One year in France: France is changing and so am I


Today we are living one year in France. It is one year ago that we packed our stuff and moved to this beautifull country.

The first days after our move were absolutely horrible! Stuff in our house was broken, our furniture was still in storage and we were very tired. However after the first weeks life started to become better and better. We understood more and more where we could find our things, and started to understand a little bit of the French we also started to become more adjusted.

Over the last year I have come to know the French a little bit and these are some things I found:

  • The French are not arogant: The French I’ve met aren’t arogant and selfish. Once you start a conversation you discover they are actually very open people interested in others.
  • The French do not just work 30 hours a week: The people I’ve met all work very hard and is many cases easily double the 30 hours.
  • The French do not strike all the time: Opposite to what we thought I have not experienced a lot of strikes this last year. There were some but none every significant enought to really produce any problem.
  • The French do love their food and cuisine.
  • The French do have a lot of respect for someone trying to speak their language.
  • The French do sometimes have big burocratic processes 
  • The French do have a difference understanding of personal space

France is changing

Sign protesting against strikes

The books I read on France told me that most people sympathize with the people who go on strike. However  I experienced the opposite when talking to people. The most clear signal i got on this subject was the poster I saw at the station after one of the strikes saying: “stop la greve”.

I am changing:

I don’t know its because of life or France. But spending a year in a country who’s language I didn’t speak upon arrival has changed me. I am more flexible and care less about details that seem trivial now. A lot of the things I used to do turned out to be culturally determined so some I’ve kept and others I’ve let go. 

You don’t need any specific skills when you move to France just flexibility, France will change the rest of you 😉

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