When I first arrived back in the States after living as an expat for two and a half years in France, I had a bit of culture shock. I didn’t like most of the food. The same food that I would dream about in France. It no longer tasted like I remembered it. Instead, it tasted too salty or sugary. The cars were huge and everything seemed open and spacious. The sky was a brighter and lighter blue than in France. It was the same. Yet, I saw it all through new eyes.
I wonder how I will see France after living in the States again. I am looking forward to being an expat once again. I really missed the adventure of living life as a foreigner in France. The funny thing was that the few months before we moved back to the U.S. I felt like I was a part of France. I belonged there as much as any other person. French was coming easier to me and I understood more and more each day. I was beginning to not only “get” the language but the culture. I hadn’t realized until I came back to live in the States that I had become French in more ways than I could have imagined. It was more natural for me to say “bonjour” or “merci” than it was to say “hello” or “thank you”. I felt like a foreigner living in my own country. I didn’t “fit” here anymore. It took me two months and only after I started working to feel more comfortable here in America.
I was like a fish out of water. No one but Vilay understood how I felt.
I understand that when I return to France (in a matter of hours), I will have to readjust to the French culture once again. The thing is I know it will be easier for me to adjust than it was before. I hope that within a few weeks I will feel as at home in France as I did when I left almost six months ago.
I hope that I haven’t forgotten to navigate the waters of France as an expat.