First things first: I am going to a kickass event at the London Review Bookshop (in London) on November 19th. Here is the description:
WHAT IS LITERARY CRITICISM FOR? * 19 November 6:45 pm
Terry Eagleton, Frank Kermode, Andrew O'Hagan, Zadie Smith, James Wood
How much does that rock?
Secondly: you would be amazed by my advances in French vocabulary as of late. I can now talk plumbing lingo like nobody's business. First the toilet in the first apartment wouldn't stop running. "Il ne cesse pas de faire de l'eau! [It won't stop making water!]" I tried to explain to the man who was renting me the apt over the phone. "Oh, le toilette coule, appuyez sur le bouton en dedans." I looked, and I couldn't find a button. "Je ne trouve aucun bouton!" "Ok-- coupez l'eau." In other words-- simply turn the water on and off. ça marche.
Then, two nights ago, I found the bathroom floor flooded. I called my landlady. "Madame, il y a un trou dans le truc qui apporte l'eau et le sol est tout mouillé! Venez vite!" translation: there's a hole in the thing that carries the water and the floor is all wet. Come help. She came. "Oh, il y a une fuite dans le tuyaux!" yes, that's what I wanted to say. So now hopefully I know all the necessary vocabulary words for dealing with leaks and running toilet water. Am I fluent yet?
I might add that I neglected to bring a french-english dictionary with me-- only a french-french dictionary. donc je trouve les definitions des mots en français mais pas leurs traductions en anglais...
The French are still keeping me down. Today I was reduced to tears trying to sign some papers that will "install" me in my job. It was the third time I had returned to this office and they still weren't ready for me to sign. I can't do anything else until these papers are signed-- no carte de séjour, no bank account because no carte de séjour, no internet because no bank account.
The good news is, the Sorbonne registration is progressing. Now if I can only figure out where the French department is...
That's all the griping I can stand for now. It's 2:30 and everyone's basically done working for the day, so I can't do too much else until tomorrow. tant pis. remind me why I came here again??