A Frenchie I might be!

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Fred Nefler
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A Frenchie I might be!

Post by Fred Nefler » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:51 am

Three years after getting my doctorate and struggling to get any job at all, I've finally been offered what is basically a dream job as a postdoc in France working with one of the leading names in my specialty. He speaks fluent English, and we seem to be getting along well while we try to sort out the details.

Problem is that I'm broke as all hell and struggling to just pay rent and utilities right now. Actually paying to get out there seems wholly beyond me right now. Even just small parts of it, like getting a passport, are more than I can field. The position doesn't offer relocation assistance (or much pay; fix those and it's an amazing dream job). Poverty has me behind on my existing loan payments, and my credit score has just generally been tanking, so I doubt I can get a loan. My family grew tired of bailing me out financially not too long ago, so that's a dead end, as well. My friends basically feel the same way. I'm supposed to start the position sometime in mid to late November (I have to select a fairly specific date very soon), so there's a bit of time, but the longer it takes the more expensive flights will become, and the more difficult it will be to get everything else arranged ahead of time (France is the world champ of red tape, to my understanding). I'm still trying to find jobs out where I live while trying to scrape by on unemployment, but I'm having no luck.

I feel like this is probably my last opportunity to have the career I was dreaming of, so it's depressing to think it might be impossible to work out. Anyone got any ideas?

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lotsofphil
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by lotsofphil » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:48 pm

Make a list of what you need to get out there and how much it will cost:

* One-way ticket to Paris, $800
* Train ticket to sham's house, $10
* First month's deposit on apartment, $500
* etc

Sum up, divide by four. You need that much per month. Fund it by cutting expenses and making extra cash. See if boss in France can work out an advance on your salary. Get a job at Walmart or McDonalds. Mow people's lawns. Be a lab rat. Your parents/friends don't want to bail you out financially, but can you crash on someone's couch at low rent or rent-free? Or couchsurfing. Rent out your existing place through AirBnB or VRBO or something. Say goodbye to food that isn't ramen. Flying to some other city in Europe and then somehow getting to wherever in France might be cheaper than flying directly there. This is an academic field of some kind? Is there a conference in France/Europe in November? Can new job pay to send you to that conference? Does the conference have some funds for travel grants?

Above all, if this is your dream, leave no stone unturned.

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sham
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by sham » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:30 am

where is your position exactly? which university? what city? I might know someone able to host you for a few days? if it's a CNRS position, maybe you can ask for an early payment, sometimes this is possible.

and you're welcome in Poitiers, of course, but not sure this will help :)

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Pantsless
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by Pantsless » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:35 pm

Congrats on the job, Fred!

Don't wait on your passport. Sell some blood to get money for it if you need to; you don't want a delay on it to cause delays in other parts of this process.

You could try asking your family one more time for help - people who aren't willing to give you more to get by may still be willing to help you pay for relocation to this new opportunity.

Another idea in line with Phil's suggestions:
sell household goods on craigslist (you aren't going to bring a couch or a microwave to France.)

Good luck! I'm sure you'll find a way to make it work.
[quote="Serra725"]What did you use for the structural part of the bear?[/quote]

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Fred Nefler
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by Fred Nefler » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:46 am

Look, trees.

French trees.
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phel
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by phel » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:34 am

Congratulations!

Mrs phel and I are very jealous.

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lotsofphil
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by lotsofphil » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:34 am

Way to go Fred! So glad it worked out for you!

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transplanted_entwife
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by transplanted_entwife » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:44 am

French trees are just as sexy as I thought they'd be. :twisted:

I am so very, very happy for you!
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Eleron
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by Eleron » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:24 am

Yay, congrats!

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Serra725
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by Serra725 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:37 pm

Happy dance with one happy tear! I'm so glad you got there, and I hope it goes very well!

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sham
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by sham » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:15 am

good news indeed! good luck with your post doc :)

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Fred Nefler
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by Fred Nefler » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:39 am

Thanks, everyone.

As you might notice, it's foggy here right now. And freezing. How does freezing fog even work? I do not know, but there it is. It leaves a rather pretty coating of "snow" on everything (you can see it on the trees near the bottom; it's on everything by now, even the blades of grass). It's like the trees are made of it. It's just too bad you can't really see very far. Might make for some nice pictures, otherwise.

Not a fan of foie gras, by the way. Had some by accident just a bit ago. Would not recommend.

True facts about the French, as far as my time here is concerned so far:
  • The college age males are difficult to distinguish from the females. Attraction of the females is inversely propotional to how much it looks like you have a penis, and proportional to how much you actually do. There was this one guy-who-might-be-a-lipstick-lesbian-with-small-tits on a tram who must've had 5 different girls around him that were all unmistakably giving him the "I desperately want you to fuck me right now" look. I believe they had encircled him in an attempt to prevent his overwhelming sexiness from seeping out and attracting more rival females. Further study required. Perhaps this is somehow a normal look for French females to give? If so, this could be both very enjoyable and confusing for me.
  • The males eventually remember they are not women, and dress accordingly, as they age. Facial hair is rare at any stage; I may well be the beardiest man in a 10 mile radius. So if you're in my area, and notice there's this one moderately bearded dude, that's probably me. Just remember I don't speak French. And also that I'm not specifying what my area is.
  • Baguettes. Baguettes everywhere. You can't walk three blocks without seeing someone carrying some baguettes.
  • Bad odors are commonly mistaken for awesome cheese, and therefore deemed not a problem.
  • There is a surprisingly large number of Asians here. And not just college students (though many are). I feel I may have been better served trying to learn Japanese or Chinese rather than French. All of the French speakers I must interact with have so far tended to know English at a functional level.
  • If you cannot find a bottle of wine in the building, then you are not in France anymore.

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starwed
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Re: A Frenchie I might be!

Post by starwed » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:22 pm

If you cannot find a bottle of wine in the building, then you are not in France anymore.
I once stayed in a hostel in Paris that had small bottles of wine in a vending machine. (It wasn't very good wine.)

Also, congrats yet again!

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