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Like a fish out of water

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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • L'Amerlqoue February 5, 2007, 4:34 pm

    Hi Pumpkin !

    La France vous attend … … travel safely !

    Best,
    L’Amerloque

  • Jessica February 5, 2007, 5:07 pm

    When I came back to the US after living in France, it took me months to stop saying “bye” to cashiers. It was very embarrassing. Sometimes I would even speak to them in French. Only the cashiers – I’m not sure why.

    Anyway, have a safe and wonderful trip. Soon you’ll be back home!

  • Pumpkin February 5, 2007, 5:24 pm

    I will post from an internet cafe within a few days after we are back. We are packed and waiting until it is time to go to the airport. The only thing left is that I am looking for a missing blanket that Petite Clown loves. I really hope I find it before we have to get on that plane. :)

  • Alison February 6, 2007, 5:49 pm

    Safe travels!

    And…you’ll do fine once you’re back in France.

  • samantha February 7, 2007, 10:19 pm

    Don’t worry, it’ll be like riding a bike – once France has “broken you in”, you’ll always be able to hop right back on! *S*

    PS. Bon voyage!

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