Ten: fingers, and the number of days left until my flight touches down in Paris. Yup. I can finally count the remaining days on two hands, hands which, incredibly, will soon be hauling overstuffed suitcases through the Charles de Gaulle airport, greedily dismantling a pain au chocolat, and fluttering nervously as I try to regain my rusty command of everyday French. It’s a little hard to believe, but entire months have flown by since I first received the news that I would be spending the upcoming year teaching English in a Parisian secondary school.
A lot has happened since then, but first, some essential updates. I now know that I will be teaching at un établissement d’enseignement supérieur (an institute of higher education), which, as far as I can tell, occupies the nebulous years between high school and college in the French education system. Without giving away the exact name of the school, it specializes in business and management studies, has a strong international orientation, and even offers courses in seven languages (which probably means I’ll have a number of other foreign language assistants as colleagues). I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting place to work!
Of course, this means I’ve had to move out of the beloved metropolis that is New York City. I’ll admit to some watery eyes as I took my last few strolls through Central Park. But goodbye-for-now’s are inevitable when you call multiple continents home. Speaking of which…
I recently returned from a trip to China! Not only was I able to visit my birth city and extended family, Z flew in from Paris and joined me for ten days of non-stop travel. We visited no less than seven UNESCO World Heritage sites (a list we use as a kind of nerdy, ultimate travel goal). It was utterly amazing, and I’ll be writing up some thoughts on this trip and my identity as an Asian-American abroad later (fun times).
Until then, goodbye-for-now!