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Our Winter

The rest of the story

rain 10 °C

So despite what we've said on here and implied, our winter has actually been quite difficult. The job that I got originally at a school in Nice turned out to be the worst I've ever had, and it didn't work out there for long. Luke got a couple of weeks work in but that dried up as well because there wasn't any work to be done. In that time, we tried to spend as little as possible, and we both worked at marketing our skills to work on our own by distributing flyers - Luke to fix boats and computers, and myself to teach private English lessons. I built up a client base and was enjoying doing it, but it nowhere near sustained us. Meanwhile, our bills kept coming out of our accounts back home and our financial hole kept deepening.
The most difficult thing about this time was that we had to spend so much time at home without much to do, as we couldn't justify going out because that almost always entailed spending money, and the weather was sometimes quite bad. Our days felt long and we went a little stir crazy, driving each other a little nuts too. We were feeling pretty down and discouraged at both not working and not finding work, though we've heard from many people that Nice is a difficult place to find work. We'd considered coming home early, but kept putting it off, hoping we'd find something. (Sorry to have misrepresented our experience by only giving out the fun bits. I didn't feel like sharing that we were having a tough time, and I thought it isn't fun to read about the blues. It's also better to hear about it later when things turn around)

So here's the turnaround:
Finally, I found a job at a bar in Old Town worked by English speakers and foreigners. The tourist season is a huge deal here in Nice - more so than Victoria by a long shot, so the hospitality industry is gearing up. I got in without any experience as a waitress - something I've thought I would enjoy, and I do. My co-workers are terrifically nice and were all fast friends; every night that I'm working, the people who have their day off are often in having drinks and hanging out. We start at 5 and finish at 3 am, and then I bike home. It's a fun job, and we get to listen to live music almost every night - some of them, like the band last night, are really good!

And shortly after I got this job, I got a call from a company in Sophia Antipolis (30 min. drive from Nice) who hires English speaking teachers to teach several classes in English to French students in French public schools. A friend I play ultimate with passed my resume on to his mother who had connections there, and when something came up, they called me :) I now have an English literature class in Middle school for only 4 hours per week, and I get the wage of the 8 yr. exp teacher I'm replacing, along with on-call jobs here and there. I started on Monday and my class is great. (I'm teaching Romeo and Juliet this spring! :) This school is excellent (miles ahead of dog and pony show I was working for before) and pays very well.

So now I have 2 jobs, and when they work together, I have a day like Monday - I got up at 5:30 after having worked until midnight the night before (St. Paddy's day was, of course, a busy night). I had my class until 10, and then I picked up an afternoon in another class, whose teacher was sick. Then I caught the bus back to town, met Luke at the other job with my work clothes an hour late (foregoing my break), and worked until 3 am, and in bed by 4. Bit exhausting, but it feels good to be busy and finally making money! Luke is still looking for work, but the season should be starting soon for boat work, so we're hopeful he'll be working soon too :)

Posted by Meghan.Gardner 11:27 Archived in France

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