August 26, 2011

The Top 10 FAQs

1) Where are you?!
A: We are in Melun, France, (say “Moo-laun” – yes, like the Disney movie, Mulan) which is located about 40 minutes southeast of Paris. We have a direct train that can get us to the station at Paris-Lyon in 25 minutes if we get desperate. Melun is situated on the Seine River, and is complete with several outdoor caf├ęs, bakeries, a downtown shopping district, and flower arrangements.

2) What do you do?
A: Three times a week I play volleyball with the La Rochette Volley Nationale 3 team. I am also coaching their 2nd level adult team (Regionale 3) and 11s/12s (Benjamines Volley) teams twice a week.

3) Do you have to speak French?
A: Have to?! We get to! Being in Belgium last spring was a huge help with this, and learning the language is a form of survival here. We are in full cultural immersion mode.

4) Do you have a car?
A: Nope! We are within a 30 minute walk of everything we could possibly need; a car is unnecessary and impractical with the gas prices (at 1,40 euro per liter, this translates to roughly $8/gallon – no thanks) and dangers of driving a stick shift.

5) What is your living situation like?
A: We live in The Loft. It really is just the attic of a house divided into apartments. It is about 20x25 feet; just imagine one side of the volleyball court a little smaller and more rectangular. Everything is brand new and clean, and it has all the essentials. Even a poetry window! 

6) What did you do with all your stuff in America?
A: We sold and gave away most of it! What is left fits under a bed and inside a closet at my parents’ house. We definitely downsized and have enjoyed experiencing a life without baggage!

7) Can I come visit?
A: Yes, but within reason, of course! The Loft is a studio apartment with the only “room” being the bathroom.  We do not as of yet have another sleeping arrangement besides our own bed, but I am working on this. Always check with me well ahead of time before you buy tickets of any kind, and if you say you are coming for a month, expect me to tell you “no.” We do want you to visit, but we also need to maintain a balance between hosting visitors and living our actual lives. Definitely no kids or pets allowed. Ever.

8) What do you eat?
A: Whatever is put in front of us! This ranges from all kinds of cheeses, vegetables, fish, meats, breads, crackers, nuts, etc. The only things I ever say “no” to are the alcohol, and extra helpings.

9) Why do you keep referring to “we?”
A: Because Marc got to come this time around! He is currently job searching, and trying to keep up with the great time I’m having.

10) Why are you doing this?
A: Because every day I wake up, my life is a dream come true.  What more could I want?