September is the month of Associations here. In case you don't know it yet, France is the home of associations. Being involved in or having one gives you legitimacy and credibility, two states one needs to be in when dealing with life in bureaucratic France and especially in outlying suburbs. Knowing this, I duly attended the Forum des Associations in Clichy.
As always, the speaker system blared at a volume so intense that I entered holding both hands over my ears. Even so, stoic men and women sat in booths promoting their programs without so much as a wince. A tour of the room reminds me that I should belong to one of these organizations if I want to meet any Clichois much less get friendly with a few.
The associations offer courses in dance, music, song, languages etc. Get the picture? Perhaps if you or I wanted to give lessons, we'd just put an ad in the paper and let it go at that but if you're really smart, you'll go through the trouble of founding an association that covers any activity you're interested in first, bearing in mind that it has to be non-profit.
I didn't find anything interesting that I couldn't teach myself but then I arrived at a booth with friendly people that turned out to be an association for foreigners living in Clichy. I should have known. I almost arrived late at my lpm date with Raphael at the bus stop because of the excited conversations with other foreigners. Well, this could be the start of something big...