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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fatigued, Bemused, and Elated

11:00 a.m. : “Has the mail arrived yet?” 12:30 p.m. : “How 'bout now?”

My eagerly anticipated placement letter would surely find its way to Miami while I was out of town, right? Wrong. Or so I thought until I returned from New York City on July 11 at 3:30 a.m. (a few hours after my birthday), exhausted and peeved by a thrice delayed flight. I found birthday gifts on the dining room table and, magically, a mid-sized brown envelope from France!

A Very Merry Unbirthday To Me.

I opened it up with ravenous enthusiasm, spotted the word Angers somewhere, and jumped for joy. A sizeable city one hour and a half from Paris, young, vibrant, and gorgeous by all accounts. I happily opened my presents, took a shower, and went to bed with my envelope in hand. Now I could meticulously read every detail.

My school is not in Angers after all. It’s in Segré, a tiny town 40 km from the city, population 7,155. According to the official website, it’s name comes from the Latin “secretum,” which means “isolated.” I figure moving across the ocean is isolation enough. So now I’m looking at an hour-long commute because, while the town does seem very charming – see it for yourself by clicking vue 360º on the website – I don’t think I could cope with the boredom.

If all goes to plan, I will get to experience small-town France while living in a lively city. And – *nerd alert* – think of all the novels I’ll have read on busses in the seven-month span!

Here is the website for Angers. Click on En 360º (bottom of left-hand column) for virtual tours of the city.

Oh, and wish me luck.


Samantha said...

Hi, it's Samantha from the assistant site. *S*

Just wanted to say that I drove through Angers today for work and I completely agree with your decision to live there - it's such a beautiful city, and the château is so cool. It probably helped that the sun was shining today for the first time in months, but still, everything there seemed so pretty and quaint!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! That's a shame about the school you've been placed in, but I guess you can take advantage by programming French language cds onto your ipod and listening on the way to and from and you'll be fluent in no time!

The Grim Repas said...

wow. congrats on getting the arrete, sucks that you have to commute. furthermore. happy b-day.

Melissa said...

Thanks for the well-wishes. And Samantha, thanks for the further confirmation about Angers. :o} Less than two months to go ...

Valerie said...

Hi Melissa! At least now you know where you'll be, even if it's not quite what you imagined. Any luck on housing in Angers?

Melissa said...

Yes, I'm relieved to know where I'm headed now. There are plenty of offers online for studio apartments in Angers, so it shouldn't be too difficult, but I'll wait till I'm there to make any definite housing decisions.