Posts Tagged ‘ex-patriate’

Just Go!

May 23, 2012




Sometimes the doing nothing is the important thing.  Today, I only took one little step forward, minute, truly.

I put my passport application in an envelope, stapled my new passport photo to the form, double checked the payment on the check,added in my old passport, sealed it up, addressed it to the State Deparment, weighed it, 3 oz, and put $1.30 in postage on the envelope.

It went out in the afternoon mail along with a paid invoice for t-shirts at the shop and a complete bicycle headed to Toronto, Canada.

There’s not a whole lot more for me to do today.

Aside from not obsess, not hunt craigslist Paris, and not worry.

I read an interesting blog last night about what you need to move to Paris.  I have the necessary requirements in spades–chutzpah, luck, tenacity.  Here is a link.  It is pretty mush about moving with out the money.

I can do that!

I have $1900 in savings so far.  The one way ticket is $577 on IceLandic Air (ah, Iceland, another place I have notions to visit, but one trip at a time) from SFO to Charles De Gaulle on October 15th.

I want to buy that ticket really, really, really badly.

However, for the time being, I am just going to sit back and wait for a little more information.

Barnaby is back in San Francisco tomorrow.  I want to pounce on him and pick his brain the minute he lands.  Probably not going to happen like that.  I imagine he’ll want to rest up from the travels back and forth.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for a Thursday after work meet up for tea.

Although, if he gets in tomorrow and is down for the discussion, I am all over it.

The article talked about having the tenacity to do something.  I have tenacity.  When I actually acknowledge myself and some of the things I have  done, I can say without any kind of smugness, I am tenacious for sure.

It gave some good tips and pointers about where to go and what to do.  The biggest thing, aside from getting work, is finding a place to stay.  That one I basically have.

Jesus, I don’t even know where Barnaby lives in Paris.

Who cares?

It’s Paris.  I’ll take the Metro.

I already have tickets.  Courtesy of Mrs. Shannon Smith-Bernardin, who brought back her unused carnets (tickets) for the Metro from her honeymoon.  I have a handful, enough to get around for a couple of days.

I was re-reading my entry in my journal from Paris, May 22nd, 2009 earlier, and I had a good chuckle over something I had entirely forgotten that I had done.

When I was there I fell into speaking French fairly quickly, a fact that I keep reminding myself of, the language will come back really fast, especially being immersed.  However, there was one time that I lost it, broke down and was hollering in English.

At a ticket agent.

Is it just subway systems everywhere that bring this behaviour out?  I have had words with BART operators before too.

I had gotten turned away at the turnstile was I was attempting to catch a train and I could not figure out why the machines would not take my tickets, I had just purchased them.

I brought them over to the woman behind the plastic screen and explained that I could not get through the gate.  She explained that I had purchased a pack of children’s Metro tickets, not the adult rider ticket.  I asked for a refund.  She said no, she could not do that.

I asked who could.

She told me I had to go to the Motparnasse station.  This was completely out of my way and I think I did not have anymore cash on me?  I can’t quite remember what the issue was, but I was suddenly irate, upset, and bewildered.  My French, which had gotten me carriage rides, dinners, cafe cremes, jewelry, museum passes, stickers, pain au chocolat, taxis, postage at the post office for my post cards, reservations, and countless other things, was suddenly no good.

I could not get a refund on the Metro.

I was livid.  And my French rapidly became loud, obnoxious American.

Not English, I was not English, I was not proper, I was bitchy, mean, snotty, loud–American.  All things I despised when ever I came across American tourists.

In fact, most of the time when I did cross an American’s path, I spoke French.  I was not, even with a camera at the ready, taken for American.  Brazilian, or maybe Spanish, perhaps from Portugal, but American, nope.

Until the Metro.

Then the ugly came out.

Soon, I will be an American in Paris again.  An American who has the tenacity and the stick to it’ness to be able to not just be an American, but to be an Expat.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An expatriate.


A polite ex-pat who speaks coolly, calmly, serenely going about her day-to-day life in Paris–writing in cafes being very much at the top of my list.

The one thing that the article also mentioned, was to hit the ground running.  I may take exception with this, the one thing I want to do when I get there is just sit for a minute.  An hour.  A day.  Preferably a week.  Just sit and write and sit and watch and get in some nice long walks.

I will be going over in October, when the tourist season has passed and the days will be shorter and the rain my come and it will be colder, but the leaves will be changing colors and the sky will have the silhouettes of gables and smokey chimney stacks.

I want to take a little time to just let myself be.

I also need to remember that nothing is happening yet.  I am still here, still in San Francisco.  I still need to focus on my self-care, recovery, and service to be done here.

Then, I can just go with impunity.



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