In October through January, I dreamed of what life would be like in Paris, France…. I dreamed from a hotel room, done with work, no visa in hand, wondering when, if we could finally leave for our new life in the land of cheese and wine. And now, on August 4th, I can say that I’ve been an expat. For 6 months. And it is nothing, and yet everything I had ever hoped it would be.
At 6 months I thought I would have grasped the French language more, except that I haven’t been putting much effort into and yet am still expecting results. Often I find myself standing in front of someone, and just blurting out “Parlez-vous anglais, s’il vous plait?” Or after saying something in perfect French (in my mind of course) they respond to my question in English. (I’m so obv a native English speaker)
At 6 months I am amazed at all of the amazing things I’ve seen. For someone who never really traveled before, seeing Amsterdam, London, Etretat, and Iceland is completely humbling and awesome.
At 6 months I’ve truly come to appreciate French culture, not necessarily feeling that everything they do is right, or wrong, but rather different and therefore refreshing and annoying at the same time.
At 6 months, I never thought I’d be preparing my little boy for school. French school none the less. I honestly thought I wouldn’t cry about this, but yup, crying.
So where do we go from here? In 6 months, on February 4th, 2012, I will have lived in France for a year. Between now and then I have a few goals for myself….
1.) Work on my French but practice applying what I’ve learned more, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 2.) Enroll in a class, preferably a photography one. 3.) Allow my son, who probably speaks fluent French by now speak on my behalf when necessary. 4.) Try to get a French friend; now accepting all applications. 5.) Explore the city more, take in more local flavor. 6.) Get involved more in the expat community…. this is happening but should probably happen more.