As a number of you may have already known or suspected, I’ve recently hopped the pond and moved on over to France, a fromage-filled, delectable wonderland. My mission and raison d’être here is both to teach English and to upgrade my own level of Français. Before my departure, I’d been feeling fairly confident in my French abilities; I had been reading French Harry Potter on the daily in NYC, and, obviously, mastering Harry Potter in French is the highest mark of impeccable language skeeillz. I was surprised to find that reading Harry Potter and conversing with a family of French natives are, in fact, two entirely different things, and you cannot compare your aptitude for bilingual wizard fiction comprehension with real-life, speedy, colloquialism-ridden French convos. It’s apples and oranges; sorcerers and squibs; Severus and Spongebob. I’d like to think that it was merely jet lag causing me to stumble through introductions, forget how to say “breakfast,” occasionally mispronounce a word so appallingly that the family thought I was swearing at them (this happened only once and was due in part to trickery of the mastermind pictured below), etc. It could also simply be that the average French dinnertime conversation does not consist only of Harry Potter vocab. Who really knows.
It’s been a week now, though, and each day I sound less like a demented buffoon and more like a refined French lady (although, I, of course, realize that the leap from “demented” to “refined” is a large one, and it may take me a sec to work out the kinks and transform into a glorious French butterfly.
However, this week has been all about rest, relaxation and the transition from sleep-deprived lunacy to my natural state of a functional, cheery, semi-maniacal gal. Living with an absolutely wonderful French family at their gorgeous poolside home, while exploring the gigantic, magical forest to be discovered just down the road from the house has helped me immensely with the transition into what appears to be an extraordinary new life and adventure to be had here in Poitiers.
Nevertheless, my fingers remain firmly crossed for Monday because that is the day that the real adventures begin. I will teach (for the first time !!whoahowahowhoah!!) English to the three boys who live here with me in this magnificent home, aaaand my French university classes begin bright and early that fine journée; maybe I’ll make some new international homeys. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, doigts croisés!
A bientôt, y’all.