As I was just getting comfortable with the streets of Hazebrouck, it was time for me to move again – to Douai, France where I will be living and teaching for the remainder of my time here.
Last Friday, I went to my school to meet the English teachers and fill out paperwork. All of it went extremely well. The teachers are very welcoming, the administrative assistants were quite helpful, and everything was extremely organized. My name was on my bedroom door, mailbox, and even the buzzer outside if I should have a guest come visit me. So exciting! I returned to Hazebrouck for Friday night (with an unexpected detour to Arras… apparently I still have problems catching the right train) and spent it with Michel and some of his friends. Saturday morning, I repacked/threw everything back into my suitcase and later in the afternoon Michel and I made the one hour drive to Douai. We dropped off my things and walked around Douai for a bit, and my goodness, is it charming!
Since Friday, I’ve already met a handful of other English assistants and have gotten to know my roommates a bit. Lidia (Spanish), Sarah (German), and Viviana (Italian) are also language assistants at the same school as me, and we are all lucky to have housing provided by the school. It’s a four-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a shower. We pay bills, and that’s it – which come out to around 100 euro per month! It’s a 5-minute walk to the main street which houses the majority of banks, stores, and restaurants. Did I mention we live inside the school? We have a separate entrance and an elevator up to our door, but my commute to work is to take the elevator down one story and I’m there, on the first floor where all the classrooms are. Pretty cool!
I’ve also been making progress on my little “to-do” list, as you’ll see here. Michel introduced me to the coffee shop, since he has spent some time in Douai for his guitar association meetings. It’s called “L’equitable” and is amazing. Today I enjoyed a Cappucino des speculoos, and I am sure I will be returning soon. My “habits” are going well, too – I’ve bought my 5 postcards to send, I’ve definitely tried lots of new beers, and have written 3 blog posts since I arrived on September 22.
Tomorrow is my first day of observations; wish me luck!