Done and Done

It sure hasn’t set in yet, but it will be nice not having to think about work at ISCIO again. I am exhausted. But glad to be done. :bounce

Guestbook Update

Thanks also to Ted for signing our Guestbook. That part of our site had been like a Ghost Town for a little while there! It’s always a pick-me-up for us to know that people are coming to the site. We really appreciated the nice message.

Tax Headaches

Well, whoever said that doing taxes when foreign income is involved would be an easy thing is just an idiot. I have spent the last three days trying to figure out whether to take a credit or deduction, reading 40+ page instruction manuals for each form involved in this process, and converting euros wages to dollar wages for specific dates in the past six months. In the end, I am just going to forget about trying to get money back for the French taxes I’ve paid. It is so complicated that I would probably be working on it through our entire trip in April. So France, this one is for you. Consider it a parting gift. Only I’m the one soon to be parting :=)

Checking In

Kyle’s parents come in 10 days!! I can’t believe we’re almost done- this has been such a whirlwind. I called our agency today that rents us the apt for the millioneth time. M Bonduel (“l’agent”) was laughing because I must call him atleast once a week. I called to ask that the mailbox for boxes be fixed and as usual he came up with the classic French excuse- People here always claim it’s not their responsibility/job when you ask them for something. After you go through this a billion times, you start to almost laugh at how predictable it is. I’m starting to get anxiety about next year. Kyle’s got his year all planned and I’m all up in the air. I’m applying to a million teaching jobs and I have to find some way to get my teaching license. I’m also trying to apply to summer jobs. We have so much going on right now- we’ve got 10 days to get packed up, sell all our furniture, etc. But vacation is coming soon so I can’t complain :ban

Three Days Left

Only Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are left to conquer now in my career at ISCIO. It seems like 50 years ago that I first got off the train and found myself not understanding anything about that place and the way they conducted business. How much I have learned. Perhaps I would have been better off turning around and running like a madman in the other direction. This weekend was pretty short and sleepless. The neighbors decided to have a big party last night (but it was okay you see, because they put a note out ahead of time for everyone to read). So this combined with the fact that we lost an hour on the clock change hasn’t helped my sleeping capacity. It’s hard to get past this. Hopefully once I quit my job things will improve. We went to the Marais district yesterday and tried to plan a route to take with my parents. The two major areas we want to see are pretty far apart, so we will have to plan better. Today we went out to La Defense and walked around. That part of Paris feels like the U.S. Everything is modern and gigantic. It was a nice change. Have to do our taxes this week (should have done them this weekend). I think they will be less painful that I had initially thought. I will be able to deduct the French taxes I have already paid, so that should allow me to just about break even for the year and not have to pay much. But still, this is the first year I’m having to pay something in taxes. I miss the refund I had been used to getting with part-time work. If I was 25 I would be able to get the Earned Income Credit, but unfortunately Sara and I both exist in one of the little age loopholes. Well, lots of exciting stuff coming up. Here is to Thursday and never reporting to duty as a French worker ever again. :dance

Into The Weekend

Now only a weekend and three glorious days separate me from separating with my job. This past two weeks has been the longest of my time here it seems. And that is saying something! It is funny all of the strange things we have missed over here. I for one cannot wait to get back to cheap material goods and souless gadgets! Over here, the comibnation of no money and a lack of a cheap-plastic-garbage electronics market means that we have missed an entire generation of cool toys. I can honestly say I never really overtly cared that much about any of this stuff before we came. But over here I have had a lot of fun dreaming up a great wired world for our next home. Satellite TV, digital video recorders, wireless internet access, and VoiceIP phone service. I can’t wait to get back and have fun with all of this stuff. It must sound really sick. Sorry! It’s just some kind of freak gen-x reaction! I don’t suppose we’ll have a lot of money to throw around when we get home anyway. But it’s been fun to distract myself. The MBA program I’m doing requires a notebook computer, so at least that part I’ll be able to indulge. Of course Sara will probably use it more than I do. This is the real secret: she’s the big computer/tech junkie! It’s true.

Grinding Away

We are in the home stretch now. Just about through all of this. My eyes are on next Wednesday at 5:00pm. Then Freedom! I spoke with our landlord tonight (I just start up in English and don’t give him a choice) and let him know of all the problems we have been having. He seemed to lose interest after about the third bullet point, but at least he is aware of everything. I am pretty much resigned to the fact that many of these repairs will be coming out of our pocket. Did I mention how I can’t wait to get out of this place? Today the weather was sunny and warm while I walked to work, rainy and windy while I walked to work, and cloudy and cold while I walked home. Typically late March weather I guess. But they have at least turned the St. Michel fountain back on. It”s great! We are lucky to live next to that thing.

Also, Sara keeps telling me that everyone should leave comments on here. We would love to hear them. Just click on the “comments” link at the bottom of any journal entry and write something to let us know you were here. Thanks.

Movie Night

Tonight we spent half of our food money and went out to a movie. We saw In America, a story about an Irish family immigrating to the U.S. in the 1980’s. It was very good- we both really liked it. Very sad but hopeful enough as well. I don’t know if this had a big release in the U.S. or not, but it is certainly worth watching. We saw it in an old theater a block or two from our apartment. For once it wasn’t too crowded and we actually had enough leg room to be comfortable. Anyway, check out the movie if you can. It’s really windy here now, which makes it cold outside most of the time. We seem to have had every type of weather this month, and not much of it has been nice. Hopefully soon.