This entry is for anyone who hasn’t been reading my MSN weblog.
Last June, I graduated from the
with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. I was working as an undergraduate assistant in a laboratory studying cyanobacteria, but as I was no longer an undergrad, my boss couldn’t keep me on past September. I needed to start looking for a job, but slacked off until after graduation. Meanwhile, my younger sister had accepted a job as an au pair in southwest University of Washington and was planning to leave the States in August. About a week after I graduated, my sister received an email from her future French boss asking if she had any other friends wanting to be au pairs. The woman had a friend who also needed one. And that is how I got to France : by being a lazy bum and not updating my résumé just long enough to have a job handed to me on a silver platter. France
My host family is pretty cool. Every other au pair I know lives with slightly crazy people who take advantage of her. Not only does my host family not overuse me, they actually underuse me, and still pay me as much as overused au pairs get. There are four kids in the family, 15-year-old Athena, 13-year-old Aphrodite, 9-year-old Hercules, and 5-year-old Narcissus (these are my nicknames, by the way, which reflect their personalities pretty accurately). I walk Narcissus to and from school every day, give the boys their baths in the evening, then help Hercules with his English studies. The girls are autonomous, so I don’t work with them or order them around at all. We just watch MTV together (dubbed “Made,” “Pimp My Ride,” and “Room Raiders.”) Other than that, I occasionally do a little ironing. I have the rest of the day free, and weekends are free. I spend the vast majority of my day on my laptop wasting my youth away. I would explore
more, but 1.) I’m a homebody, and 2.) I have no money. Au pairing does not pay very well. On Mondays and Thursdays for 2.5 hours each, I take a free French class with senile teachers. Everyone in the class is really nice, but it is incredibly boring. On Fridays, I go out to lunch with a French guy so that he can practice his English and I can practice my French. France
Oh, I forgot to mention, Athena and Hercules both speak fluent English. Aphrodite only recently started learning English, so she has lots of trouble, but she usually practices her English on me. In other words, I don’t speak much French at home, and I haven’t learned much in these eight months. On any given day, I speak more English than French. It’s slightly frustrating, but whatever. I’m too lazy to do anything about it.
My sister was here with me for the first six months, and that was awesome, but she had to go home early and I’ve faced the last two months without her. In January, we met an English au pair (Izzi), and she has kept me company since Jo (my sister) left. I’ve made a handful of acquaintances my age in the last eight months, but haven’t really kept in touch. I need to fix that, though, because Izzi is going back to England in ten days, and I will be so very lonely without her, even if she does make fun of my American accent, and even if she does only like me because I laugh at her jokes.
So there you have it. I set foot back on American soil this July, and then I have no idea what the future holds. Hm, I didn’t mean that to sound so cheesy. I just mean I’ve been lazy up ‘til now and still haven’t updated my résumé or started looking for jobs. You know that saying about life handing you lemons? Up until now, life has consistently handed me the opposite of lemons (not sure what that is; strawberries? Peaches?). It’s made me lazy.
Photo: Izzi and crazy Jo