Jet-lag or Nostalgia Perhaps it can't be called Jet-lag after more than a week but I have a physiological state of it still in my psyche. Still after 6 months of being back there is this strange sad feeling and not to mention having my energy perk up when it should for example before sleeping at night go madly creative and in the morning experiencing an extra need of rest. After returning to my hometown, I get re-habituated, then come back by plane I get this awful feeling of longing and time lost because I miss family, childhood friends and old habits. I wonder how the heck am I to adapt yet again to this ridiculously hard lifestyle. When flying back in the plane I arrive in the city of Toulouse, with a sense of dread. I ask myself why haven't I left this place YET! There's no looking or turing back in reality because it'll cost 1500 euros! It's hard to stop then to come back again to the French routine. Everything is always extra hard because it is a foreign country. I'm sorry to mention not again, but how it's so difficult for foreigner with all the barriers, including cultural differences, language (spoken it with an accent), and the never ending questions by the Natives and myself: "What Nationality are you?English?" Me,"NoN, American." Native,"Alors, what's it called? Ah oui, quel State?" Me,"California!" "Oh, What village" Me,"The big one... you know LA!!" I should just respond "Californienne or Los Angelesienne!" to cut to the chase! My own questions One: Is it just Always going to be hard because it's just not the same, Two: because I don't have my support team by my side and all the comfort things such as being able to drive? or Three: Is it just not meant to be? So, Why am I doing work I haven't much passion for? I have too much talents to loose and are so unexploited here. What about showing my true colors! The real question is, my friends is: Why make life harder if it is already?! I'm doing stuff to make money for quite a slight income. Working my arrse off. I wish to teach English, plus adding the difficulty of being in France gets old. I've tried many things, I go out there meet new people but those who are French want to help their own kind including "friends". I've tried starting my own business it's a good concept but not quite as profitable as I thought. Even tried sharing ideas with foreign friends to start things, it didn't take off to well. I was in my thoughts yesterday thinking how I would love to go back for a visit but then I had these memories of being jet-lagged, having a hell-of-a time readapting and summoning up all the energy to start again. And saying why am I doing this? ...
I'm in Haute Savoie, Elena, yes, I'm lucky to have landed here, as my other half's people are from Paris, and life up there just would not suit me.
not everyone is as delightful as the few friends I've made here, but you take the bad with the good. I am still sticking to my clichés about the French, and their habits, but I've met quite a few completely wonderful folk here, and a small handful of people I can truly rely on.
Thanks shirey for the incouraging words. I ll Have ti remember a few of them. Xx
Zoe, it sounds like u Have an amazing experience here, what part of France do u live in? and what awsome neighbors u Have. I had wonderful neighbors to but now moved out and haven’t any neighbors. Have à good one.
Enjoy the beer! Last quick word - yes village life is very different from city life. I grew up in the suburbs of south Dublin (Mt. Merrion) and worked all my adult life in offices in Dublin. So a village of 650 is an experience. Right, last glass of wine and bed.
I'm beering tonight. sadly, it's not locally brewed hooch, lol. We do all our buying locally wherever possible, factory farms disgust me.
I can imagine though, that village mentality is different to those living in Paris, or Marseille, and that not all villages are similar in this respect.
Yes, I read the story about the car. What an experience! Still, no-one was hurt. Won't offer advice re from whom should you buy the car, but I will say that we we try and buy locally whenever possible. We do a large shop every 10 days or so from Intermarché or Carrefour, which is a 20 minute drive, and so do end up getting all those things we forgot from the local shop - you know - the things you put on the list which you left behind on the kitchen table!
And where do you find time for everything?!! Fishing, ski-ing, running a busy hotel, keeping bees.... Well, I'm off to have a glass of wine before bed. Slainte!
So you feel my pain! Yes, and neither of us has private pensions. Irish state pension doesn't kick in until age 67. So learning to be quite frugal, sort of. You'd be amazed at the left-overs I carefuly put the clingfilm on, and then throw out a few days later!! Quite a shock coming from 40k salary to nothing, but I love it here. We'll be here a year on 27th March.
Income is miniscule all over these days, and possibly about to get worse. A good social connection with the people in your village is the ONLY thing that is important to me. Even if I go fishing alone, as do other fishermen (I'm not politically correct), we all love to catch up over a glass of Gamay (savoyarde wine),and talk about the one that got away, or the water level.
Never been asked to petanque, but I spose I'm not old enough yet, only turned 30 this month. I do get asked to all the crazy night-time ski, or luge events (possibly because I often ski into a river, or luge into a bale of hay,providing many MDR moments
In all seriousness,tho.. I had to work to get out among the locals, I had to go to the pub, meet them, talk to them, and then invite for apero, or go to aperos, then there was dinner invites, and the rest followed, but without the people around here being so nice, I doubt I'd get on well. I won't say I depend on them, but I give madame Dubois a jar of honey now and then, and she gives me a dozen eggs, I feed Mr Lariviere's animals while he is away, and he sometimes leaves a bottle of milk, and/or a few vegetables on my doorstep. The week after my car went up in flames (I blogged about it), I had an envelope in my letterbox with a substantial amount of money, and a handwritten note. I can never know who donated what, but I can say the people I have made friends with around here are a decent, compassionate, kind and thoughtful group.the note said simply "to help with a new car, your friends"
only catch, I now feel like I need to buy the car from the local dealership...his wife makes lovely locally picked confitures, and she is a fan of our royal jelly in wintertime
Well said, Zoe. I don't understand that attitude. We made the move late in life (he's 62 and I'm 55 - but don't tell anyone!), and perhaps that helps. We love our life here. True, income is miniscule at the moment, so not too many visits to restaurants and the like but we have been made welcome here in the village. In the early days, we turned up for every dog fight, but soon we were being asked to the school fundraiser, to play petanque, etc., etc. And the cheeses.........Epoise!
Some expats get all caught up in negative comparisons of everything, be it the people, their attitudes, the food, the roads, the weather.. some folk will never let up, and love comparing things in their new chosen life to how it was "back home". I ask these people, If "home" was that good, why not go back. Answer.. this is your home now. Take it, and all that goes with it. You have the choice to make the best out of it, or groan (thereby making your life miserable of your own CHOICE)
I'm hung up on the cakes, and the wines, and the cheeses, ooooh, the cheeses....
Yeah, I like that! I had this wonderful French cake and oh my God was it a delight!
You are right about the accent, it's just who we are if we have one.
Hi Shirey, I came to France for adventure and my ex. I have been staying with my boyfriend. I am defiantly in between the two places. It is not easy taking that decision when things have been built up. I have been battling this tough decision for some time now, Shirey, and have been putting it off. There must be set a time for decisions and do it. I can't seem to make that call if it's better here or there because there are always the positive and negative sides to every place. I must of ha a hard week, it was all venting!
I found this really great group called TANDEM, it's an exchange between French and English. You can even request other languages like Italian or Spanish! It's a great experience and opportunity to meet new people. I meet new friends on there and I learnt alot too. It works like this half the time in your language and the other half in their language. It's just a matter of keeping in contact!
Thank you Sherey! It's great to know peace it just around the corner! Or just a hop on plane!!
Just go out there with a big smile and hopefully you'll get one in return!
Merci mes chere amis ! xoxo
I defiantly have tried. They keep a distance it seems. My Boyfriend who is french and who dose not speak a word or English has alot of French friends who he often invites keep a distance. Sad but true. I made alot of progress in my French but still. Maybe it's me.
THat's for sure, I defiantly enjoy the company when it comes. Just have to find friends with diverse cultures and activities!
I can defiantly feel for her and your situation. I get that too, where even if it's understandable because of the slightest accent they pretend not to understand.
Elena, for every French person who comments negatively on your accent, that is THEIR problem.. you can improve your accent, but they will always be judgemental... let them pass, and let them carry the negativity.... you will find wonderful true friends, people who see you for who you are, and not where you're from, or whether you sport an accent.
New cultures are to be enjoyed..... do something French, to give yourself a boost, or bit of relaxytime. Something that you never would have thought of "back home"
Wise words Shirley which I couldn't agree with more. :)
I have to say that I have not encountered french who go beserk when they hear my accent, there was even a lady in serving in the supermarket in Cluny who commented on my charming english accent.
We have found people who make things more difficult by not even trying when there is a slight difference in my pronunciation and they should be able to understand what I mean from the context. I look upon them as just unhelpful people!!
We are in a rural area and shop in Cluny mainly and sometimes go to Carrefour in Macon, where the culture is just Carrefour and not necessarily the people. One lady on the help desk even told me that they don't listen to what she says, even though they have put her there to be an interface between the shop and their customers.
Ie in the country we often have to rely upon our nearest neighbours and there is something about the Clunysois which seems to attract pleasant and interesting people.
I found out that my daughter used to cry herself to sleep when she first worked abroad and had no friends. She now works in the same city, is married to a lovely man and has wonderful little son. It can all happen, it just sometimes takes longer than we would like.
Good luck and keep on being nice and smiling.