Bonjour! I told you I would write more often once I arrived in Champagne!
It has been quite the hectic two days here so far and logistics seem to have taken over our lives – with good reason. As my wise husband said to me, “You have your entire life to set up the life you live. With this move, we are setting up everything again and in a new language.” Yes, that is what we are doing – so my apologies that these posts are not champagne focused…
Yesterday, we visited two of Mackenzie’s potential schools that she can attend in September. One located in Grauves, a Côte de Blanc village and the other in Pierry, a Côteaux Sud d’Épernay village…decisions, decisions. The children were on their lunch hour when we visited Grauves and the teachers were very enthusiastic about Mackenzie meeting her potential classmates. The three of us were surrounded by big smiles, very fast French sentences and a few curious looks. Mackenzie felt very ‘at home’ there and one of her possible teachers knows a fair amount of English so it may very well be a nice fit for next school year.
Then, it was onto looking for a car to buy. Now, I do know a bit of French, yes, and I have been practising my Duolingo, however, looking for a car to purchase in a small village is pretty interesting. I know sentences like, ‘I am Canadian’ or “May I please have a bottle of Rosé champagne’ but I haven’t quite mastered, ‘Has this vehicle been in any accidents?’ or ‘Is this car equipped with Bluetooth technology?’. Holy learning curve, Lucien! We hopefully found something that will be perfect for us for the year. Fingers crossed.
On the drive back home, we blew a tire out on a metal vine stake in the road – something that we would never dream of happening in Vancouver! So, today started with searching out a mechanic to replace the tire and, finally, a trip to the bank…
Now, we were told that setting up a bank account in France was going to be next to impossible but Dave jumped on it before I even arrived and we had a meeting with our new banker today at 4PM. We left at 6 PM. Again, my French language skills didn’t hold up very well but we managed with the help of Google Translate. We have a bank account and I will have a credit card within the next few days.
On a champagne note – I learned that our landlord is a vigneron (grape grower) for Laurent-Perrier champagne. I just about swooned. He is a very nice man who is gracious and as helpful as we could ask for. And, he grows grapes that go into Laurent-Perrier champagne! Outstanding.
All of this and it has only been two days in this beautiful country…!