May 9, 2008

Just over seven weeks

Posted in Daily life, Exploring, Working tagged , , , at 10:18 pm by Lauren

We have seven weeks and two days left in Paris. As would be expected, we are in a haze of disbelief that the year has passed so quickly. They always do. 

Allen and I are having incredibly schizophrenic conversations about returning to the US. Although it is already May, and technically we’re flying back next month (!), Allen still doesn’t know what his next work assignment will be. The most likely option seems that he’ll be working on an extension of his current project, but from the US. That would be in Westchester, PA, though there’s some possibility of us living in the DC area and him going up several days a week. (Actually I think that one’s a strong possibility, which would be very positive for my job situation. It would be difficult for me to live in Pennsylvania until the end of September, as far as teaching positions go.) But if this project does extend, there’s also a chance we could return to Paris in the near future (likely January 2009). There are so many other options, and it’s all so unsure, that I won’t go on at length here with all of the possibilities. Allen’s boss said that we should consider the Northern Virginia area our home base until he tells us otherwise. You can imagine how that amuses me.

So, as I said, we’re having these schizophrenic conversations. One minute we’ll be discussing where we’d like to live when we return. (We intend to continue renting out our house because of the potential that Allen will get assigned elsewhere, and we’d have to go through the renting process again.) If we find out that we’ll be staying in the DC area on a longer term basis, we’re planning on looking at houses/condos in Virginia (probably back in Arlington). So we’ll spend hours on Long & Foster or craigslist debating the possibilities. Then the next topic of conversation will be what we’ll require of our new Paris apartment when we move back (number one: a kitchen!!!). Our current apartment is quaint and oh-so-perfectly located, but it has some serious flaws that you’d never think of unless you tried to live here. Then we’ll turn the conversation again to moving and staying home, which involves me talking about how I want to adopt two cats, and maybe we should adopt black cats because they’re more difficult for rescues to adopt out, or how maybe we should foster kittens for a local shelter…I can go on and on. And then we’ll be back to what neighborhood of Paris we’d like to look at, enumerating the markets, parks, and attractions around a given area. It’s exhausting – and frankly, it’s pointless.

Besides the constant chatter – the what-if this and what-if that about all possible situations – I do try to be pretty zen about it. I cannot control it, so there’s no use getting frustrated that I can’t really apply for jobs (during the ideal window for interviewing for next school year) or that Allen and I may spend some time apart while I finish my grad school this summer. And here my mother thinks I’m not flexible.

What I can control is what we do with the remainder of our time here. So I made a list. So far I’ve ticked off a visit to the Musee National du Moyen Age, buying and trying bread from Poilane (good, but the dense sourdough was a little hard for me to get through), and seeing China’s terra cotta warriors (temporarily on exhibit in Paris). Remaining are visits to: Musee des Egouts (Paris’ sewer system – I think we’ll go with Antoine and Typhaine), the bio (organic) market at Boulevard Raspail, the photo exhibit Des Parisiens sous l’Occupation, the Musee Marmotten and Giverny (Monet havens), and the Marche Parisien de la Creation. Oh and finishing the City Walks. (We had 24 done heading into Thursday, but after some serious forced marches, Allen and I have completed 7 in the past two days, and now we’ve only got 19 to go!) Which leads us back to my original point, which is: we only have seven more weeks in Paris.

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1 Comment »

  1. Steven Gosap said,

    I love this one – I feel like I’m right behind you listening to all the schizophrenic chatter of where your lives will take you next. You guys’ flexibility and sense of adventure is an inspiration to us; AND….I did not know there was the chance you’d be moving back to Paris! We can’t miss another opportunity to visit you there – that would be shameful! I’ll keep checking for further updates!


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