Me, RSG and Chérie FM

I still listen to RSG, Radio Sonder Grense, here at home. Mostly to lighten the task of folding and ironing washing in the afternoon, while listening to ‘Tjailatyd‘. You don’t have to concentrate too much, just some company in the background. That is a big change from Cape Town where I could listen to RSG in the car as well. Now I listen to Chérie FM while driving and now I have to concentrate to try to understand! Ok, that is only when I am alone in the car and there aren’t any teenagers to change the station to maybe Virgin or NRJ.
Chérie FM shows my age. They often play music from my highschool or university days. You could hear a song from Flashdance or Dirty dancing maybe. : ) Some french music as well, but still less lively (noisy I could say) than the Virgins and NRJs!
What made me talk about radio stations was that on Tjailatyd everyday a listener describes his or her daily trips in the car, so I was wondering how I would describe my daily time in the car here in Cergy-Pontoise.

Each morning starts with a trip to Pontoise train station. That is either at 7, 8 or 9 am, depending on the boys’ schedule. Things start a bit later here in France, so the 7am trip is very quiet, almost no cars. We know that we have to leave 5 minutes earlier for the 8am mornings. Early mornings they have their breakfast program on my radio station. We hear the weather for the day and when it is an 8 am morning I catch the ten questions in 1 minute on my way back. Even more focusing to understand at least one question… and feeling good if I actually do get some questions. Did I mention that this radio station is of course all french?
Pontoise is lovely. An old town with buildings that remind you of apartments in Paris. Two beautiful old churches and a rich history with the impressionists that lived there.

…as we come around the corner into Pontoise… 


…looking up to the old church from the train station…

Driving through Cergy is nice too, because there are so many trees. Now they are all still bare, but in summer it feels like you are driving through a forest, although you are in the middle of a town. It is a new town that developed over the last thirty years and looks like any town in South Africa…

as these signs will show you… they only welcome you in french…

The next trip will be taking the girls to school. Just around the block. 8h30 or 9h30, depending on their schedules. At 8h30 it takes longer as we pass a primary and preschool and all the moms and dads are crossing the road with a pram and a toddler or two. We pass the station closest to us, ‘Cergy le haut‘, and if we look to the right at the station we can see the tall buildings at La Defense in Paris. We have to look quickly where the trees open, but if we had more time we could look for the highest point which will be the Eiffel Tower.

Because Cergy-Pontoise is an area consisting of twelve towns I do different things in different towns. There are signs telling you which town you are leaving and which you are entering, otherwise you would think you are always in the same town. Our house is in Courdimanche, but as I take the first turn the board tells me that I am now leaving Courdimanche and entering Cergy.
If I run out of something and just want to quickly go get that, I drive through Cergy for 100m and then am told that I am now in Vaureal. This Intermarché is the closest shop to me, but small. Also I have to check the time as they are closed between 12 and 2pm.
For real shopping there is a bigger Carrefour in Puiseux-Pontoise, and for real nice shopping I drive to the big hyper Auchan. I can take the highway, the A15, or I can make it a nice trip between farms and through the pretty little town Boissy l’Aillerie.

The afternoon times I can never plan before. The girls can finish at any time. Its different every day. Maybe at 4 or maybe at 5 or maybe a teacher is absent and then even earlier. The boys somedays take more busses and trains and come home or I wait for their call to fetch them again at Pontoise.

This is not the end of our day yet. I must still take the girls to gymnastics. Right on the other side of Cergy, almost in Pontoise. Now we take the A15 and only pass through the new town to the big new gym. If the boys have gym too, two days a week, our trip finish with fetching them at the gym at 10pm. Then everyone is ready for bed to wake up at the right time to start the next day’s trips on old and new roads, through old and new towns here in Cergy-Pontoise.