Monday, October 30, 2006

Oh My!

This weekend...

Friday: Jube and I rent a silver minivan and eat an early lunch. He then drives to The Plains, VA, and then to Dulles Airport, where le Parisien and his girlfriend arrive
late in the evening.

Saturday: Jube, le Parisien, and la Parisienne go shopping at the Outlet Mall near The Plains. Afterwards they check out a vineyard close by and visit the quaint downtown area of Middleburg, Virginia.

Sunday: The three Frenchies go to the new Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport in the morning. Le Pacha, Belle-maman and Beau-papa arrive in the afternoon. Afterwards they tour a country inn and meet some friends of my parents. That evening they go to bed early after watching part of a movie.

Monday: The new arrivals wake up at 1:30am, and les Parisiens awake at 4:00am. By the time Jube gets up, they are ready to go! They head out to the Outlet Mall again and then visit some nearby fall festivals.


Friday: I have my last outing as a free woman. I go to Thea's house where I drink some beer and watch The Office (American version). I also eat most of Thea's homemade cheeseball.

Saturday: I write three papers. I eat some leftovers and only leave the apartment to go to 7-11 because I run out of milk.

Sunday: I grind out one more paper and manage to do the research for one more. I also paint my finger- and toenails, use an algae mask, and take a long shower.

Monday: I go to work. Afterwards I eat lunch at the Student Center, where I meet Monique. She is a student at ODU's English Language Center and is from Cameroon. We speak for about an hour in English and then an hour in French, when I realize that I'm running late for class. I hop on my bike and speed over where I sit through two presentations.

That's it so far...

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Jube left yesterday in a rented minivan to pick up le Parisien and his girlfriend at the airport. Today they are going outlet shopping and eating lots of good American food.

I, on the other hand, am still in Norfolk, trying to finish my homework for the next two weeks. I'm going to be getting married, going to a conference in DC, and (supposedly) reading for the next week's worth of classes. I don't know how it will all happen, but I'm trying. Right now I'm lying in bed with my books scattered around me. I have started a paper and am doing research for another. However, in the course of my research, I stumbled upon this blog. My chest aches because I miss Montpellier so much! It reminds me of when Jube would leave and go back to France while I continued studying at Wittenberg. Maybe it's because he left yesterday and brought those memories back, but I don't think so.

I really fell in love when I moved to France. Of course being with Jube had a lot to do with it, but it wasn't everything. I had never known what it was like to be attached to a place until I lived in Montpellier. I loved waking up and riding my bike through town to the train station to go to work. I loved exploring the city, alone and with my friends. I really loved it when my family came to visit and I could share my favorite places with them. I hope that someday I can recapture those feelings. I loved living. Sometimes, walking home from the nearby grocer's, after a long day at work and annoyed because I had to go shopping before I could cook dinner, I would just stop and look around and realize how lucky I was. Simply smelling the Mediterranean heat or hearing the lives of the other inhabitants of the city could make me feel calmer.

Maybe someday I'll feel the same way about another place, but right now I can't. I'm jealous when I read about someone else discovering my city, my Montpellier. And even though I know I have 5 papers to write, and la belle-famille's visit to plan, and menus to translate... I can't stop thinking about the one glorious year
I spent in Montpel'.

Friday, October 20, 2006

As Though I Didn't Know What Would Happen...

Yesterday Jube and I went to the DMV. It was a pretty involved process for us, since we don't have a car right now and the DMV is really far away from downtown Norfolk (I guess they figure you have a car if you're going there... whatever!). We biked into Ghent where we could catch the bus that went out to Military Circle. It was a 30 minute bus ride, but we made it.

When we arrived, I warned Jube that it was something like the Prefecture. "The building doesn't look too big, though," he mentioned, happily. As soon as we walked inside and he caught a gimpse of the dozens of chairs and tellers, he smiled ruefully. "Bureaucracy is the same everywhere, I guess."

We waited in line at the information desk, where the woman approved Jube's documents and declined mine--I didn't have two acceptable proofs of identity. I'll go back next time with my passport, I guess. It took 15 more minutes for us to be called up to the desk, where the teller spent a lot of time trying to decide whether Jube's license could be exchanged or not. It turns out that it CAN be exchanged, but Jube (like me) needed another form of identity. Of course they wouldn't accept his carte nationale d'identite or his driver's licence.

We took it in good form, however. We're used to dealing with stuff like that--and it wasn't nearly as bad as the immigration section of the Prefecture!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


So, I've gotten a complaint that I don't update my blog. Well, goodness me! Can't you figure that Jube and I are enjoying our time together and don't want to be interrupted? Luckily I have him slaving away over the hot stove right now, so I can sneak off for five minutes to write in my carnet.

As you may remember, I left you with Jube's arrival imminent. I finished work at 1pm on Friday, and I thought about getting my rental car a little bit early so I could spend the night with my parents, but I decided the time was better spent doing homework and cleaning the house in anticipation of Jube's homecoming. As I cleaned, I heard the wind outside pick up. I had heard some rumors that we were expecting a noreaster
, but since I'd already experienced Tropical Storm Ernesto, I wasn't really worried. It turned out, though, that when I called the rental car company to come pick me up, that portions of different streets around Norfolk were flooded. What's more, my street was flooded for about 100 feet right in front of my apartment building, as I discovered when I went outside to wait for my car. When they arrived, they told me we had to go pick up ANOTHER car... it took us about an hour to get there, since we kept having to backtrack and take alternate routes because of the patchy flooding. I was finally on my way at 11:30am (I had wanted to get going by 9:30). I followed the storm until Richmond, when I turned off of the highway and managed to escape the rain for a bit.

By the time I reached my parents' house, it was already time to drive to the airport! We zipped out there, only to wait for about an hour while Jube braved the long Immigration lines. After he emerged (with his guitar and all his bags, thank goodness!), we went to the mall to get him acclimated to America. We also bought Indian food as a welcome gift.

On Monday we drove out to the French Embassy, where we easily publier-ed les bans and got information about registering our marriage afterwards. Then on Tuesday we went to the courthouse and got our marriage license. We filled out the information (Jube hardly remembered his parents' middle names), and the secretary gave us some Hershey's kisses "as a keepsake." Jube immediately popped his into his mouth when the County Clerk appeared.

"Raise your right hands," she said.

We raised our right hands, and she launched into her speech: "Do you swear that you the information you have given us is correct, that you intend to marry each other and that you are legally free to marry?"

With his mouth full of chocolate, Jube said "I do."

Later, he told me, "I had no idea she was going to make us talk!! I wouldn't have eaten it otherwise!"

Ahh well. Now we have under 2 weeks till la belle-famille arrives, and under 3 till we are married (and I've got only 2 weeks to do allllll sorts of homework, too! Augh!).

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I haven't been able to sleep very well for the past few days. You ask why? Well, it's all for one reason: Jube is arriving on Saturday! Hooray! We have a long weekend in front of us. Luckily it's my fall break, so I have Monday and Tuesday to do all sorts of fun bureaucratic things with him. We are going to go to the French Embassy in Washington, DC, to publier les bans--publish the banns--on Monday. We want this wedding to be legal in France, too!

Then on Tuesday we'll go to the public registrar in Virginia to get the marriage license. Fortunately (for us) Virginia is one of the most lenient states when it comes to marriage certificates. We don't have to have blood tests or anything, just some IDs.

Afterwards, we'll drive back to Norfolk so Jube can get to know his new home a little better!

So, those are our plans. Now that I'm actually getting married, I've been noticing lots of things about weddings that are really annoying. First of all, how did the wedding get to be the most important chapter in someone's life? I saw a wedding planner on TV advising couples that "the wedding dress should represent about 10% of the wedding budget. So, if you're going to spend $10,000 on your wedding, your dress should be about $1,000." When did people decide to spend $10,000 on their wedding? That's more than I'm paying for my graduate degree!

Once she found out that I'm getting married, one of the girls I work with told me that she has a little wedding scrapbook where she pastes pictures of dresses and flowers and bridesmaids' gowns that she thinks are pretty. Then she qualified her statement: "Not that I'm getting married anytime soon! I'm nowhere near engaged!" And yet, she already has her "wedding colors" picked out...

One of my college roommates would periodically tell me things about her wedding. "I chose the song that I'll dance with my dad." "I think that it would be cool if I could wear red and carry a white rose." Hmm... I don't think she had a boyfriend...

People seem very surprised to find that I'm not very stressed about the wedding--probably because they don't realize that we're only having family at an inn in The Plains, VA (check the sidebar for which one...)