So I arrived in Geneva late Tuesday afternoon. My luggage, however, did not. It was sunny and 75 when I left Michigan. Here it’s cloudy and 50. And it took us 3 hours to drive back to Annecy from the airport when it normally takes 40 minutes. Welcome back to France, indeed.
Being in Michigan was so great, and so easy. Everyone spoke English. I drove my car everywhere. I shopped on a Sunday and the cashier bagged all of my stuff. I didn’t feel rushed or stressed at all. And now I’m back to speaking French, which still gives me a headache. I have to rely on the train to get to work. I can’t get anything done after 7 pm or on Sundays. But mon amour is here. And good health care. And an income.
I do think my biggest struggle living here is still not speaking French completely fluently. I’m always nervous when I go out because I don’t want people talking to me and then feeling like an idiot when I don’t understand. The other big problem is not having a car. I have no control over when the train leaves or arrives, or if it’s going to be late, and it stresses me out everyday.
But I know I can speak French. I had no problems talking to the airport and getting my luggage delivered today. And that was all on the phone in French, something I’ve dreaded for years. I know I can do this, I just need to try harder. I haven’t studied in such a long time; I haven’t made a real effort to improve. Recently, I found an article written by an American who moved to Paris for his job and had to learn French. I have no idea why I never found it before since it’s been around since 1998. It’s extremely helpful in explaining actual conversational French. It would have been so useful when I first arrived last year.
Fluent French: Experiences of an English Speaker by Erik T. Mueller
And David & I are going to look for a car for me very soon. He knows how much I hate taking the train and how much I miss driving. I just hope I can afford one! I still haven’t transferred most of my money from my US account and the exchange rate just keeps getting worse and worse.
And just for fun, Brandy in my parents’ huge backyard (a.k.a. why I hate living in an apartment).