The Big O’s

Well, hello October! I have been here for almost a month now but it feels like I have only arrived a couple of days ago. Save for a week of classes last month, I haven’t been busy at all since my internship is not in effect yet. Initially, I was very optimistic that it would be easy to find an opportunity here having worked for two international companies. However, I underestimated the fact that I have limited French-speaking abilities and that it takes time to complete the processing of government or job-related requirements.

The honeymoon phase is officially over and the crisis stage has begun. Starting today, I will not be as relaxed as before because I have so many things to put into order. After our scheduled classes next week, I am supposed begin my one-year contract with Chevron Oronite. Since I will be based at the Gonfreville plant, I need to find a house to rent in Le Havre, a port city in Normandy two hours away by train from Paris. Sadly, that means I only get to spend time in Paris during the week of classes and some weekends. It was a hard decision at first because I’ve always imagined myself living in my dream city 100% of the time during the entire year. But come to think of it, I will be able to utilize my previous experience and apply what I will learn from school in a very familiar working environment. Work-wise, there isn’t a big adjustment because I get the chance to collaborate with former colleagues and talk to friends in Manila more regularly. I am not even homesick yet and with this, I’d say the probability is dropping even more and more.

But maybe not for long. For the first time this October, I will celebrate my birthday alone. Not even in Paris where I have found new and very likable friends but in a city where I know practically no one except future officemates. Maybe that’s when the homesickness will kick in. I don’t know. I do hope that when you catch me online on my birthday, you will keep me busy. Talk to me so that the day will pass without having to think about how sad it is to spend my birthday in an unfamiliar place by myself. Not to cry on my birthday is my only wish!

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