The past month has been quite crazy for me! I finally started my new job, which has meant that I had to transition into a new routine. First of all, I now work outside of Lyon so I have to cross the city during rush hours twice a day in order to make it through the tunnel de Fourvière. The first few weeks were quite stressful as rush hours drivers turned out to be mad, aggressive, and unpredictable. Still, little by little, I found a couple of shortcuts and things have been progressively going smoother.
I also registered to be a freelance translator but in the process (I am going to give you the short version), I was kicked out of the CPAM (aka social security). The URSSAF (I have not quite understood what that is but let’s just say that it is linked somehow to the CPAM) ended up sending me bills for some kind of health insurance contribution I supposedly should have been paying every 3 months since October 2010 so suddenly, four bills showed up in my mailbox for something that I actually should not be paying. Still, in France, it seems that if the administration makes a mistake, it is your responsibility to clear it up by providing paperwork that nobody seems willing to give you. So right now, I am not sure if I actually have medical insurance and just thinking about the fact that I have yet to find a way to sort this all out is making me want to go and purchase my own health insurance.
I also finally got my very own Internet connection. I spent most of the summer unable to surf the net or to reply to any of my emails so I simply could not take it anymore and since I am no longer a student, I allowed myself an Internet subscription. This is actually something that is a pretty good deal in France: for about 35 euros a month, you get an unlimited internet connection but also a land line that not only enables you to call every other land lines in France but also many other countries (including the US!!) FOR FREE. I also get something similar to cable TV with it but since I have yet to own a TV, that has not been a source of excitement so far.
Finally, I also have to start looking for a new apartment, as I really don’t want to spend another winter here. The heating bill was way too high considering that I barely ever managed to have the temperature rise above 20 degrees Celsius (when I placed the thermometer on the floor, it actually read 14 degrees Celsius!) Still, i have to figure out where to start looking. It seems that there is a shortage of rentals in Lyon so everything that becomes available usually gets rented in a matter of days (if not hours). Still, since I now have an Internet connection and a phone, i hope that the process is not going to be too difficult. I just have to find the energy to get started!