The Adult World

So I haven’t written in about three weeks because I’ve been extremely busy with…nothing. I actually just started classes this week and my job last week.

Here’s the thing though, whether you’re an adult or you’re just entering the adult world, one thing’s for sure: no matter what you do, you’ll always be busy. I happen to live in the wonderful country of France where administrative services are happy to serve you quickly.

You see for the past few weeks, I was supposed to spend the last days of summer going to the park, to the movies, visiting friends, reading, singing, writing and studying in advance. Except for one thing: the weather made it impossible for me to do anything other than watch TV in my bed.
On top of that, French services like Orange (telephone company), Crous (money that the government gives students), CAF (financial aid the government gives you to help pay bills), LMDE (health insurance for students) and the University administrative office are SO SO SO available/helpful/fast/reasonable/reliable/wonderful.

I hope you smelled the irony in that sentence, from behind your computer screen.

Honestly, in France, you have to call everyone about everything because nothing is anyone’s job. Don’t get me wrong, I love France, especially the city of Lyon. But when you have issues, real problems that people are supposed to care about, no one cares.
The reason why I’ve been busy for the past few weeks doing nothing is because I’ve been to every single administrative office in Lyon, trying to get things done. And now that it’s all over, school and work have started, and I’m busy again.

When you’re at University, nobody cares about you either. I major in English Literature, Languages and Civilizations and I have this one teacher who bluntly told us, “Only about 52% of you are going to pass this class. You all probably suck in English anyway. If you make more than three spelling mistakes or can’t pronounce certain words, get out of my class now and learn another language.”
Now, even though he’s an English teacher, because he’s French, this is what he really sounded like: “Eunly about feefty two purcent of you arrrre goeeng to pass zeess class. […] get out of my class and learrrrn anozerr languaje.” This same teacher said that “Pride and Prejudice” isn’t a romance novel, but Twilight is. WHO IS THIS GUY AND WHY IS HE ON OUR PLANET ?!

And then there’s work, where I’m a teacher’s assistant. In French, it’s called “surveillant” which basically means someone who supervises/monitors other people. I don’t know if this job exists in America, but in France, “surveillants” work in primary, middle, high schools and universities. Last year, I worked at a middle school; this year I’m working at a university, supervising kids who are only about 2-4 years younger than me.
“How do you get them to respect you and consider you as authority?” You may ask me. “Lipstick and heels.” I’d reply. I don’t really recommend guys to wear lipstick and heels to look older, but I happen to look a lot like my mother when I wear red lipstick (and heels), and thus, I look about 26 years old. Which is good, in my case, because if they knew I graduated highschool in 2012, I would have had to quit by now.

So another thing to get used to when you’re an adult, is everyone calling you “Ma’am” (or “Sir”). And if you’re in a country like France or Spain, people will address you as “vous” or “usted”, which I honestly don’t know how to explain to anglophones. Like, how would you react if a waitress asked you, “How would Sir like his tea? Would he like his tea with two sugars or one? Is Sir satisfied?”

Anyway, I’m babbling and not getting to the point. And my point is… I don’t have one.

I like being an adult, and I also don’t. It just depends on the day, and the weather.

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2 thoughts on “The Adult World

  1. Zahra, you had me cracking up with your hilarious take on your French English teacher! I can imagine you rolling your eyes during his rant, wishing that he could just hear how he really sounds from an anglophone perspective – he would cringe! Good luck with avoiding his radar!

    • Haha, glad you enjoyed my post, I knew you would. The teacher had us write a paper in English so he can figure out our level of English. I said I’m American, he asked me a bunch of questions about English novels, was surprised by my accent and knowledge of 19th century literature and decided that I was a “good-enough” student to be in his class :)

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