyer, but now I’m doing IFE instead of GPP. Which means I have 5 weeks of classes, then a full-time stage at a children’s art museum (Musée en herbe). Class runs from Monday – Friday from 9am until 2:30.

These past two weeks have been insanely busy thanks to amazing new friends that keep me up late talking, old friends who I never get to see enough, and this thing called homework that I haven’t had to deal with for a while. I also finally made it to the Monet exhibit at the Grand Palais. It was incredible! I got to see so many sides of Monet’s work that’s normally hidden in museums half way across the world. Also, they had Monet’s cathedral paintings right next to Lichtenstein’s own version of those paintings. Which made my day to have two of my favorite painters from my two favorite time periods right next to each other.

I also managed to get sick over the weekend. It really shouldn’t have been a shock for me, not sleeping normally doesn’t have good side effects, but it was still annoying to miss a day of school and to deal with being sick in another country.Thankfully I feel better now and Mommy gave me some very good advice from overseas.

The classes here at IFE are pretty darn good. The morning’s tricky because the class starts at 9am and goes until 12:30, but thankfully I like the prof and what we’re learning so it’s a little easier to stay awake. Although, last week I did have to actually drink coffee, drink, not taste and spit out, but drink. I hadn’t slept that much the night before and I actually started falling asleep in class. I only slightly gagged while drinking it, slightly. How do people drink that stuff straight?

My afternoon class basically consists of people doing projects and then the professor going off about whatever the subject was about. It can get a little redundant but it’s really cool to see just how much the professor knows. Also, I’m actually learning stuff from the projects, so it’s probably better than just sitting in class listening to a teacher.

It’s weird to compare this semester to last. Last semester I was in a really small group, on my own alot, and only hung out with 1 or 2 Americans. This half, I believe we have 26 or so kids total in IFE. Being in a small group last half is really helping me now since I was forced to ask questions with our tiny little class last half, and I was forced to not care how my French sounded. I’m really glad I did GPP first though because now instead of going through the transition to all French classes, I can just enjoy the class. And I already know French class etiquette so I’m not squirming in my seat because I can’t eat in class. much. It is quite an adjustment to be with people so often throughout the day. Last half I was alone walking to my stage, in the metro, and just in between class and dinner and vague times like that. Now, I’m pretty much only alone when I sleep or when I specifically chose to be. There are 5 other IFEers living in my foyer and 1 GPPer, so there is always somebody to walk with or just somebody around since we’re all on the same schedule. And since I’m hanging out with IFEers so much, I’m spending almost all my time with Americans. It doesn’t help that some of my foyer friends recently got jobs that make them work late or have exams. It’s good because I’ve missed American culture and just… social cues and basic stuff, a lot, but it also means I’ve spoken way to much English, and I miss my Frenchies bien sur.

I know there’s plenty of things I missed by not updating more often the past couple weeks, but I’ll try and be better now that things are more settled. The important things to know are that I’m happy with IFE, I’ve met some great people, and I still have no desire to leave this beautiful city, even now in the cold.