In my previous post, Things I learned when I moved Aboard, which you can read here, I talked about things that were clear and obvious. Being European, but having never lived in Europe I knew a few things. However, after moving here I learned a ton more.
Let’s just say, if I could go back a few months or weeks I would have told myself that I would need to book an apartment as soon as I could, and that I need a grantor, oh and a good amount of money. Not only do I need to have the first and last month’s rent but because this is my first time living in France I also needed to have a deposit. What is the difference you ask? Technically, there isn’t. Expect that here in France they don’t do things based on credit. Either you have the funds or you don’t . Either you have a French bank account or you don’t. You have a grantor or someone in France willing to be your sponsor or you don’t.
These are lessons that I could not and tried desperately tried to find on the internet. Blogs and other forms out there let me down.
Administrative tasks take a LONG time.
This one I knew of, I knew that there was this relaxed way of doing things so I was not surprised that some things I needed would take awhile. So when I set my appointment for my bank account, and got it started weeks before I got paid I honestly did not know that I would still be waiting for my account, after I got paid. Oh and my job only pays electronically. So……hopefully next week!
I also knew that most Europeans eat later that 6pm. My kids need to eat around 5:30 , so going to a restaurant is out of the question. They re-open at 7pm for the dinner rush. There is also that magically time after breakfast, or brunch, usually 11 where they stop severing food and all you can get is drinks. Some restaurants close all together until 7pm.
Chinese food is sold by weight not by plate. Ordering Chinese food has been an adventure. First it is fun to learn how to pronounce the French names of each item, that looks almost German or Russian. Second begin able to remember to ask them to warm it up. Take note! If you want HOT Chinese you need to ask them to warm it up, if you don’t you will get room temperature or cold Chinese for you to microwave later.
I will admit that it has been nice experiencing Paris without all the tourists, which makes it not so suffocating. I have yet to venture to the open air markets, at the time of writing this post we are about to have a curfew in place where restaurants and bars are to close at 10 and only a few people inside at a time. When I do, I will be sure to let you know all about them!
Covid-19 has turned all of our lives upside down, and I stand by what I said before that we need to grasp life by the hands We are all intelligent people, we know how to take care of ourselves. Wash your hands often, limit your exposure to others, take your vitamins especially B-12 and D. Yet we are still allowing this horrible illness to dictate our lives. Here in France, some days I am not even sure there is a Covid-19 issue. Sure we are all wearing our masks, which still annoy me, but the French are still living. There are tons of people out and about on Saturdays, the mall is open as are other fun little shops. In each store you are required to apply complimentary hand sanitizer, and to wear a mask. Something everyone does. Aside from the masks, it really feels as though our lives have not been interrupted. This has taught me something. The decision that my husband and I made when we decided to move to France was the right one. The timing was right. Sure there have been bumps in the road, but this has been an adventure. We maybe separated by distance, but we talk everyday and trust me it is not as difficult as I thought. Other than missing his physically company I feel as though he is not that far away. Don’t get me wrong I miss him terribly but being apart has taught me that I am capable of so much.
I have had to act as a single parent since he left France and headed back to the States. I have had to really step up as the disciplinarian and even though I have been so tired, and I feel as though I have been working too hard, I feel good knowing that I can do this.
My husband has been supporting me along the way, he isn’t in the dark about anything. He knows my struggles, from the few times I called him crying my eyes out!
Moving has been quite a journey, and also a struggle. However, as I am sure I have said before it has been like coming home for me.
We all do things for different reasons and those reasons are important for us. I am not saying you should drop everything and move to a different country now! But what I am saying is life is worth living. No matter where you are you can live a happy life. For me that life is in France, and once I get to the other side of the struggle it will ALL be worth it!