Fall is definitely here in Paris. The leaves are falling and CRUNCH on the ground when I step on them. The air is cooler and crisper. There has been some rain, but also some really nice clear blue skies. Last night, I could smell that someone was using their fireplace. I love autumn, and all these wonderful things about it.
It is starting to get quite cold, though. The trench coat-style rain jacket I took with me is definitely not enough anymore. It took quite a few layers (try 4-5) under that jacket to keep warm outside. There are a few good reasons I didn’t bring my coat with me: 1) I needed a new one anyway (I finally got rid of the coat I had all through college, the one with holes in the pockets & through which I could stuff all sorts of things into the liner of my coat.) 2) There was not enough room in my suitcase.
So this week, I was on a quest to find a good winter coat. Something that would keep me much warmer without as many layers on underneath! After looking in several stores, and finding nothing that was warm enough, or ones that were far too expensive (150-300€), I finally hit the jackpot at Decathlon. Not only did I find a nice winter coat, but I also found four fleece sweatshirts, two pairs of hiking socks, one pair of warm ski socks, and a set of lights for my bike. I spent approximately 145€ for all this…but that is not bad at all when you consider that the coat I almost bought at GoSport cost 155€!
The outside is gray and has some really cool snaps! The liner inside is this awesome pink color with a fun design.
Paperwork, and staying legal.
I also dedicated this week to doing some major paperwork. I needed to send the OFII form to the immigration office to let them know I am really here and to register myself so my visa stays valid. That is sent, and they will be mailing me back a convocation to an obligatory medical visit and to present all of my papers in person.
Apparently, I also had to enroll in social security so I can start taking advantage of the universal healthcare here. I went to the local CPAM office (centre assurance maladie) and was able to fill out all the paperwork there. In fact, something happened that was really helpful but that probably should never happen: the lady made photocopies there for me of my documents. That was QUITE a pleasant surprise! That never happens. I’m still blown away by that; I do know, however, that I can never expect that to happen again. This time was pure luck. Well anyway, I filled out the form and handed over the photocopies and they will be mailing me a temporary social security number until I get my carte vitale. (The personal card that shows I am part of the system and can get cheaper healthcare.)
Now all I need to do is to make sure I have my dossier ready for this Monday so I can give all the documents necessary to the Inspection to get paid for my teaching! I won’t get paid until November. Good thing I have some money saved up from working this past year. Otherwise, I would be freezing and starving. And thanks to my shopping yesterday, I don’t have to worry about either of those.