Vive la France!

9 Jan

In general, I’m proud to be an American. We’ve discovered and developed a lot of things and it’s most noticable when you are living abroad, as you notice that our presence is everywhere. It’s also a bit boring to be an American aboard because of this very reason. In my French class, for instance, it’s not interesting for teachers to ask me questions like: what kind of food do you eat, what is it like in your country, what’s the difference between France and the U.S.; they leave those questions to the Chinese, Japonese, Austrailian and Norwegian (they eat dinner at 2 p.m.!) people in my class. The fact is, they know the answers I’m going to give since they see it on TV here, read it in the newspapers and generally are exposed to tons of American things. But, with all this aside I’m happy to report that today I am now an official resident of France. I’m not saying I want to trade my U.S. passport for an EU one (I want both!), but part of me is proud to have resident status, not only because it means I’m privy to a social security number, but because after three months of studying French I was able to walk into the office that grants resident status and ask for my 300 euro sticker (yes, that’s not a typo) in French. I have to say it was a petite victory for me. It was a sign telling me don’t give up – believe me, I’ve wanted to numerous times (thank you Baptiste for always being there during those “I’ll never speak French” moments). As I walked out of that office I realized that after only four months (yes, mom, it’s only been 4) of being in France I’m also able to read things like street signs and small newspaper articles; and to listen to a few television programs like Petit Nicolas (it’s a children’s cartoon) and a culinary reality show amongst a few news programs; I’m able to understand when the voice from above in the tramway lets me know that the train is “cinq minutes en retard” (5 minutes late), when the radio says “RTL2, ce n’est pas de la radio, c’est de la musique,” as well as keeping myself occupied talking to the babies of our friends when at dinner parties (I can finally talk to a three year old!)

No, French isn’t easy – my teachers admit it, my French friends admit it, but as they say nothing that comes easy is worth it. So, as I end my first semester of French classes here this week I realize that with a little patience I can Vive La France!

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2 Responses to “Vive la France!”

  1. Pam Recht January 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    Courtney,
    I give you kudos. You prevailed and succeeded. Leaving your home and family had to be difficult, but look at what you have accomplished. I couldn’t be prouder. You are in my thoughts always.
    Love,
    Mom

  2. JC January 11, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    you become a little more French daily

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