November 4, 2013, by Guest blog
Adapting nicely to the French ways in Paris
Post written by Charlie Page
My year abroad didn’t exactly get off to the best off starts when I arrived at the place where I would be living until April a month ahead of when my host family thought I should arrive! Safe to say that they were not best impressed with me being unable to tell the difference between September and October. However a month on and I think they have finally forgiven me (fingers crossed) and I am now really enjoying living in Paris.
It has been difficult and at times fairly lonely but I believe I am now starting to settle in. I am working as a teaching assistant in a college and enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. It can be tiring, frustrating and a little scary when handed 12 teenagers and very little in terms of guidance but at the same time fun. The worst thing about working in the outskirts for me is the 2 hour commute which I wouldn’t mind too much if it wasn’t for the RER which is often late, cancelled or you get on and it changes which stations it is going to stop at which is, as you can imagine, extremely annoying.
As for how my French is coming along, it is very hard to tell, the only place I really speak more than the odd phrase is at school (to the teachers) or to the lady I live with. I am trying to improve this by getting in touch with French friends. I recently met up with 2 French girls who were really lovely but they spoke so fast the majority of the time I was just sat like a nodding dog. I was also rather overwhelmed by the fact that they both work in the fashion industry, one of them is currently working for Marc Jacobs… I looked extremely plain and dowdy when sat next to these typically chic Parisians. But I will try and meet up with them again as it is the only way my French will noticeably improve.
All in all though I am starting to really enjoy myself here and become accustomed nicely to the French ways which, despite us only being across the channel, seem very different to English ways!
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