Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On the road again

Last night as I was laying in bed, I suddenly felt overcome with joy. For the first time in a long time, possibly even since I came to France, I felt happy. To clarify that a bit, I was always happy with my relationship with Fab, but I never felt happy myself. I felt consistently on edge and on guard. Under pressure to fit in and to not do or say anything strange, to not always be "that foreign girl". I always used to joke about how France treated foreigners like horses - it just kept beating them down and beating them down until they broke and were submissive, but in all honesty, that's where I was heading.

Here in Paris though, there are so many other foreigners that I don't have to worry about that any more, and it's really freeing. I don't have to worry about sticking out. No one looks twice at me for being tall or blond or for having an accent. I can be myself again. It's the same feeling I always got going back to the US, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. But after being in such a negative environment for so long, part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop, like "When is it all going to come crashing down?". I keep waiting to feel sad or depressed or upset about what's happened, but I just don't. With the exception of one minor freak-out my first night here (that involved me getting locked out of my apt and panicking and thinking "WTF are you doing in Paris? You don't know anyone here!!"), things have been really good. I'm slowly (oh so slowly) getting a feel for the city, my work is going well and I'm managing to find ways to occupy my time. What more can a girl ask for?



Blogger Doc said...

What more could a girl ask for?

hmmmm... a university professor?

June 5, 2008 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

That's so good to hear Sam. I would love to experience that feeling again. I so know what you're talking about and I'm glad that it's better in Paris. I think once I learn French I will be feeling a lot better also because D's friends do seem very friendly and open with me. I think in my situatioin I am doing it to myself a lot.

June 5, 2008 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Starman said...

I think the French are only a step behind the Muslims when it comes to what they expect of you. It's one thing to adapt to the culture and mannerisms, but they take it to a whole new level. Of course, since we all know the French NEVER do anything logically, it's not really surprising.

June 5, 2008 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger PAULINE said...

Sam: I'm happy that you are getting to experience the France that some of us have always had the luck to feel and I’m really not trying to be patronizing when I say that.

I hope that a cosmopolitan city and an international environment will help to show you all the best that Paris and France had to offer. Other than the dog shit covered streets of course . . . . .

June 5, 2008 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Milk Jam said...

yea! i'm so happy to hear that you're doing well :-) when my exam hell week is over we'll need to catch up. enjoy the sunny skies of paris while they last! :-)

June 5, 2008 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Antipodeesse said...

If you ever get locked out again, call me and I will call my Paris-based friends until one of them takes you in for the night!

June 5, 2008 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger kylie said...

you now have my number.

June 5, 2008 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I'm so glad to hear this, Sam.

June 5, 2008 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Well then, I think I need to move to Paris... I wish it was only possible. Great to hear you are feeling like yourself again and are happy.

June 5, 2008 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Magnifique!! I am sooo excited to hear that your experiences have been positive and that you feel like you blend in more in Paris and feel less pressure... I am telling you, Sam.. When I go to Paris, I hear so much English, that if it weren't for the lovely sights around me... I would think I was back home.. oh... except for all the crottes de chiens everywhere... hehe!! Anyhow.. Happy to hear that it's all going so well so far... Paris is a GREAT city to explore and get to know.. And you probably already have a whole bunch of blogger friends now that are closer that you can meet and hang out with... Bonne soiree, Leesa

June 5, 2008 at 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the MORNING."

June 5, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

That's great to read Sam.

June 5, 2008 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Betty C. said...

I was in Paris for a week in April and I was amazed how everybody kept answering me in English (in shops, etc.) like it was no big deal.

That is one stereotype that has really changed! Of course I speak good French now, but I got the impression they were being NICE and customer-service oriented...something I had never noticed when I was a student in France way. too. long. ago.

Anyway, have fun in this "bain de culture." You've earned it.

June 9, 2008 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Sometimes I worry that French men who are married to foreigners just get fed up at some point with all the hassle- getting paperwork for the carte de sejour, getting a carte vitale, etc. that they just think "If I was with a frenchwoman, we wouldn't have to go through all this..."

June 10, 2008 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Cassoulet Cafe said...

I finally made it over to your new blog! :)
This is a nice post, and I really like your illustration of horses being beaten down...
I need to catch up on your blog now...
A plus,

June 10, 2008 at 10:28 PM  

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