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Ski-Bum Supreme-Bum

snow
View Living a "Cham" Life on meesh123's travel map.

Nearly three weeks passed since we had our last snow. Thankfully the spell has broken and another 8'' dumped two nights ago (knee-to-thigh deep up top)! Like everyone else, I rushed up as soon as I could to play in the powder. Unlike everyone else, I had no idea what I was doing. And so I spent a disproportionate time on the slopes flailing my arms around, eeking, and spitting snow out of my mouth. It was AMAZING! Still, great as that was, I'm working on getting a lesson in off-piste (non-groomed) skiing. I had my last lesson when I was 12 so I reckon I'm due for another, and payday is Friday.

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view outside kitchen window

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Part of my pay is of course to stay in the family's beautiful chalet, I have my own room with attached bathroom & shower. Very lucky to have in Chamonix as a seasonaire. More commonly people find themselves 2 to a 10x12ft room. I considered it. Even better I was offered a place in a two-bedroom apartment between 10 people - "but the living space is huge!" they exclaimed. Unless the living space was Africa itself... I met one of the inhabitants by chance last week and found out there were 9 guys and "a crazy chick, really crazy" AND cost as much as the 10x10. All and all I think I made the right choice.

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photo courtesy of http://www.laruche.biz/

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photo courtesy of http://www.laruche.biz/

As the weeks roll by I'm gettin great at my job. Besides a few minor slip-ups (singeing the kids' cordon bleu, filling their diesel car to the brim with petrol - as the daughter of a mechanic I am obliged to say it was not my fault, and it wasn't entirely of course...), I'm doing fine. Practically Mary Poppins. She forgot to pick up the kids once in a while right? No, haven't done that yet - maybe that's why the kids have been so great. They are really sweet and with their little British accents they sound more sophisticated than me. Than I? Hmm...

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I've been skiing with Oscar (a 60m jump ski jumper with 6'4'' long skis at age 12) and my god they build great skiers here. He just bounds down everything without blinking, then jumps off something at the end of it all. Both Oscar and Rosie ski or jump or ice skate every day, and every Friday the schools here "make" the all the students ski in the morning as part of their curriculum. Life is so hard.

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(the blur is Oscar)

So while I may not be a Super Nanny, I am becoming the world's most ambidextrous driver. I drove "correctly" in the US (right hand side of road in regular car), drove "correctly" in NZ (left hand side, backwards car), and now I'm in France driving a car from the UK (right hand side, backwards car). I think I'll put it on my resume' (omitting of course the fuel incident).

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(not the nicest car in the lot as you can see, but it goes)

My first, and likely only, visitor came to Chamonix earlier this month, Grace Miller from Pittsburgh! While things didn't run entirely smoothly, I loved having her and her friend Christine. I loved even more watching the most thorough fall and slide down a ski run I've ever seen. Grace fell above a steep run, slid over the top and didn't stop until the very base of the run, ages below, and I haven't seen anything so funny since she left. Thanks for coming out Grace!

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Since Grace's visit, I've been to all five main ski areas my pass permits, including Courmayeur in Italy. It was stunning. Just through the tunnel under the mountains lay a huge ski area with great food, wide runs, and Italians passed out everywhere on chairs and in full ski gear, enjoying the sunshine unconscious. Made more room for us on the slopes I'd say. Yes, with my laid back schedule I'm able to ski 3-5 times a week easily, and with more snow on the way I'll continue to be devastatingly outskied by a 12 year old, and love it.

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shadow of mountain in clouds outside house

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chamonix panoramic
photo courtesy of http://www.chamonet.com/webcams/jpg/chamonix-panoramic-cam.jpg

Posted by meesh123 01.19.2009 14:19 Archived in France Tagged living_abroad

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