November 3, 2013, by Guest blog
Dr Who and Sheldon speak French – who knew?
It was strange when I first moved in to my studio in Paris, with me knowing that it would be far removed from everything that I had thus far experienced at Nottingham. The scariest thing of all was that I knew I would not only have to live independently, but do so in a different country, as well as working a day job. For the first part of my year abroad, I am working for a film website called Screenrush, whose offices are (extremely luckily) situated on the Champs-Elysées. I’ve now been here for a month, and although certain things are taking time, I feel I’m now beginning to settle in nicely.
Having moved in smoothly, I headed off for my first day of work, and had my first experience of taking the metro by myself. Jam-packed is now the norm, with people seemingly prepared to do anything to get on a train which is obviously already full. It’s also via the Metro that I’ve begun my education in how French people tick – they seem as impatient to get off a train as to get on one. The thin veneer of politeness starts with a ‘Pardon’, before giving way to all manner of pushes, shoves and general hullabaloo. I’m still at the English stage of overdoing it, usually rattling off ‘Pardon-excusez-moi-merci’ before I get off. This may not last long.
However, seeing as I’m working in English, I’m having to make a real effort at the end of the day to actually speak French. Thankfully things have improved after the first week or so, with me getting to know some of my French colleagues better, as well as going out to events such as La Nuit Blanche, a Paris-wide festival of art exhibitions.
Perhaps the biggest surprise so far has been discovering the popularity of English and American TV shows over here. I came home one evening and switched the telly on, only to be confronted with Doctor Who. As well as the very strange notion of David Tennant speaking French, I later found Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory doing the same thing. Madness. The one thing that has remained resolutely British in my first few weeks of being an honorary Parisian is the comforting presence of The Great British Bake-Off on iPlayer.
The settling in is over and done with. Now the real adventure begins.
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