Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Well, welcome to the new, private blog. It probably won't stay private forever, but at least for now, I don't want Fab to be able to read up on what I'm doing. And I'll work on the layout a bit next week, once I get back to France.

I’m sure many of you have been wondering where I am – well, I’m in the UK right now. I’ve got pretty limited internet access, which is why I haven’t been able to post yet or respond back to all of your emails. I just needed to get out of France for a bit, namely out of the gîte and out of Bretagne. My friend and her family are the closest thing I have to family in Europe, and they’re taking good care of me. I’ve been watching loads of crappy American TV, things like “E! presents the world’s top 20 billionaire heiresses” or “The extreme event that changed my life”. And it’s actually just what I needed. I also finally managed to eat some semblance of a meal last night – real fish and chips with vinegar & mushy peas, so that’s a start.

I do feel the need though to say thanks to my friends in Bretagne – Alisa, Yuri, Ann – for being so supportive, and for either staying with me or letting me stay with them. I know you guys are busy, and I really appreciate you letting me come and disrupt your lives like that.

Now on to my plan. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and have come to a surprising conclusion, one that will probably shock some of you as much as it shocked me. I’ve decided I’m not ready to go back to the US. Who’d have thunk it? But I don’t feel like my time here in France is done. And the thought of being 28 and living back home again in a tiny town in MN until I figure out what I want to do is depressing the shit out of me. Plus, as I’ve already told some of you, I really resent the fact that I’m being “forced” out of the country. I always thought that if I ever left some day, it’d be on my own terms, because I wanted to leave. Nor do I want to leave under these circumstances, with this being my last image of France. But yet I can’t stay in Bretagne – it’s too rural, and there are too many memories there. So where does a broken-hearted girl go, but gay Paris?

My carte de séjour is valid through next April, so I’m planning on moving to Paris for at least the summer, to try to figure out what I want to do. I’m hoping to find a place to stay or an apartment to sublet from June-August, and then see where I want to go from there. Either I’ll have gotten used to the idea of going back home, or I’ll have fallen in love with Paris and decided to stay.

Which brings me to my next point – I think I’m still going to go ahead and turn in my citizen application next month. It’s something I want SO badly, and I’m à deux doigts from getting it. The thought of having gone through everything to make it up to the five year point and then turning around and giving it all up right when I’m at the finish line is killing me. Fab knows how bad I want this, and has said that he’ll stay pacsed with me until I get it, if I want. I realize that I won’t ever fully be able to count on him again, but it is something I want to pursue, so I’m going to take my chances. Having French citizenship would open up so many doors for me – I’d be able to go anywhere, work anywhere. As much as I love the US, I’m not sure I want to live there forever – my line of thinking has changed, and I’m starting to disagree more and more with the direction the US is heading. So I just want to keep my options open.

Anyways, so if anyone knows of a pas trop cher sublet available for the summer, or of anyone job openings (the more mindless, the better), please send them my way!



Blogger Astrid said...

You actually managed to eat those mushy peas?!? Well done, I'd say that's evidence of the appetite returning :)

Sounds like a well thought plan - and with such a plan you'll end up with no regrets!

April 12, 2008 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Karina said...

I think it's great that you've got plans - whatever they may be. I think that's the best way to slowly work through the things you need to on a personal level, whereever your plans take you, either in France or the US I think its great to be able to look towards something instead of being stuck looking backwards.
I agree, it would be so frusterating to give up your request for citizenship when you've come this close! Especially since like you said it would open up so many doors, I think I'll give it a try myself in the fall after I've finished my masters and hopefully found a CDI (which I heard is the biggest piece of the puzzle..)
big hugs! have fun in England and eat some cream cheese for me :-)

April 12, 2008 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger katiez said...

I wholeheartedly applaud your decision. After my divorce I stayed on in the same town (mid-size, - it was big enough...) for a year just to prove to me that I could do it, ie. live on my own, be comfortable as a single. It gave me time to really think about what I wanted to do next. I hate to think what would have happened to my life if I had given in to the pressure and moved 'home'

April 12, 2008 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Backinthegroove said...

So glad that you have plans and your giving yourself time......and are enjoying true british cuisine!

April 12, 2008 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Sounds like you are figuring things out. Great plan! It would be a shame to let him ruin your experience in France so now is the time for you to see France in a whole new light. Go out have fun, and experience new things. And enjoy Paris! I would love to live in a bigger city with more options, so be sure to take advantage of it.


April 12, 2008 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

I love the blog name, and I'm not at all surprised that you've decided to do France YOUR way. I think it's a brilliant first step to redefining your new life.

I wondered about the citizenship situation, since you've mentioned that you wanted it. Seems like a shame if you had to start all over again.

April 12, 2008 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Texas Espresso said...

the name is great! I think your plan is a sound one. you have options and you recognize that and want to explore them. YAY! its nice to be in charge of your own destiny isnt it?

April 12, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Betty C. said...

Thanks for the invitation. I would definitely go with the citizenship plan. I mean, you don't just become French, you become European and get to stay American too! That can open up a lot of doors.

Living in Paris sounds like a grand idea too. I regret that I haven't lived there yet and hope I will be able to work it in someday. Hopefully not your way! I'm sure it will totally help you "se changer les idées."

I didn't realize you were so young. You write with so much maturity -- I figured you were more in the 35ish range. I guess that is a compliment when judging someone from her writing rather than a photo, lol!

Thanks for the blog invitation, and enjoy your time in GB.

April 12, 2008 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I think you doing a fine job of making decisions. And Paris sounds very interesting. And I don't blame you for not wanting to come home under these circumstances! If/when it should be under your own conditions, not ones put upon you! Thinking of you...

April 12, 2008 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Ken Broadhurst said...

28! Your whole life is ahead of you!

Paris! Go for eet, as Walt and I say.

I hope you find that sublet. Stay in France, especially if you can find work and have an income in euros. And get the citizenship if you can. How could you ever regret it?

We are already enjoying keeping up with your story.

April 12, 2008 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Hey Sam, I have not read your blog in a few weeks, just saw this invitation so I have no idea what is going on, last post I read you had just come back from the US.

I came over to Holland a couple of weeks ago to try and sort my own Euro romance so I haven't had a lot of time. I am off to read and see what is up with you, I am happy to do anything I can!

April 12, 2008 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger parisiannewyorker said...

Hey Sam
Don't know if you read the email I sent last week but I might know of a sublet.

So if you want, I can email the guy to see if he will be subleting this summer.

Glad you are having a good time in Manchester and that you are makin' plans...

April 12, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Okay, wow. I am so sorry Sam. At the risk of making your drama about me, I am completely terrified that might happen, you know? We are on the verge of making a decision about me moving here with the Dutchman and honest to God I have been begging for a sign too and wonder if this is it for me. Gah.

Well, as Sabrina said, Paris is ALWAYS a good idea.

April 12, 2008 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Loulou said...

I'm so glad to hear that you're staying in France and going for the Citizenship. Bravo!
I turned in my dossier last Thursday so if there's any questions you have, just ask. (I think it is complete...we'll see!)
Hang in there. Paris sounds like a wonderful idea.

April 12, 2008 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger from cali said...

Good for you to continue with your citizenship plans and for staying in France. Paris will be wonderful for you.

April 12, 2008 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger joy suzanne said...

SO happy to hear about this plan! I was hoping you would decide to go through with your citizenship application after all; that you and Fab would work something out.

Yay Paris!

April 12, 2008 at 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for adding me.

Oh I miss fish and chips! Yum.

I think your plan sounds like a good one...there's no reason to give up everything you've worked for in France just because of Fab. Paris is full of many more opportunities and less of luck. I think it's a good plan.

April 12, 2008 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Jo Ann von Haff said...

I wish you all the luck !
I too want to apply for French citizenship. I'll do it next year :-)

April 12, 2008 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

hey sam - i'm in paris (banlieu!) but i work in paris...i work for a temp. agency and at an american diner (we're usually on the prowl for new people) it is totally mindless but can be fun and you make good tips most of the time! :) if you send your cv to me i can pass it on to both places or i can give you their direct emails if you want to just send it to them directly. anyways good luck and thanks for the invite to your new blog...about the apt. search it's advice there since i live in the banlieu...but i'm sure others will pipe in. x and good luck, liz

April 12, 2008 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Severine said...

Tres bonne idee! Very happy to hear this. That's the way to go.
I got both citizenship and it's a great thing to be able to have a choice in where you want to be.
Et c'est la moindre des choses que Fab t'aide a obtenir la citoyennete francaise!
If it was for Jason we'll be in Paris,he just loves it.
A bientot

April 12, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I'm so glad you've decided to stay in France. There's no point in running away because of one bad experience.

Paris is great, there is always something going on, I'm sure you'll have lots of fun here and forget about Fab in no time.

April 12, 2008 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger moworld said...

Good to hear that you are staying in France. Summer in Paris sounds great.

Hopefully the citizenship situation will work out without too many problems. As a US Permanent Resident I know how hard it was here, I can only imagine the French system.

April 12, 2008 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Princesse Ecossaise said...

Oh SAAAAAAAAM! I am SO happy that you decided to stay in France! My, what a brave girl you are, I really admire you and you know what? I'm proud of you!
Keep smiling :-)
Mwah!! xx

April 12, 2008 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

I have to admit that I'm surprised at your decision to stay in France, but I absolutely agree with your view of the United States. It was actually my plan to retire to Paris, but the plunge of the dollar curtailed any idea I had of that. You have several contacts in Paris, so you should be able to find a job and a place to live. Best of the best!

April 12, 2008 at 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't let him spoil france for you!
i'm so proud of you!
for your listening pleasure, a link to vintage audio of the WW1 song, How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm After They've Seen Paree. special for you, mon tresor.

April 12, 2008 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger buzzgirl said...

Holy crap, you're only 28?!

You sound like you've been thinking rationally and come up with a solid plan. I hope someone in Paris has some leads on a sublet.

Mmm. Fish and chips.

April 12, 2008 at 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i posted the judy garland version of HYGKEDOTFATSP for you here:

April 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I'm in total agreement with everyone that this sounds like a great plan. I was afraid if you went home it would feel like just so much defeat. I have been feeling homesick this month and decided myself that under no circumstances would I slink home to feel better. I think just staying here and making the most of it will bring great satisfaction in knowing you have overcome. Good luck with the sublet. I hear Paris can be a nightmare in that department. Hopefully there are those out here in the blogosphere that can send some connections your way. Good Luck!

April 13, 2008 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Hi Sam!

So glad to hear that you are with loving friends and that you have a plan!! I LOVE IT!!!! I think it's a great idea and I think you will just LOVE Paris and want to stay in France for good... The citizenship is an excellent idea, too... I fully agree that after all those years, you cannot come out of this without one... (I will write to you about my ex-hub, similar situation!) You know there are so many opportunities for you in Paris!! I will keep you posted if I hear anything... It will be great to meet you one day... We can go for a Starbucks and a movie in VO!
Take good care.... Leesa

April 13, 2008 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger Patricia said...

Sounds like a great plan! You should get your citizenship - you have worked so hard and deserve it. Also, I think Paris is an excellent idea. You are so young and have nothing holding you down so why not?! Bravo, Sam! Just reading this blog, you will not have a problem finding a job or an apartment. Enjoy yourself in England.

April 13, 2008 at 4:20 AM  
Blogger judyb said...

Wow! That is unexpected, but i totally understand your reasoning. If you're still in the UK, consider popping up to Glasgow for a minute :)

April 13, 2008 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger ViVi said...

I think your plan is KICK ASS! :D I wish I had some solid leads for you, but if there is anything at all I can help you with, even a couch to crash on, you just let me know! We're just an hour fifteen/thirty from Gare de l'Est (and loads of people commute to Paris from Troyes, believe it or not!).

April 13, 2008 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

Yes, it sounds like you've really thought through this, Sam, and you're absolutely right -- it's definitely much better for you to have a stronger, more positive vision of France to put under your belt, and you can certainly get a great experience in Paris! I'm sure things are going to come together in the next few months and you'll find just the right place to settle in for a few months while you do some work on the side until you figure out the next step. And again, don't hesitate to contact me! I'm looking forward to the opportunity to finally meet up and get to know one another a bit better.

I can understand the citizenship issue as well -- when I got divorced, it was at that time that I realized how relieved I was that I had actually gone ahead and gotten my French carte d'identité, something I hadn't necessarily been adamant about at first. But this was before Sarkozy and his new laws, and it didn't take as long, so it was a relief in the end that I was still able to stay here and start my life over again, on a different level, and on different terms. I can agree with that: wanting to do things your own way, and on your own terms, without feeling forced into a decision. You're doing a great job already!

April 13, 2008 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

liz, i couldn't access your profile - if you see this, can you send me an email? thanks!!

April 13, 2008 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Mira said...

Thanks for the invite Sam! Paris is a fantastic idea.

April 13, 2008 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger PAULINE said...

Sam if you’re planning to be in Paris from June - Sept you could consider DISNEY.

They are always looking for temporary staff (food outlets, merchandise, attraction hosts etc . . . ) lots of mindless work available. The period that your interested in is just the right months too.

You need to be at least bilingual, look the part (it is Disney you know) and have the correct work papers and be willing to work shifts, weekends etc. A very young and international environment and maybe just the sort of thing that you need right know and I am almost 100% certain that you would get a job (they pay slightly above the SMIC)

Good God I sound like a recruitment officer! Anyway I’ll send you a mail tomorrow with a name and telephone number of someone to contact if you’re interested.

April 13, 2008 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Carter-Ann said...

The Paris plan sounds good. It's a great city for getting lost in. Or healing. Or staying distracted. All of which are great for recovering from all this.

April 13, 2008 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger jchevais said...

I almost recommended you to a temp agency FRIDAY.

Progressis. They appear to be very good.

No ideas on a sublet though. You CAN DO THIS!

April 14, 2008 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

If you are looking for a mindless job, what about working in a hotel, like on reception?

Accor has loads of hotels in Paris and there are always new jobs listed on their website,

You can apply online while you are still in the UK.

April 14, 2008 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

hey sam - just saw your note - i don't have a blog but i have a google isn't accessible from here??? you wrote me once not long ago so you should have it if not i'll write you a quick email tomorrow so you know it's me for sure :)

April 15, 2008 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger OMYWORD! said...

Thanks for the invite. I can't go back to the US either, so I understand your decision. GET THE CITIZENSHIP PAPERS. :-)

Here's where we have found our best sublets in Paris:

Fusac is the best english language ad magazine, both online and in print.

For a quickie, 1-x monthly rental in between finding more permanent sublets, I have used You pay a commission up front to paristay but it's very easy and fast.

If you want to teach in a university, I may be able to get you some work.

We are in the 18th and love Paris. I'd be happy to help you in any way I can.

April 16, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger OMYWORD! said...

Also - if you have a Facebook profile, I've found some great sublets through the Facebook Marketplace. The Marketplace link is in the left sidebar and once you get to it you can search for housing and then use Paris as a search term. I just did and there are a lot of affordable apartments there right now!

April 16, 2008 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I haven't been able to check your blog for 5 days and now it's so late to comment! But I wanted to say one thing:
Hell YEAH Sam! This is such a cool decision on your part. In your situation, I would totally do the same thing. Part of the trauma of everything has been the fact that you had your whole world taken from you--well, by taking some time to stay where you're at (only better!) and maintain the life you have invested so many years into, you are in fact reclaiming it for yourself.
And I agree--I'm 28 too, and three years ago I left my husband in his home country (after living there with him several years) and returned to my podunk home town in the US--it was SO depressing. Lukcily, he followed me here, and things worked out--but I really do know what you mean.
Plus by obtaining citizenship, you accomplish two things: 1) All the time you have spent there was WORTH it--you're reaping the benefits of those five years of work and 2) You'll have EU citizenship, which means you can live and work all over the place.
It's great!
Now on to all the other posts I missed...

April 17, 2008 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger A Seattleite in Paris said...

Yay! Paris will be a very nice change from Bretagne. Someone already mentioned FUSAC, also take a look at craigslist, expactica and franglo for apartment and job listings.

April 20, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

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