This is so hard.
I knew moving to France would always have it's ups and downs but...man, I feel like such an eejit here. Life as a foreigner is difficult; way more difficult than I ever imagined.
In Britain I'm interesting, funny, amusing, worth listening to... But here, in France, I'm nobody. I'm certainly not funny; when I eventually get to the genius punchline of an anecdote that I find to be be hilarious I am greeted with an empty silence, punctuated with the bored sigh of someone sat at the dinner table waiting for me to get to the end of my dull story. I actually have to announce to everyone that 'that's the end, j'ai finis' and even then they don't crack a smile. I'm rewarded with nothing, no laughter, no polite titter, no fake smiles, nothing. Sometimes someone utters, 'c'est où, la blague?' but really, that's all I get.
Theres nothing fake about the French. If they don't find your story funny, they won't crack even the tiniest of smiles. At least, at home, people will smile and nodd, even if they had no idea why they were doing so. Not here.
In France, I'm evidently not worth listening to either, because everybody just cuts-off my words, as though I don't even exist. Countless amounts of times I have opened my mouth and begun to say something, only to be interrupted by someone else. Apparently they do it to everybody, but it doesn't make it any less rude. I have now found the courage to stir up a big long, fed-up sigh whenever I am cut-off, but no! They can't even take a hint!! They ignore me totally and carry on with whatever they were talking about. SO RUDE!
Another thing about being a foreigner is being the brunt of every fecking joke. Twice a day I sit at the dinner table with FP and his family and I allow the piss to be taken right out of me. Just because I come from a dfifferent country with a different culture and language does not mean I should be laughed at. I have feelings too, you know! Just because I happen to cut the skin off my cheese a different way from you does not mean I should be ridiculed. And yet, they find the simple differences, between my culture and theirs, a riot. So, I place my cutlery facing away from me when I've finished eating, and they place their cutlery on the right side of their plates, facing left; big deal! Who cares? And yet this simple difference finds them convulsing in guffaws. Why? Why can't you laugh when I tell a good story? Why must you laugh at me rather than with me?
Yes, mes amies, 'ridiculed' is a very good word to explain how I feel right now. I am the jester; I am placed there to make people laugh at the way I do things. "Hahaha! Regardes comment la Petite Ecossaise fait ça! C'est bizzare, non?" "Leeeeensè pourquoi tu le fait comme ça, c'est pas normal, ça..."
Did I mention that in France I am also considered super-dumb? Again, lots of laughter involved, aimed at me. The thing is, we didn't all follow the same systeme scolaire, but some people tend to forget that. Okay, so I didn't know anything about 'les hippies, Woodstock' but I
a) am only 22 years old,
b) am not American and
c) learnt history in a Scottish school which really only taught us about William Wallace and the assination of JFK.
I was never a smarty pants, even in Scotland, but I was never 'simple'. Here, it's all so different. I am just a dumb blonde here, I really am. Just like they always said at High School. Even my university degree apparently counts for nothing. It makes me wonder, did I work that hard for all those years, just to come over here and become the eejit at the dinner table who has a weird sense of humour and laughs at her own jokes?
Och I don't know, I suppose I still have adjusting to do; after all, it won't be the French who change, it will be me. I just don't appreciate their rudeness right now. The fact that they can't open up and accept that I am different because I am British is really 'getting on my tits' (and I almost never say this phrase it's so revolting, but that shows how pissed off I am). They can't even find it in themselves to laugh a little when I tell a joke, or to let me off when I don't know something that they do. They can't see that it's hard enough as it is for me, because I have left my country; my home, my family and my friends. They don't see, somehow, that with a little understanding, with a little more room to manouevre, I would adjust much better to their culture, to their ways.
Despite what 'they' say (always wondered,; who are 'they'?), everyone in this world is not the same. So many differences, so, so many differences. I know only one thing; I'm going to stick it out; because it would be way too easy to give in right now.
Thank God I love that French man of mine...
I dread to think what would happen if I didn't.