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The Big O.E An epic adventure across the world, backpacker style :)

C'est beau la vie

MONACO | Tuesday, 11 December 2007 | Views [1005]

The pretty Christmas tree in Monte Carlo

The pretty Christmas tree in Monte Carlo

The last few weeks have brought us lots of good times and a few crappy times. The good times include:

** a great weekend away in a wee town near Le Val in the Var. We went to stay with Tali (a Swede/American) who's having a stint as a primary school assistant in the French countryside. It was lovely to speak English to someone else who can actually speak it properly!! And we really enjoyed the great French wine :)

** having the immense luxury of a CAR while we were there was fantastic. We drove to Aix-en-Provence, and despite the cold, rainy weather, had a lovely day. I (finally) got a warm, waterproof jacket, which completely changed my life. Being warm and dry are among the best things to be. We wandered through the Christmas market and had a cosy meal in a tiny restaurant in a narrow old crooked street in the centre of town (James chose the five course version - prawns to start and profiteroles to finish!!)

** free phone calls to NZ. Home feels much closer when you can chat to friends and family, even if there is a 12 hour time difference.

** earning 52 euros for one morning of babysitting. My new Wednesday job is looking after 4 year old Candice, 6 year old Aymeric and 8 year old Maxence. It's almost worth the one hour bike ride just to hear their cute rendition of 'Jing-le Bells'.

** watching 'Flight of the Conchords' and being so proud to be Kiwis.

** fighting over who gets to read Harry Potter because it's the only book in English that they have at the school library.

** having Sean and Adrienne come to stay last weekend. We went to Monaco on the most glorious sunny day and saw about 20 fine Ferrari and Porsche. And we explored Villefranche Sur Mer with it's medieval covered street called 'rue Obscure'. It certainly was.

** the Christmas lights in town at night. So looking forward to my first winter Christmas. It makes all the snow, mulled wine and hot dinners make so much more sense!

** Facebook. It's a travellers best friend for keeping up with the photos from home!

** planning a trip to Morocco with Mum and Dad in April. I'm so excited to see my parents again! It will be 14 months by then!

Just for the record, the crappier things have been:

** being so tired for three months in a row. We figured it probably wasn't just shingles, so James made me go to the doctor.

** paying 66 euros to see a doctor because I didn't have a social security number yet.

** paying 87 euros for a blood test because I still didn't have a social security number.

** getting a social security number two days later.

** biking to school in the rain.

** bussing to school in the rain. Thankfully it has only rained twice. Being cold and wet all day is especially crappy.

I guess the silver lining was that after all those euros we found out that I'm a bit low on iron. Fingers crossed that 'Tardyferon B9' will fix it and let me have energy to go exploring the world again! And apparently I can send in some forms to social security to beg for some money back... I was just thinking how I would love to fill out more French forms :)

Looking forward to the last few weeks of school before we head back to the Isle of Wight to earn ourselves some more pounds over Christmas and New Year.

Big hugs and kisses

from Catherine

Tags: Adventures



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