Its been an exciting week.
Last Friday I left Paris and took the train to Basel Switzerland so I could take my French test. I know, it doesn’t make sense to leave France in order to take a French test, but the CLEP test that I had to take is run by College Board (the same College Board that manages SATs and such). Its American test, and so I had to find an American testing center. The closest testing center in Paris was in Kandern Germany, a small town close to Basel.
In my last week in France, I went to the train station in order to purchase my train ticket from Paris to Basel, and then from Basel to the south of France (more on that later). But, the nice lady at the Paris train station told me that she could sell me a ticket FROM Paris, but could not sell me a ticket for a train that did not originate from France because of the train strike (there is always a train strike). I’m still not sure how that makes sense, but that’s that. But, she assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem getting a train ticket from Basel back to France.
And then the volcano. I arrived in Basel on Friday, only to discover that since all of the flights had been canceled all of the trains were completely booked until Monday.
Fortunately, the YMCA that I was staying in had extra rooms, so I just hung out in Basel for the weekend.
I don’t know if it was from the stress of taking my French test (I needed the test to graduate!) or sleeping 11 hours (I didn’t sleep much the last week in Paris…), but I woke up on Saturday totally unable to move my neck. I sucked it up, rubbed some homeopathic icy hot on my neck (thanks mom), got on the bus, and made my way to Kandern Germany to take the French test. And, I’m sure glad I did, as I passed with flying colors. I was super paranoid, but I’m pretty sure that the last night I spent in Paris, dining, talking and dancing salsa with a group of French friends, put me over the edge.
Sunday was spent in Basel with a Chinese girl who works as a Chinese/English translator that I met at the youth hostel. I love that about traveling, you meet such interesting people.
Monday was spent taking numerous packed trains, but I finally made it to Albas France. I’m wwoofing on a sheep/goat farm for the last three weeks of my sojourn in France. I’ve seen the birth of a few sheep, been feeding baby sheep with a bottle, and helping out with general feeding/care of the animals. In exchange, I’m housed and fed during my time here (that’s what wwoofing means). Is great to get out of the city, although there’s definitely a learning curve with all of these new words. But, I’ll save that for another blog…
In more exciting news, I was offered a job as an English teaching assistant just outside of Paris. So, it looks like I’m going to make it back to Paris next year!!