So This Is France

Right now, I am toggling on some pretty shifty wifi in the desperate hopes to make contact with the outside world. But, I am finally here—France. So far things have been easy going. I understand at least half (if not less) of what people are saying, and tend to nod a lot and fake laugh acting like I know what’s going on. I know I will catch up. It’s just that I have been out of the French-speaking game for over a year now.

Argenton-sur-creuse is a very small town. I’m currently living in a flat above the boarding school that I will be teaching. The flat is huge with hardly any furniture and I’ve never seen ceilings so tall in my whole life. I feel like I am constantly echoing.

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View from my bedroom

The town is going to take some getting used to. There are only three movies that play at the local cinema a week—all very French. The shops don’t open until 10, sometimes 11, and they close for lunch. Yes, shops close for lunch. The students at the school I am teaching all seem to smoke and have the typical cool French thing down that I won’t ever have. My cheeks fire red when they glance over at me, wondering who I am and why I keep sneaking past them with a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream (the only Ben and Jerry’s the local grocery store carries!).

I have to keep reminding myself that this is my home for the next eight months. This echoing flat. The strange blue bathroom. The kitchen with no oven. But, you can’t forget about the view. The school sits on top of the town, overlooking passersby, and the incredible sunsets this place seems to have. Yes, you may have to, literally, hike a mile to get to the school, but it’s completely worth it. Plus, I can justify the ice cream because of all the walking I’ve been doing.

France is definitely a culture shock that I hope to get used to … as soon as the wifi starts to work.

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