Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"What have I got in my pocket?" (expat version)

In sum:

  • about $3.63 in Euro coins, ou des pièces (de 50, 10 cents, et même €2 !)
  • fifty pence ($0.66)
  • a Swedish crown ($0.12)
  • ...and a fake plastic euro 'coin' for borrowing shopping carts at our local hypermarché.
  • Oh, and the ever-present tissue, biding its time 'till the washing machine.
I must've picked up some of the guys' coin "collection" and mixed it with whatever was left from a boulangerie run. 

So ... why the inane, hobbit-y blog post? I'm looking for a new rhythm, posting one new (ideally interesting) thing weekly. (Having a sick kid at home limits a repertoire.)

Since finally receiving my work visa at the end of summer 2017, I've restarted French lessons; moonlighted as bike messenger for friends at Ma Petite Couche; and participated on a project with the CFH to translate the famous hydrogeology text Groundwater (Freeze & Cherry, 1979) into French. But I'm still looking for the right full-time post.

Till next week!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Tomorrow will be 2 minutes and 15 seconds shorter than today where I grew up in the central valley of California; here in our Parisian suburb it'll be 3 minutes 33 seconds shorter.

L'hiver arrive. Vintern kommer.

Where our kids were born, tomorrow will be 5 minutes 21 seconds shorter than today; but then the Swedes are well on their annual pilgrimage to winter, with "höstmörk", candles and ... well, darkness.

Like the Spotify playlist I'm listening to ... "Mörk ... höst":

But - surprisingly - I find I'm in an optimistic frame of mind, in spite of the season and mostly ephemeral illnesses: after years of little administrative wounds, I can legally accept a job here. The gap "cost" some productive years -- but then you can't price an education, and I've got more than when we arrived. And - importantly - the other 3/4 of the family are quite productive, everyone growing in their domain.

Now maybe I'll try to make these rare entries more frequent, shorter, and perhaps put a little pressure on self with some entries en français. I have to push written French along after all, and why not do it before I'm writing technical reports? Apologies in advance.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Mises-à-jour ... some updates

In brief, last week we finally got our visa renewals - and our application for the carte de séjour pluriannuel was approved, which specifies a "passeport talent autorise son titulaire à travailler".

This is huge news for us, as we moved here from Sweden for my wife's work just at the end of 2013 - with the understanding that within 30 - 36 months I'd have the right to work as well (as I always had in Sweden). So I enrolled in a French immersion program; took a Master's degree in my field; and within a month of being diplômé, our application was refused. Which confused our attorneys, depressed us, and threw a serious wrench in our plans.

After we got the notice from the sous-préfecture that new cartes de séjour were available, we rushed over, waited in the interminable line which looks like this:

...and ended with champagne !

Okay, actually that was the next day ... since we didn't actually believe it's work out and hadn't chilled the bottle.

And we enjoyed Bastille Day 2017 more than we have since moving here. But the next move isn't trivial either ... of the graduates in my cohort, only a couple of the dozen have found their travaille de rêve - but at least now it's possible.