thoughts of a deviant
  entry created: Saturday 11 March 2006, 6:12am (NZ time)
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Location:  Avignon, France
Local time:  Friday, 6:12pm

It's going to be very interesting trying to type on these French keyboards... it's crazy how many of the keys are changed around (why they would choose to have a full-stop requiring the shift key, and to put the apostrophe on the number-two key, I do not know!)

So now I'm in Avignon (pop. ~90,000), in France's southern region of Provence (which inlcludes Marseille). It's a stone's-throw away from the famous Côte d'Azur region (Nice, Cannes, St. Tropez etc) and Monaco. It's almost t-shirt weather too - a pleasant change from Denmark's snow.

During the 14th century the Catholic Church moved it's headquarters from feuding Rome here to Avignon, and today it still maintains its tradition as a patron city of the arts, most notably through it's annual performing-arts festival. The annual Festival d'Avignon is apparently world-famous, although I'd never heard of it before.

I haven't found work yet, but an ad will be appearing in Monday's paper and running for two weeks, that says "Cours d'Anglais par Néo-Zélandais. Tel..." - "English lessons by a New Zealander..." Wish me luck! Oh and I have an 'interview' (for want of a better word) at the local Irish pub in the main street, for next Wednesday. My lack of fluent French could be a determining factor, but I'd be able to get on well with the local ex-pat population at least!. (To be honest, working as a waiter or whatever in a bar is about the last thing I want to do, but I've gotta start somewhere huh? At least I'd have to get my French up-to-scratch pretty fast)

Tomorrow I'm considering going busking in the main square, if I can summon up the courage! (the last time I busked was at a crew bar in Palma de Mallorca, and managed to make €36 - however I don't think there'll be as many drunken yachties willing to part with their money this time in Avignon on a Saturday afternoon.)

This weekend I'm all alone here in my friend's apartment (10 mins walk fron the city center), as she's gone to Grenoble for the weekend (skiing with her boyfriend) and the other flatmate is away. So I'll just take this time to listen to music (thankfully there's a computer here so I can listen to my MP3 DVDs. But no Internet!... aarrggh!), play my guitar (I'm learning a popular French song at the mo') and to keep going through my French lessons (oh let the good times roll). If the weather's good then I'll get out and take some photos to put up (sorry, not this time).

There's a huge supermarket five mins from us, and the prices are much better than in Denmark, thank God! The selection of cheeses is rediculous, and everything I want is less than €2 (including the wine!).

I've been feeling a little cut-off from friends and family and life with Krista, here in a foreign country in which I'm not yet confident in the language, and the prospect of looking for work has at times felt a bit overwhelming. But I guess I just need to settle in and once I do find something I'll probably start to feel a lot more comfortable and not so out-of-place. My French friend Isabelle has been great in helping me get organised, and it's nice to have somebody willing to spend time teaching me the language.

Next time I'll hopefully have some photos to put online. Mais maintenant, au revoir!

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