Nantes at one month(ish)

Written by Daniel Waldman

It’s been a little more than one month since we moved, so I thought it was time for a bit of an update (especially since Marie wrote one at one month).

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Even after one month, I’m not feeling fully settled in. In fact, this feels like the longest move ever. The majority of our belongings won’t arrive until October 4 (which is more than a week sooner than originally expected, thankfully). I think I’ll feel more settled in once we get all 166 boxes and three pieces of antique furniture (hopefully with everything in tact), and  once we start unpacking, I’ll probably feel more at home.

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Right now (and for the past week and a half), I’ve had all these boxes from the furniture we purchased still stuck in my bedroom, which is starting to drive me nuts. Why, you may ask, am I keeping them? It’s not my choice. It turns out that the trash people will only take stuff that’s actually in the trashcans (including the recycling bins). And it turns out that the other inhabitants of the building weren’t happy that we had thrown so much recycling in at once. They needed room for their own trash. Fortunately, a kind neighbor informed us of the issue before we had any negative confrontations. Unfortunately, however, we can only throw out a little at a time, and that’s why they’re overstaying their welcome in my bedroom. Le sigh.

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On a more positive note, I started taking  French classes. This has been good, primarily because I have had some huge holes in my speaking, mostly operating on what I know of Portuguese and Spanish and what I’ve picked up from Marie and her family over the years.

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On the writing front: I’ve been revising a short story which I hope to have submitted for publication somewhere soon, and I finished the outline of the novel, which I start writing October 1 (I’m a big fan of scheduling things out). The goal is to have a manuscript completed by the end of the year. So, basically for the next three months, I’ll be slugging it out with the novel. More to come on that in the future. I’ve also been posting my Grilled Cheese Reviews, though I’ve fallen slightly behind on writing them. I have two that need to be written, so keep an eye out for those.

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One thing I recently enjoyed was accompanying my daughter’s class on their weekly sailing trip. That’s right. French kids get sailing lessons once a week. It’s kind of like their PE, but it’s so much cooler and fun. The weather on the day we went was very, very rainy (as is typical in Nantes), but thankfully it cleared up by the time we actually got into the boats. Marie & I rode with the sailing instructor and Amandine’s teacher, who kindly brought coffee and tea to drink on the boat to warm us up (only in France, I said to myself). Here’s some pics of the trip:

We’re hoping that in a few weeks, we’ll be able to take a day trip or two out of the city and start exploring around a bit. It all depends on how soon Marie gets a job (which is also looking positive).

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Lastly, I’m excited to say that I’ve been able to watch some football at this great little pub downtown called John McByrne. While I don’t get to chose the games that are on (that’s decided by SkySports), the bartenders are super-friendly, and a ton of expats (American and otherwise) tend to congregate there on a regular basis. I’ve met a few interesting people here and there, and I’ve tried to make it a Sunday tradition to bring gameday food. So far, I’ve brought chili and Old Bay wings, to which one fellow watcher said it really reminded her of home (she’s from NoVa).

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So, here’s to another month of learning this city and this language!

Comments: 4

  1. Sounds like things are going well, albeit a little slowly. Change is that way sometimes. It’s fun reading about your adventures (and the familys) as well as the grilled cheese sandwiches. You certainly aren’t missing much here. It’s just insane. I honestly can’t wait until this election is over and done with. As for the boxes, totally understand that frustration. We still have a crawl space full of boxes that never got unpacked from 25 years ago (mostly books and assorted stuff we have no room for). Hopefully, your boxes will be gone before that time period is matched.

    • Daniel Waldman says:

      Thanks for the kind words & commiseration! I am still living the insanity vicariously through Facebook. I actually feel quite ambiguous about it. On the one hand, I’m very glad to not be in it. It was already overwhelming a month ago when I left. I can’t imagine how much worse it’s going to get in the next 6 weeks. On the other, I feel like I should be doing more to make the country a better place. Maybe right now being out of it is the best I can do 😉

  2. Anneke SAILLY says:

    A New Zealnder living here welcomes you to Nantes!!

    • Daniel Waldman says:

      Thanks!

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