Hello and welcome to the first post to the series, “A Day in the Life of a Small Town Assistant”! For the next two weeks, I will be posting full recaps of my days here in Clamecy. More often than not, I feel like TAPIF blogs can turn into a highlight reel of beautiful travel photos and weekend adventures–don’t get me wrong, I think that’s wonderful (and I do the same thing!), but being a teaching assistant is about a lot more than just travel.
From the fun and exciting adventures to the mundane and less-than-blog-worthy moments, I’m hoping to give future TAPIFers an idea of what day-to-day life is like in a small town in France. On y va!
Vendredi, 12 janvier 2018
Given that my weekend starts at 09:30 on Friday mornings, I’ll include my Friday night activities in my weekend recap (though I will make a dedicated Friday blog in the future!).
This Friday night, I had the opportunity to go to Sens, France with the students to see La Peur, a play adaption of the book by the same name by Stefan Zweig. Sens is about two hours away from Clamecy, so we left the school at 18h00 to make it there for the 20h30 show.
Overall, I thought the show was really good! The actress who played the main character Irène did a wonderful job at bringing the audience in and keeping us engaged until the very end. Plus, I was actually able to understand 85-90% of what was said, which was so nice (and a good boost of confidence considering oral comprehension is my weakest area of French).
The show ended around 22h00 and we hopped back on the bus for the drive back to Clamecy. By the time all the students were picked up from the high school, it was well after midnight and I headed straight to bed.
Samedi 13 janvier 2018
I had a bit of a grasse matinée (lazy morning) on Saturday morning but I went to the marché around 11h00 with L. I completely failed to take pictures, but given that it is a normal Saturday morning activity for me, I’m sure there will be pictures on the blog at some point in time. After the marché, L and I headed to Leclerc (ie, the supermarket) to pick up food for our Sunday night Christmas celebration. Again, no pictures of this because I am 100% certain nobody wants to see pictures of the inside of a supermarket.
After Leclerc, we headed back to L’s place to eat lunch, which consisted of a Dijon-style quiche, bread and cheese (of course), and a religieuse, a puff-pastry, mocha (or chocolate) flavored dessert which is incredibly popular in France (verdict=so, so good!).
Now normally, I have a French lesson with L on Saturday afternoons, but because the sun was out–a rarity in France in the middle of winter–we decided to nix the lesson and profitons bien of a beautiful day!
I had previously expressed to L that I wanted to visit a castle, so we headed out to a castle in Bazoches, a town about 30 minutes from Clamecy. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the castle was closed for the season. This, my friends, would become the motto for the afternoon. Thankfully, the view from outside the castle is always available!
A bit sad but ever-persistent, we headed to the centre ville of Bazoches to visit a church but this was, again, closed for the season.
Again, a bit sad but ever-persistent, we hopped back in the car and drove back in the direction of Clamecy when we came across Les fontaines salée, which, you guessed it, was also closed for the season. The one thing that L and I did decide on is that in April, we are going to have a wonderful afternoon exploring all these monuments that were closed for the winter!
With a jamais deux sans trois (or in this case, trois sans quatre!) attitude, we finally found somewhere that was both open and interesting to explore: L’eglise de St. Père near Vezelay. It was a really beautiful church, both inside and out, and I am so happy we stopped to take a look.
After our visit to the church, L and I drove the 2 kilometers to Vézelay to do a bit of exploring. T, L, and I had been to Vézelay previously (you can read about that day here) but it was fun to go back and explore on a beautiful, sunny day.
If I could use one word to describe the afternoon at Vézelay, it would be “perfect”. There were hardly any tourists, it was wonderfully peaceful, and the view was beautiful. I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
After walking around and exploring for a bit, we headed back to the car and drove back to Clamecy.
Once back in Clamecy, we hung out, ate dinner and decided to watch the movie “Hitch” (consensus–I really enjoyed it!) before calling it a night.
Dimanche 14 janvier 2018
Again, the day started with a bit of a grasse matinée, but it didn’t last too long before I had to get ready and head to church. I really should have taken a picture of the inside of the church on Sunday because, with all the sunshine, it was really beautiful to see the stained glass shining so brightly.
After church, I headed back to L’s so we could eat lunch and hang out for a bit. In the late afternoon, we ended up going on a walk around Clamecy to take advantage of the warmish, sunshiny day. When we returned from our stroll, I started prepping the food for our Sunday night activity: the Three Musketeers (ie: T, L, and myself), Mexican-themed Christmas celebration!
It was a lovely evening filled with fajitas, guacamole, Coronas, and lots of laughs! I didn’t realize how much I missed Mexican food, but my goodness, I can’t wait to go back to Texas for authentic Mexican food.
At the end of the evening, L took T and I back to the apartment for the night and we relaxed, got ready for the week, and headed to bed.
There we have it, a recap of a weekend spent in Clamecy! Thank you for reading and check back later this week for more.
Until next time,