Thursday, March 15, 2007

Back to Reality

I've been having some worrying thoughts about the Big Move to France recently.

Not thoughts that will cause me to change my mind about moving, but thoughts that bring me down to the ground with a bit of a thud. I have been floating around in a rather ditzy, walking-on-clouds daze recently, dreaming of what life will be like when I can be with my French Prince in a country that I have harboured a love for since as long as I can remember.

In my (not uncommon) naivety, I've been telling myself how amazing life will be when I do make this move across the Channel. I constantly reassure myself that when I leave uni/get a job/live in France/live with my handsome FP my life will begin and everything will be perfect.

Over the course of the past couple of days it finally dawned on me that I have been stupidly unrealistic. I think back to the days of 2005/2006 and remember my experiences of living with some friends in La Rochelle for a year, in a shared bedroom apartment.

Some days it was total hell.

Living abroad at the age of 19 was in many ways great fun but it did not all go plain sailing.

The entire thing was a bit of a culture shock, having to cope with;

No Shops open on a Sunday (the place was dead. Completely and utterly dead.),

the school classes which started a 8am,

the curious stares everywhere I went simply because I just 'don't look French',

the shop assistants who insisted on speaking english even though I was making the effort to speak in French (a national case of 'My English is better than your apauling French and I don't have any time to waste on you because my 2 and a half hour lunch break starts in five minutes),

being groped on the public transport (I believe in Japan the verb that refers to this is 'to chikan'...wonder if there is a French word?),

being spoken to veeeeerrrryyyyy slooooowwwwllllyyy as though I am a child,

the way French girls tend to avoid speaking to me,

the way French guys think every British girl will open her legs for them instantly if they utter the words 'I love you'...or in a terrible French accent as was mostly the case 'Ahh lov Yew',

not knowing how to convey that I actually do have dinner table manners and that in Scotland we just do things differently,

French admin (why oh why must I always carry 5 passport photos, 2 copies of my birth certificate, and a recent electric bill around with me??)

always being referred to as English (Friend "Voici une amie Anglaise..." me, muttering les gros mots under my breath before stating in a somewhat increasingly agressive tone: "non, pas Anglaise, Ecossaise!!" Friend, with that French indifferent shrug of the shoulders: "bah oui Ecossaise")

and of course...all the damn caca on the streets. (In a whole year of living in France I only managed to step in dog merde once. Pretty impressive n'est pas? As a downside, I now by default walk with my head down and my eyes scanning the pavement in front of me searching frantically for any sign of the stinking stuff.)

But then I think of the man I love, the language I love, the country I love, the boulangeries I love with its croissants and baguettes all freshly baked that I love, the way of life I love and the dreams I've made for myself in this setting that I love.

There's no way I'm going to chicken out only a few more months before I leave.

Now if you excuse me, I'm going to dream about my new life in which I am a half Scottish half French citizen of Paris (or thereabouts) living with my sexy French Prince in an apartment with a view that takes my breath away.

(Oh and in my dream I'm a little taller and skinnier with thicker hair and flawless skin).


Isabella said...

hey !
thanks for your nice comment !! I really enjoyed your article !! I can understand how you feel somehow, I'm half french and american and I never really feel at home in Paris or other there, especially since I look more British, Scottish actually(my origins on the US side) !! Not fascinating I'm sure ! sorry
Thanx again or MERCI

Princesse Ecossaise said...

You are so lucky! Being two different nationalities must be awsome!

Hmmm I hope to have some little half french half scottish blondies someday ^_^