To start this blog, let’s talk quickly about my past studies and experiences.
I’m coming from Reunion island (next to Mauritius island in the Indian Ocean) and I’ve studied there until my A-level. I moved for my studies in Paris. I’ve started with Literacy in the University of La Sorbonne for three years.
Unfortunately, it was not active enough for me. The content of the program was excellent and teachers were amazing but there was not equality during exams. That’s why journalism was the right choice. After three years in la Sorbonne and without any degree at the year, I was a little bit lost. A friend of a friend was doing courses in journalism in a school and proposed me to come and have a look during an open day.
I’ve passed the test and studied three years in journalism. I had the great chance to have really teachers. One of them, Eric Ouzounian, worked for rock magazines and alternative print press, amongst all his different experiences and another one, Philippe Duvoux was a radio journalist and one of the pillar of France Info. They are still active and working for different medias. They really gave me strong basis, very valuable for all my professional life and not only in journalism.
During my scholarship in this journalism school, I had to do internships. It gave me the opportunity to meet a tutor who really change my attitude. Serge Zobéide was chief editor in RFO Radio Réunion (now Première) in Reunion island. We worked together on my voice for one month, hardly and he gave me as well very strong radio basis which were helpful in other fields as singing and acting.
My first job in journalism was for a health news website, ‘Santé la Vie’. It was a really interesting experience because from the beginning of my pro life, I’ve worked on all medias; video, radio and online articles. I’ve also learnt about CMS.
My second job had more ups and downs. I worked for one year for an audiovisual company. I was doing a very early radio press review about the telecommunications economy for the french global organization, Orange. It was for internal communication and reachable by phone. But I had the chance to edit some corporate videos, to dub and subtitle audio and video content.
Then I worked as communications officer for a film festival in Paris. A friend, Natalie Vella, director of the festival and creator of luxury eye-masks (www.lovemesugar.com), proposed me to be in charge of the communication. It was a great experience as it is an international film festival.
Then I moved to Australia and I worked for the communication of different theatres and structures as the Melbourne French Theatre, the Australian Centre of Performing Arts and the horror-gore rock-goth musical ‘Death to Carnivale!’. For this last one, I’ve created their website, directed and edited video trailers and done a little bit of community management.
I’m currently working for ABC Radio as french translator for the Radio Australia website and I’m still looking for opportunities in communications, arts and IT.
I’m currently working in a French bakery. It’s not easy everyday; a physical tiring work.
I like to be in contact with customers but sometimes, it’s really exhausting. Even if a lovely granny is coming, asking you about the best cake of the display and will be back to have your advice about everything.
I’m trying not to loose my skills but it’s an everyday fight. How could I do a report about cakes ? For whom ? That’s the main point. I could work by myself, create a personal media but I’m feeling so low for that.
Not working in your field for a long time could be a problem. I’m losing a little bit my self-confidence and sometimes, I’m asking to myself if I’ve dreamt my skills, if they have been over-estimated…
There is also the question of the volunteering. I’ve been volunteer for three different structures in Melbourne, one after the other. The first one have been a joke for me. But a first experience. I’ve met really nice people at the Melbourne French Theatre and in my opinion, a quite talented director, Iris Gaillard. But unfortunately, the owner of the theatre didn’t realized that a communication plan had to be ready and done months and months before the production nights. I tried to do my best something like three weeks before. It was crazy ! At the end, we had a conflict. But the bright side is I’ve met a friend through this experience.
I’m still quite anxious about my future. I have the chance to study but the thing is to pick up the good studies. I really hope not to study for staying in the same situation than in Paris and Reunion island. I’ll turn 28 very soon and I hate this taste of defeat in my mouth.
In Paris, true, there is too many people doing the same. But it is supposed to be the place where you can find something. In Reunion island, true, there is not enough companies and a kind of local mafia. But I’m supposed to be local.
Actually, what about being undertaker ?! (or crematory) You’re sure to have some job and it’s a very rich industry !
Sometimes, jobs sound to be all my life. I went through not a lot of them but enough for the carcass I’m.
My best experience was the first one. I was 18, just coming from Reunion island. I’ve stopped going to the uni because of some personal problems and I had to find a job. Fortunately, social services in Paris found me this job in the suburbs. It was for a national employment agency (ex-ANPE, now Pôle Emploi) in Villejuif. I was greeting people.
Because of my mixed features, people could think I was from North-Africa, South-America, India, etc. They could interpret it as they wanted. It was not always easy; some people could be very aggressive, so anxious and waiting for some money. At this time, the ANPE was not in charge of paying allowances. But some people didn’t know and didn’t want to know about it.
We had a free phone at this place. One day, people had an argue about it. A man just headbutted a woman. She was bleeding and I ran to find a man. A woman stopped me and said ‘But you should do something!’. Funny woman…
Another day, a homeless man was ready to kiss my feet because the agency gave him a new life.
I finally left the job. Not because of people but because of colleagues. It was so hard to work on a permanent tension. It was filling the air.
The second more interesting job was helping elderly people at home. I was cleaning their places, doing their shopping, sometimes just talking with them. I was exhausted at the end. Because of cleaning and emotions.
I have not really knew my grand-parents, on both sides.
One woman was very nasty. A real ‘Tatie Danielle’. For those who have not seen this movie, just run and watch it. I was cleaning her flat and she was trying to make it really hard, always complaining, doing some sabotages… I really felt like her ugly domestic. For me, her face was showing all her anger. But at the end, she was crying to see me leaving. She told me ‘ I really hope to find someone as nice as you.’ I was very surprised by it.
My real heartbreak, my emotional earthquake, was a man. Pierre. He couldn’t move a lot, couldn’t speak clearly. I was preparing his lunch everyday. Chocolate was forbidden for him but he really wanted to get some. I failed, it was so hard not to doing him this favour. And everyday, he was hiding some chocolate in my bag. I couldn’t accept because it was an order of the agency. Because you could be in trouble after that, some old people thinking you had robbed them (and unfortunately, it happened in some cases).
I was quite intrigued by this man. All the walls of his flat were covered with posters, postcards and every kind of pictures from all over the world. What kind of life this man had have ? Who was he? Once, I dared to ask him about his past life. He was translator-interprete. He had a stroke and lost almost all his memories. I felt so sad for this man who must have lived so incredible things!
I’ll always remember the last time I went to his place. I was crying, washing his dishes. I was attached to him, feeling so sad and angry to see him alone. And when I closed this door for the last time, I thought I could me the last person to see him alive.
Another old woman stayed in my mind. The agency gave us kind of ID cards of your customers; recommendations, special needs, etc. This one was something like ‘bad mood’. And she was ! I had to go through her 7 floors with shopping by walk because her lift was broken and she was complaining so much.
I’ve seen her two times. The second time, she was completely different. She was quiet, almost nice and talked a lot about her life, how she came in Paris so young, her expectations as a young woman. The day before, she died.
Then I had other experiences.
I’ve been working as hostess of reception for a big event agency in Paris. It was quite strict and the simple and sometimes masculine girl I was (is) arrived in a very different world. I had to wear high-heels shoes (which were destroying my back and my feet), make-up and a uniform and to tye my hair.
Going in the metro dressed like this was quite annoying. To break the too woman-like thing, I was wearing flat shoes.
Some men were so confident about how easy it was to seduce an hostess of reception. But dear men, the truth is you’re so smug. Neither your wavy eyebrows, male looks or gold rings impressed us. They (men and women) also thought we were brainless. And they didn’t know that we were mostly students in architecture, business or whatever. And even made of plastic or other non-organic material. Once, in winter, they made me standing outside at the Louvre in a freezing draft. I think I just had a scarf.
I’ve started a song about this job…
After those last days of stress about studies, visa and life, I had good news.
The father of my student have a friend working for the Immigration services and maybe could answer few of my questions. And his daughter is going to Monash University and will be more helpful than the staff member of Monash I had on phone. I wanted to go there but he didn’t want to tell me where is the International Student Centre.
My student and his family are Vietnamese. When I met them first, they were already very friendly and really wanted to help me as they knew as hard it could be in Australia and as helpful some people have been with them when they arrived in the country. I’m very very grateful toward them.
I’ve noticed it’s not always easy for all Asian migrants in Australia. Some Australian could be quite racist and you could find the same schemes as everywhere; those people want to take our jobs, etc. A little bit like all North-African and African migrants in France. But the situation and especially the History are very different.
I was a little bit worried about teaching but maybe things will be different here. In France, I cannot forget about how hard it could be for teachers and how tough students can be. With policemen, I know that it’s one of the highest rate of depression at work. And in France, you had to go first in suburbs or insecure zones. I really think it’s different in Australia.
I’ve got also this relief because I’m really feeling so good with my family. All day along, I was thinking about thousand things, my past and my old conflicts. But a dinner with them and it was gone.
It’s quite funny to hear about people and distance.
I’ve left my parents, home, boyfriend (and first love) and island when I was 17. I technically arrived at 18 in Paris. I’ve lived 10 years there and now, I’m in Melbourne, Australia.
I miss a lot my friends. Sure. A LOT! I miss my island, the sea, the food, mountains and falls.
It’s quite funny to notice the behaviour of some French people abroad as well. Usually, in France (in the main country), coming from Reunion island makes a big difference. You’re coming from the other side of the world and you’ve got a french nationality but some people could doubt of Reunionese people having cars or TV.
In Australia, you become a true blood french. Sometimes, as in the main country, some french people think it’s quite clever to talk to me with an accent from the French Antillas. Except that it’s not the same part of the world and the same cultur.
Try to talk to a French coming from the South of France about the Maroilles (delicious and stinking cheese coming from the North of France) or mussels and fries (typical meal from the North of France), you won’t be disappointed!
From these 10 years out of my home, I know so much about birthdays, Christmas, having a distance love, being sick alone, etc.
One day, in Paris, a classmate came to me, crying. ‘It’s so hard, I’ve not seen my family from one week!’ And her family was living in the suburbs of Paris. I couldn’t be nasty underlining the fact that I had to take a plane to see my family, 10 000 kilometers away.
But in a way, it was easier for me because I was not so close to my parents. Now, in Australia, I’m living with relatives and for me, they mean home.
And if I’m going back to France or somewhere else, I think I’ll really miss home.
Take a decision is such a big thing.
I know that it’s too late but if I had 16, I wouldn’t had been the same choices. Really not. I would have studied locksmithing I think.
A friend recently told me that he had done a BTS (kind of apprenticeship) and he could pretend to have allowances after his studies. Maybe it’s possible for apprentices. Anyway, I would have worked earlier, maybe created my own business and have no problems to move to Australia as a skilled migrant.
I need intellectual food but I should have kept this as a hobby.
Anyway, choices had been made.
I’m feeling quite anxious about this huge decision of studies. It could change a lot of things.
I’m interested in mainly three options : international relations, education (french teacher for secondary) or a mix of arts, IT and communications.
The program of the International Relations studies is just amazing for the ‘journalist’ I am (have been, I’m quite lost today). It opens career opportunities in international organizations and structures.
I had a good experience in teaching French to a student. But will it be the same in a classroom with a some students bored by it? This one loves so much France, the cultur and the language. And he’s a hard-worker. So I don’t know about it. But at the same time, this job is on the list of job needed in Australia.
And the last mix is because I’ve started with journalism and maybe it could be good not to loose this basis.
I know I’m lucky because of this choice and this financial help from my parents. But I’m so afraid not to do the right choice.
I’ve failed in la Sorbonne and I’ve succeeded in journalism, I’ve worked well according to some professionals but at the end, I’m nowhere. And putting again a lot of energy and hope is such a big risk. I won’t have the energy to face another disaster.
I need to choose ; visa and financial safety, something I’m interested in…
You had to think about every option when you had to make a decision.
To come back home is one of these options. But the meaning of ‘home’ evolved and changed a lot for me.
For a long time, it was Reunion island, my place of birth, my childhood and my youth. My weather, my landscape and my creative world.
Then, living more in Paris than in Reunion island, it languished a little bit. I was sharing less everyday life events, I didn’t take this train over there anymore.
But could I say I was ‘home’ in Paris?
Then Australia. I’m here ‘home’ with my family but my Reunionese and Parisian ‘homes’ are still alive. Because in Paris, I had (have) refuges : places and people. In Reunion island, places but it’s going beyond it. It’s more a question of waves.
Yeah, sure, I should say ‘home’ is in my heart, in my head and whatever.
In fact, when I’m really thinking about it, what is ‘home’ for me is to cook and to eat. Especially to cook for my friends! What a stomach on legs!
My birthday should had not been a great thing. I was sick as a dog, couldn’t breathe properly, with a little bit of fever, struggling for moving.
I’ve learnt the hard way about Melbourne and its tricky weather. You had to have in your bag a scarf, sunglasses and an umbrella. Always ! It’s a question of surviving.
Because of antibiotics, alcohol was forbidden.
And my birthday reminds me of getting old, which is always difficult for women, with all these bullshits of being less attractive, etc. Now, I just don’t care about it. No, my main concern this year was about my future. I’ve spent all a night thinking about what is the good choice.
This year is special because it’s been now 10 years I’ve left Reunion island. I was thinking about Paris and my beginnings. But maybe it will change now and I won’t be annoyed anymore by this ghost.
Anyway, it was a good birthday because I had a lot of love coming from everywhere. Messages from people I love. And it was the best present I could have had.
Yesterday evening (early evening, this bronchitis is still killing me), I had an interesting conversation about my way of thinking.
I was explaining to my relative how I can go quite forward when I’m thinking and especially how people around me could understand it.
Because of my investigation about courses and preparing my studies, I’m looking in very different fields such as locksmithing, international relations, teaching, journalism (but not so convinced about this one, I know so much how it’s working and opportunities in this area) and cinema (technical part of it).
Usually, my friends are divided in two categories : the ones who are very enthousiastic about it and the ones who are afraid, worried or just not keen on it.
I must admit I had less friend on the first category but how delightful it is to talk about it with them! I’m thinking especially of a friend, Fanny.
We were used to spend afternoons, talking about innovative concepts, building incredible plans, thinking about details, the way of doing it, etc. We were free! Even powerful in a way! Full of life and motivation! Because we had this urgency (terrible market of journalism in Paris) and thanks to this way of thinking, it was a very rich brainstorming and I’m grateful for life for letting her me know that I was not alone to be like this and that it’s even a quality. Sure, we were a team and this way of thinking needs to be part of a team. Alone, you could lost yourself, exactly what is happening to me. Hmf, I should say, could happen to me.
The second category had a completely different point of view on this way of thinking. For them, I’m just scattered. I don’t know what I want in my life (which is in a way maybe true but who really know about it? What about unpredictable events?) and I need to focus. I cannot succeed in something because I’m losing my energy in too many different areas.
When I was young, my parents kept saying I should apply to be public servant. For me, it was like a direct way to death. ‘Dead because she was bored’, I was thinking about this kind of epitaph. Of course, I’ve understood later, when I knew more about their past, why they wanted me not to suffer of financial problems. But it was quite hard for me to kill the few dreams I had.
But sure, in a way, there is a piece of truth. Just a piece as nowadays, the notion of secure job is disappearing. When I was in journalism, it was a closed world because I hadn’t the proper network. But it sounds so much in all other jobs at the end. It’s difficult for me to think different in Australia because of the restrictions of my temporary visa. And I’m going back in France or Reunion island, what kind of job could I pretend to apply?
‘Dreaming’ of simple way of thinking…
I needed this second breathe. It’s not always easy to face this feeling of starting again from scratch.
But there is no choice.
I’ll try again studies, driving licence and artistic events. But in a way, it’s like being young again. Exactly 10 years after my Parisian experience. But stronger than in Paris.
I’m feeling in a way in peace those days. I needed to change my mind and to move a little bit. Knowing yourself is for sure a path to happiness, as the Greeks said. But the problem is to forget who you are. I’m not joking, mate ! I could completely forget what I need, what I love. Not for long but sometimes, I could take ages to see what is obvious for me.
I had few doubts about staying in Melbourne for a time. It’s an expensive city and it’s cold (yeah, yeah, for the moment but for me, it’s sooo long).
Anyway, if I’m a french teacher as I’m planning, I could enjoy holidays, travel all around Asia and bring my students to events, movies, etc.
J’avais besoin de ce second souffle. Ce n’est pas toujours facile de faire face à ce sentiment de repartir de zéro.
Mais il n’y a pas vraiment le choix.
Je vais réessayer les études, le permis de conduire et la vie artistique. En un sens, c’est être jeune une seconde fois. Exactement dix ans après mon expérience parisienne. Mais plus forte qu’à Paris.
Je me sens en paix ces jours-ci. J’avais besoin de me changer les idées et de bouger un peu. Se connaître est pour sûr le chemin vers le bonheur, comme disaient les Grecs. Mais le problème est d’oublier qui vous êtes. Non, je ne rigole pas ! Je peux complètement oublier ce dont j’ai besoin, ce que j’aime. Pas longtemps mais parfois, ça peut me prendre vraiment beaucoup de temps de voir ce qui est évident pour moi.
J’avais quelques doutes sur mon long séjour sur Melbourne. Le coût de la vie est cher et il fait froid (oui, oui, pour le moment mais c’est teeeeeelllemment long pour moi).
Enfin, si je deviens prof de français comme je le prévois, je pourrais profiter des vacances scolaires, voyager à travers l’Asie et sortir mes élèves pour aller voir des expos et des films.
Incredible to see some things…
Is Melbourne a good choice as my artistic choices ? 3 experiences, really interesting but at the end, I’m coming to the same conclusion.
I’ve seen ‘Yes Man’ last night and it made me smile. First, Jim Carrey is one of my favourite actor. But then, this thing of always saying yes referred a little bit to my own life. What a sucker ! Even his friends had noticed it and tried to benefit of it.
In a nutshell, my life. Except that I’m mine, I had to be careful ; I need to check if my work is not ‘stolen’. How to steal a work ? You’re not putting any name on it anymore or you change it and it had a new creator. But revenge is sweet.
I had some news from the radio world. It’s quite interesting to notice that a former journalist of RFI (Radio France International), working now at SBS, will work as well for Radio Première in the Pacific area from Melbourne. I’ve sent an expression of interest few months ago and the chief editor told me that he already had two correspondants in Sydney and Brisbane (even if it’s quite far from the other cities and with such different news!) and that he didn’t needed anyone.
Yeah, I know! I can already hear snakes from the back : ‘Yeah, but you know what this job is like, blah blah blah…’. Yes, but it doesn’t help me at all. Worst, I’m feeling worst : am I already had been any value?
Not nice to express pity as well…I’m fearing talking about my situation. And a friend recently told me : ‘But you had to talk about it!’ about a previous situation as glorious as today. But I know that everybody has its own life, that it’s kind of normal and its own preoccupations. That’s life!
I had a drink with friends and the disable young girl she is looking after. It was really great ! It showed me something else, more close to what I am, my convictions, far from everyday stupid fears, ordinary moanings from rich and healthy people.
I think I am inclined to compassion. Forget about the religious bit. Think pure.
I love helping. I love making life of the others better if I can.
Going out, be friends, just dancing, music. She showed me simple things.
Sounds like teaching : sharing. And furthermore with teaching, transmitting.
I believe in the other (sometimes, unfortunately). I believe in its happiness.
What an interesting day today !
I’m following a short course in Monash University, the ‘Event Management’ one. It is a bit of relief because the teacher mentionned a lot of things I was doing by myself, without any training. I liked when he mentionned the fact that it was important to ‘honour the team’. I’m wondering why I cannot find enough energy to apply to communication jobs or to be involved in artistic projects and I’m so good at having a selective memory. To refuse to see what is really annoying.
But sometimes, it’s too obvious.
Twice, I’ve worked as volunteer, done a good job in communication (according to professionals) and at the end, I’ve been told that ‘we’ll pay a professionnal now’ and even mentionning me his or her salary.
How am I supposed to feel after this ? And twice with few times between ?
Coming back to the short course. At the same time, it was quite awkward to face prozelytizing. And you can’t try to think I don’t know about it, about seducing, about some words like ‘Uniting church’, ‘spirituality’ and ‘life coach’.
He mentionned another ‘funny’ thing. He said that in the next five years, it will only be about communities. I was thinking I don’t belong any community now and I like it, not to have any label on me.
Anyway, it was also interesting because I’ve learnt few things. And I jumped in the Education building to have more information about the Master of Education. I need first to pass the IELTS, the english test… But I really felt better today, less brainless.
I was listening to Radiohead’s ‘Airbag’ yesterday in the train. I was instantly transported at 17 and with my best friend. This period of my life reached a mythic status.
I was forgetting those times about music as a timeless refuge. Especially with classical music. I had some gooseflesh listening to the incredible version of ‘Samson and Delilah’ by Klaus Nomi. His voice is so unique and he was such a character.
It reminded me how I miss to shiver and sob after a wonderful opera at the Opéra Bastille. Even those awful consumers, leaving quickly the room to catch their taxi and who want to find back their ordinary routine as soon as possible, enable to savor the instant and all overwhelming feelings, I miss them.
Yes, I should think positive. Yesterday, at work, I’ve served and talked a little bit with a customer and maybe, by this contact, I could have a job for someone else.
I would have appreciated that my help for some people at my journalism school could have been as interesting for me. I cannot say that I regret but usually, people completely forget about it. But I’m not in calculated relationships…
I’m really feeling better with some intellectual stimulation. It was so obvious that I was needed it!
Going to Monash and following the short course pointed me the right direction : studies. I’m still wondering about which way to choose because event management fits me as well. I know that education will be more static. I love to go out, to try to do things I’ve never done before and I was enjoying it when I was a radio reporter.
Friends advised me to keep doing radio reports for myself but it’s too hard. Especially because I have so few feedback about it. I think I need to work with others as well but I’ve not found yet my work partners here.
The second part of the course was quite interesting.
The teacher highlighted the ‘event project review’ and I was smiling about that. I never had one in all my experiences. I would have been but it never happened. It is a pity for people who want to go on future projects. But again, it was a relief because I was thinking about it by myself.
Bitterness was squeezing me those days but I’m feeling better thanks to customers. Two ladies came back to thank me about advice I gave to her. I felt very pleased!
I’m still wondering about my future, about courses I could follow and I’m thinking about going back at Reunion island for a break but also to benefit of the french education system (I confess). Courses are really less expensive!
Then, I hesitate between staying in Reunion island, going back to Australia or going somewhere else like Argentina.
I’ve taken some big decisions.
I’ve resigned of the french bakery. I was very upset about some management decisions. I was a hard decision to make but finally, I’m really feeling better.
I will go back to Reunion island at the end of January. I’m not ready to put $25 000 on studies. I would prefer to put it on a business. My plan is to go back, study to be a french teacher and then, to come back in Australia. I’ll try to find a job in communication, tourism or teaching.
The good news is that, after 10 years of bad times, I finally have passed the driving licence test ! I’m still not believing that I’ve done it ! I’ve started in Reunion island, changed thousand times of driving schools because I was moving every year for 10 years and I had no time to be focus on it. But here, in Australia, I’ve passed the test!!!
I’m really feeling better. Quite strange as well.
I’m not yet a tourist but my status of ‘resident’ will soon expire. The good point is that in few weeks, I will really enjoy Australia and its nature (what I was also coming for). I’m already thinking about my budget for trips around Cairns and Tasmania.
I’m also preparing now my return in Reunion island : updating my website and resume. It is now more clear to me that I’ve done more than I thought. Going abroad is by itself already an experience but I’m really appreciating all my efforts now. I hope employers will also appreciate in Reunion island.
I must admit that I like this position : not yet back in a potential routine. I’m feeling free and good, confident with my last success (driving licence).
Today was a happy wet day. I had a phone call as sweet as a smoothy hot chocolate in this humid and fresh ‘spring’ day. You had to know that the Melbourne’s weather, for those who don’t know about it, is very capricious. We can have a winter weather in summer and vice versa. Yeah, true, winter is not as bad as in Europe ! But this humidity is just crazy, going through clothes !
My days are quiet. I’m preparing jewellery that I will sell to shops and on markets to earn some money, still teaching french, still in touch with ABC Radio and working with a friend for the communication of a show about Hildegard Knef, a scandalous german actress. ‘Die Knef’ will be played from 1st to 4th December at the Butterfly Club. For more details, visit the official website : www.dieknef.com. A very interesting story about the condition of german artists (especially german women performers) in Hollywood. The subject is very interesting but as the job : I’m ‘circulating’ on german websites. Yes, I’m saying ‘circulating’ because I’ve only done a year of German at the highschool as third language and I would have continued it because I love this language ! I’ll probably come back to it one day, amongst my thousand projects. So I’m sailing german, austrian and german-speaking communities websites in Victoria. Fortunately for me, ‘Kontact’ is neither far from french or english !
I’m also happy to see my creativity coming back a bit. I’m having fantasies about threatening and charming nature thanks to the preparation of the trip in Tasmania. What I’ve read inspired me about a short piano variation (soon online).
I can’t say I’m bored these days.
I’m still working on my small creations (jewels, fascinators) and good news : today, I went to the shop The Pixie Collective (http://www.thepixiecollective.com) and I’ve signed a contract for selling my creations at the shop ! I’m thinking about bringing my stock next week. A lovely shop full of treasures!
A real good friend, Jessielea Skillicorn (founder of the brand Pweky), told me about it. We had also discussed of a show on the 4th November at the club Abode; something comedy/fashion. She would like me to sing a song. I’m thinking about ‘Hot’. It will be good to be on stage again.
I’m still promoting ‘Die Knef’, even if I have some internet troubles.
I have a new student in French, just before leaving for Tasmania. I think I really enjoy teaching. During my last lesson, I’ve started talking about litterature and it was such a pleasure ! I miss litterature. I’m even thinking about studying some litterature (even without a diploma at the end). But I’m also very lucky to live with an extraordinary educationalist. My father’s cousin, which nicely welcomed me, had been a maths teacher in Oxford, England and here, in Australia. I wrote maths methods. Patient and an innate gift to captivate students, I know how to do and I’m drinking his words.
And new adventure : I’ll do a wedding headdress for a friend!
Today, it was the Melbourne Cup. Almost everything stopped working, everybody put on formal clothes and fascinators flowered by this _so-called_ spring day.
It was funny to see some people so well-dressed with an ‘Esky’ (ice box in Australia) or other random items. I’m not judging as I suffered from the French social pressure, especially in Paris. You couldn’t go out without being well-dressed, make-up on, etc. People could think French women are classy but the truth is they had to ! No, I’m joking, they should be.
I’m more ‘easy going’. That’s one point which attracted me in Australia. But at the same time, I’m realizing through this experience, that I was not so ‘easy going’.
I’ve been raised in the French way of life. Even if I’m claiming my roots and an innate anglo-saxon way of being, I’ve faced this print on me. I need to plan more or less, to have a mid-term view. I cannot live with a too short-term vision.
Or maybe I’m getting old.
Anyway, I’m still enjoying the teaching experience with a second student. She is Year 9. Unfortunately, as I’m going to Tasmania, I won’t see her for a long time so I’ll try to give her essential keys and methods for the future.
We should always thank people who are really horrible with you.
Yes, finally, it helps to go forward.
I’ve received an interview request those days about Internet in Australia from a French blogger (with a lot of certifications in his signature). I was quite surprised as I’m not working in the field but I thought it could be as well a report. I replied I was not qualified for it, talking about all technical datas but I proposed my simple point of view as a common user. This man replied me that he thought I was ‘internet-minded’ and sorry, no thank you. I first felt upset as if I was not ‘internet-minded’, I had no point of using web tools such as social networks, CMS, etc. But it was good for me at the end.
This story and my last negative answers about journalism pushed me to focus on the essential. Do I want to stay in this world and suffer from others’s egos, fights for power and superficial struggles ? The answer is no. No, I don’t want to breathe only when few deciders want me to. No, I don’t want to go back in a country where the president is saying to the population to make efforts, to pay more taxes as he is reducing at the same time taxes for rich people. I’ve recently heard that France had more than 2.5 millionnaires in its territory.
Then I thought : ‘What do I want? What do I love when I’m working?’
I love a lot of things but two main points emerged.
First, I love human adventure. I really enjoyed it as a journalist as I could have several adventures in the same day, feeling as close as a friend sometimes ! It could be joy, sadness, anger. I also enjoyed it through my little experience in social work : helping and sharing. Words, actions or just presence.
And then, I love language. French and English. And Spanish but I’ll come back to this one later as I’m quite busy for the moment. Yes, I love French language. I’m writing diaries from primary school. Writing is for me putting life in words through a magical process, light a fire in the cold darkness of a blank page. I was used to hate grammar for a long long time. Why finding order in this flux ? I thought it was trying to capture life in words, killing it and then, dissecting it. When I was studying grammar in la Sorbonne, it reminded me these paintings of lessons of anatomy. All these doctors around a dead (or half-dead!) body who lived (like them) talking about the process of digestion or whatever. Sure, it was very helpful but I’m so sentimental.
But then, teaching French and especially French grammar gave me another perspective. As my new relationship with maths and my everyday use of English. I’m considering it more like a structure and a way of thinking.
It is really a pity that education is going in such a bad way in France. That’s why I’m really thinking about teaching French abroad. France faces very hard social and economic issues and it’s losing its quality of education. Even with a good policy, it will take time to change programs and to rebuild a good relationship between teachers and students.
I was so lucky to have a good education through my parents, my teachers and all the people I’ve met. And I would like to bring the same to others.
And the good news is I’m thinking about a shorter version of the master, as I think I won’t stay long in Reunion island (linked to France so to its bad economy). It’s a 10 months course and it’s a first step for teaching French abroad. I’ll do the master but later I think.
Yesterday evening, I went for dinner at a friend’s house in Prahan. I had again the chance to enjoy some fun from the station staff when I was taking the train.
These guys are really funny in fact! Under their stamped ‘Metro’ fluos jackets, I’m pretty sure there is a bit of a humorist secret dream. It’s the third time that I enjoy a kind of show which relax passengers’s zygomatics and create a friendly atmosphere on platforms and coaches.
Those players to the gallery are oftenly around Richmond station. The first time, just before entering the station, the driver told us a story about his grand-father (which I had not completely understood as I’m French plus a strong Aussie accent). It was nice and looks exchanged between surprised passengers are really more kind than Parisian ones, cattle-like or acerb (I cannot compared it to Reunion island as the public transport network is chokingly under-developped).
The second time, our train was leaving Richmond station. ‘Hi dear passengers. It looks like we took the wrong way.’ What ?! ‘We can still catch the right way at the next intersection but I had to get a green light. Fingers crossed!’ WHAT ?! ‘It worked, we are now on the right way. Thank you!’ Huh…Ok. Those guys love action!
And the last time was yesterday. The train was late (always the same place) and the staff member in charge of annonces tried to calm down users who could have been upset (not such a deal in the ‘No worries’ country). He was enjoying doing last seconds countdown.
So I spent the evening with this friend met in a specific context. Life is such a strange thing sometimes. I’v learnt what serendipity means in Australia. And I had many examples in here!
I’ve met Helen during a conflictual collaboration. I’ve been exploited, felt insulted and I had the impression I had lost my time but I’ve found a friend. It made me think about all people I estimate in Melbourne (during my one-hour train travel). My family and my friends from all sides.
Talking with Helen about thousand things, we talked about our relationships with big cities and compared them to human relationships. If you don’t get well on from the beginning, you have many chances to keep going with it. I think I’m not a big city person. Even if I cannot compare my relationship with Melbourne to the one with Paris. I’m a stranger but I’m less upset by the cold urban atmosphere. Colonial relationship excepted, it’s really better as well!
Yesterday evening, while I was going to the avant-premiere of ‘Die Knef’ (which I recommend to all Melbournians!), I’ve seen a former ‘classmate’ (from the journalism school) in the train.
I took time to put a name and a context on this face. She waved her hand and the time for my neurones to connect, I already had missed the time laps for an answer.
This girl had been the major of your promotion. I got well with her at the beginning. Then, things changed. We didn’t have the same age, even if it is not a real criteria for me.
I was wondering if she was here on holidays (‘God, she had money…) or studying (‘God, she had A LOT of money!). I felt she was not here on a Working Holiday Visa.
Then, I said to myself ‘Really, Nathalie, stop this stupid jealousy ! Think about those who have less chances than you…’ Yes and I tried to think that in my situation, others should have managed the same. We don’t have the same chances and that’s it.
All of this made me feel like a warrior facing adversity. Ok, but let’s go down a little bit : an everyday warrior. In Paris, this could have had a negative connotation while here, it is filled with hope.
And with all spiders I’m meeting here every evening…
Sounds like the french expression : ‘Evening spider, hope.’
I miss radio work.
I loved so much to work on sound, to write for radio, to create atmospheres. Video and writing are quite different for me. It is not the same writing as well. Pictures are talking by themselves and we are using less words, it is a lighter structure. I’m really enjoying writing as it is a source of pleasure and ‘space’ but I also like to use my voice. It is something quite intimate. Just like writing.
I love radio because it is a challenge and a stage. Word and intonation, music and literary structure. Sure, I could keep feeding my audioblog. But it’s not the same… Sound is different on the web. It was as well my fear at the end of my studies (as I was specialized in radio) : which future for radio ? I mean radio we’ve known until now : a specific format and a momentariness. And just talking about format, I would have known radio stories with sound effects and everything ! I think my mother had known this period. Reunion island had been late for a long time about media and cultur but had known a big jump those last 10 years (or something like that). These radio stories were this time a true jewel of radio and an excellent performances for actors !
I was fearing digitalism of media could offer a canned sound and that radio journalists could never again feel this shiver of being on air. As I’m not working on radio for a while, I don’t know if this fear turned real or not.
Arte radio seems to do more or less nice things but they consider themselves as a impregnable fortress, repulsing requests as flea-ridden villains. And then, my fear about listening rate was right : it’s quite poor. Lost in the internet galaxy, sound only attracts few sound lovers and cannot reach new curious listeners.
I hope my applications will be successful, the last one targeting a far-far country…
I’m back to ‘town’.
I really felt very strange at Melbourne airport and on the way back to home in Melbourne. You’ll know more about my trip in Tasmania as I’m preparing a detailed post about it.
Just coming back to this feeling, I’m still feeling weird.
I felt in love with Tasmania, even if the temperatures were fresh. In fact, it was not cold (except in Cradle Mountain) but the wind, coming straight from the South Pole, was. But the nature was so beautiful, divine, enchantress that I, lizard-born, heat-lover, I had no problem with temperatures. I felt in love with Tasmania quietness and wilderness. Sure, winter time should be tough. I felt peaceful in Tasmania. My mobile phone was not working, not a chance to find an internet cafe; I needed it. Maybe I need it.
Coming out from the airport was an overwhelming people-urban-pollution wave on me. I felt strange to see all this movement. I felt a little bit lost for few days. And I did not even go back to the CBD yet… I was good among the nature, I felt child of it.
Thanks to this experience, I’m going on my personal work about what I want in my life. I want to be close to nature. I even had a look at professional choices in this way.
I’ve been very touched by a friend trying to convince me to come back to France, to Paris, to study there. I really enjoy this attention. But I’ve suffered too much in this acidic atmosphere. I have no place, no weapons, nothing in this world. I was lucky to meet my friends but I’m feeling hopeless at a professional life in Paris, almost even in France. I kept on applying for job and when they answer me, it’s to say ‘Oh, bad luck, we’ve found someone better than you’, ‘Oh bad luck, you’re not here right now _I mean in Reunion island_ so no hope.’
Working with nature appeals more rewarding to me at the end.
I’ve booked flights to go to Wellington, New-Zealand. I’m thinking about finding a job and getting a permanent visa over there.
2012 looks to be a good year.
I’ve let all my worries in 2011 to be a fighter. Few minutes before 2012, we were playing cards and I had 3 jokers in my hand : no choice, 2012 will be a lucky year.
I had really good times with my family in Moss Vale, New South Wales. We’ve even seen Canberra before going back in Melbourne by 40 degrees.
Everything could change this year as I could have an real opportunity in Reunion island!