I just finished my first day of teaching. It is five in the afternoon, not even, and I can barely put one foot in front of the other. The lycée where I am working is enormous, and if I were a freshman I think I would get lost every day for a month. I am contractually obliged not to give any personal information about anyone in my class, so from now on I will just speak about my own experiences. For the first time in my life I have MY VERY OWN FLAT!!! on the second floor of a high rise. With a beautiful bed…none of that “oh by the way the last tenant absconded with the mattress and we don’t feel like asking him to give it back” nonsense. The flat came almost pre-cluttered, with various useful little things installed by the landlord or left by previous tenants. I can clean when I want to, cook when I want to, sleep when I want to…there is going to be hardly any space for the mattress when Salim and Mohamed come, but the important thing is that there will be space.
My landlord and landlady are really nice, quite parental. Mme. Roth (name changed as usual) made it quite clear that I was to call her Mme. Roth, rather than Jeannette, and her husband was Mr. Roth. Which immediately rubbed me the wrong way…the last time I called another woman “Mrs.” I was too young to drive…but they were kind enough to invite me to dinner and give me a polite and informative lecture on local cuisine while we enjoyed fish and grilled eggplant. They have travelled in South America so my rant about the gap between rich and poor (all I seem to be able to talk about since the incident with the beggars and the oranges in Buja) did not fall on deaf ears. Although I think I might have scared their son (a gentlemanly guy a few years younger than me. He said he wanted to travel and see “as much of the world as possible, except the poor countries, because in a poor country I would not have everything I could have in France.” I told him that was the point.
I should get to the shops before they close…I think I will longhand the missing entries tonight and type them up here tomorrow.