Written 08 September 2009 at 8:15 Montpellier Time
I awoke this morning to the normal routine. A morning of mind-numbing, seemingly inconsequential errands of establishing a life in very bureaucratic France. It was a trip to the bank to get checks in which we were told we could get checks, but we would have to come back eight days later to apply for them. Some of the things we must do defty reason, seem extremely ineffecient for both the buyer and seller, the civil servant and the citizen. After the bank we went to the center of town to pick up our dossiers for our carte de sejour application, the card that alolows us to reside and work legally in France, followed by a trip to establish a bank account for our new roommate, Suzanna, and to terminate my existing internet contract?. It was nice, I had a friend to do my errands with. It seems to go much smoother with Suwanna, a german fluent in french and pretty good at italian, latin, and english. We accomplished nothing of what we set out to do, she was not having the long line at the bank and the person who sold me the internet contract was not at the store so we could not terminate the internet access I had purchased (that makes no sense to me). We returned to the aprtment for lunch and coffee, a power nap for my friends and a trip to the park for me. We returned to the city this afternoon. We parted ways. I stayed at the international house to catch up on e-mails and the other left for a day of shopping. Suzanna and I met up later on to take a second stab at the internet contract. The lady was not there, our attempt was frustrated again. We spent some time shopping for a few things my new roommate needed. We parted way, her in the direction of the local grocery while I took another walk around town. I was with people all day. I noticed I could speak a little more french, my vocabulary swelling to encompass new topics and deeper conversation. It was nothing ground-breaking but it was a definite improvement. Perhaps, I find it easier to comprehend french with a german accent attached to it than a chinese accent. Whatever it was, I could more clearly communicate my thoughts and comprehend more verbally that I have since I first landed. It can get exhausting, you never get to relax in a conversation. Your ears are always cocked, trying to transform vibrations in your ears into coherent meaning and thought. At some moments, I wish I could somehow push a button and make every person in Montpellier speak english. Nonetheless, I can see and feel an improvement in my language skills and a firmer grasp on the life I now live.