Saturday, August 27, 2011

Inscription Day

We had been planning on going up to Rennes just a few hours, we had thought probably about 5, or somewhere around that.  We left around 10 am because we wanted to do a few things in the morning at the Caisses d'Allocations Familiales, which will now be abbreviated as CAF.  I looked up where it was in the morning, right next to the Charles DeGaulle stop on the metro, so we wouldn't have to look around for it.  We estimated we'd probably be there until about 1:30 pm, when we'd have to leave for partner's inscription into med school, which was set for 2.  Being realistic about time constraints, we figured we'd get the CAF done, go to the inscription, which would take about 2 hours, and then finally talk with Numericable at the store in Columbier.  After that, we'd have dinner, and get back home around 9 or 10pm at the latest.  So much for planning.

We get to the CAF and gird our loins for what we expect to be at least an hour wait, and maybe an hour of paperwork.  Since he was just requesting student housing assistance it went much faster.  We were finished pretty quick.  After that we had some time to kill, and mother-in-law remembered that she saw a lamp at Pier 1 that she thought would look great in our place.  As usual, she was spot on, so we bought it then and there.  We put the lamp back in the car, and made it to campus around  1.

I had remembered my orientation at Ohio State.  It started on Thursday night and ended on a Sunday afternoon.  I had to fill out all my student loan information.  They talked to my parents about letting your children go, an how hard that might be.  (This was the fourth time they'd done it, so well, old hat really.)  I got my student ID, met people from my program, and got a big talk about how wonderful OSU was, the history, etc.  I was expecting one thing, and got the other.

This was an inscription, not an orientation.  We came in, and there was only one other student registering at the same time.  Since partner was doing continuing education, he was classified differently, and they did everyone in his classification the same day.  They took him and his mother in, and they worked out everything.  It was all good.  He had all of his info, his student ID, and we were in and out in about an hour.  I also want to mention, hint hint every American University, that partner's entire bill for a year of med school was less than 200 euros.  It makes me sick to think of the 30 thousand some debt I have from a State School.  Bitterness aside, it was all good. 

On the way back, we got a few more forms filled out that we weren't expecting to get done that day, and we had some extra time.  We also decided to get the cable taken care of then too.  We got 100megs/second internet service with 150 TV channels, unlimited telephone service to French land lines and cellphones along with unlimited international calling to 100 countries (cellular and land lines), an unlimited cellphone SIM free until December with unlimited calling to French land lines and cellphones, for 40 bucks a month.  To top it off, we got 2 months free because we went to the kiosk.  So we still had more free time. 

Like that, we had a chance to grab some lunch.  There was a place nearby that had a lunch offer, but only one left.  Mother-in-law took the lunch offer and we had these really good pizza thingies.  Any time someone puts coppa, roasted tomatoes, and mozzarella together, I'd call it a win!  Then I got a pain chocolat and a coke.  We ate in the car, and thought since it was only 4:30, we had time do to some more things to lighten the load later. 

The logical solution was, of course, that we should go to IKEA to look for dishes.  We didn't need anything more than that, and it would be quick to do.  It was right on the rocade and it would take all of 20 minutes.  We'd take that stuff back to the apartment, have dinner, and head home.  Everyone agreeing this is a logical way to save time, we go.

When we get there though, we do realize that we'd like to buy a piece of artwork for the walls, and we don't really have any silverware.  We still didn't have any pots or pans to cook in, much less tupperware to put leftovers.  Remember how I said this would be a quick shopping trip to IKEA?  The store is designed to prevent a quick trip.  We got distracted by pretty pretty things, all of which we did need all and all was gorgeous, and ended up staying at IKEA for, wait for it; 3 hours.  We had two carts worth of stuff.  We had a carpet, a framed art piece, a lamp, silverware, plates, a dish scrubber, something for next to the sink, two of those metal hook things that hang on the back of the door for coats, etc.  Somehow, we got everything into the 106, which was better than playing tetris, and we finally got it loaded in to our apartment.  By the time we got back to the apartment, we were all dying of thirst and starving.  It was 9pm, and we needed to go get food or we would all die. 
Not so fast there bucko.  There was still the slight problem that we still needed to get groceries to last us til Wednesday, partner's last day of work.  There was a Carrefour close by, so we did our shopping there.  It's good to know because of how close it is, and especially because of how much cheaper it was shopping there.  Usually for a weeks worth of food, we spend about 50 euros.  If we hadn't bought school supplies, we would have spent 35 total.  With how small our refrigerator is, we will not be able to buy much.  So every few days it's a trip to the market.  We were among the last people in the store, but we got it done.  Thursday we'll have to go again, but at least it won't be as insane.  Soldiering on, we finally make it to the restaurant.

We had a nice relaxing dinner.  We went through 5 carafes of water; three of them before the food arrived.  We talked about a lot of stuff with moving, and how much we'd gotten done that day.  Also, the schedule for moving is becoming cramped, and we'll have to rent a car to move up the last things from Ploërmel.  While we're talking, partner looks over at a table and then tells me to look at the second person from the right.  I look at him and I realize I'm starting at the French doppelganger of my older brother.  He had the same hair, the same facial expressions, and I was just floored.  I spent the rest of the meal trying to stop looking like some kind of creep staring at this guy I didn't know.  It was so positively strange.  We finish our meal, pay, and look at the time.  We leave the restaurant at 11:30pm.  It's an hour trip home...

That's how Friday shaped up for me.  I hope you all had a great weekend, and there's probably going to be at least one story coming out of building IKEA furniture tomorrow, on Sunday!


  1. sounds like all in all it was a good friday...I cant believe you got all that service for 40 bucks a month...over here I pay over a hundred and dont get even half the calling plan you have :(

  2. I was pretty surprised myself. I think it's because of how divided telephone providers are in the US that make it so much harder to have real competition. My family had dial up until 2004. Then he switched to wireless with a local provider. They seriously had their antenna on the grain elevator in the next village over. My father finally got 2 meg DSL last year.

    What we have here is pretty much FiOS. When we got DSL installed at mother-in-law's, we had to wait 2 months for France Telecom to create a new line, then sync the new line, then set it up with the new provider. After all that, we had to wait another month before the television service the provider had worked.

    With the cable service here, 15 days at most.

  3. If I were you, I'd be longing for the day we'd be settled in the appart, comfortably installed in our little routine!!!
    Packing and moving are so tiring!

  4. Oh, believe me, I am ready to be there! We found out how soon we'll have to be in so partner can start med school too, the 5th is his first full day. I'll start looking for work in Rennes soon after.