Thursday, May 28, 2009

au revoir aix :(

i had to say goodbye to aix on the 16th of may! it was very very hard to do. leaving the aixois (my french friends) was very difficult, plus my american friends, plus my host family, plus my city!!! it was an emotional day. I am very fortunate to have been with a family as amazing as the Meyers. They taught me a lot about SAVOIR VIVRE! that means "know how to live" : they definitely work very hard, but they are a very happy family. they spend a lot of time with each other and have fun together. although they work hard, they break hard as well. they love cooking for each other and drinking wine ! they love singing and dancing throughout the house after dinner! they love sitting outside on a sunday morning in their underwear eating tartines of fresh bread and drinking coffee! they love going for walks with their dog! they love reading the paper in their slippers on january mornings. i definitely understood that their lifestyle was not lazy but rich :)

one thing i will also note is that i think french culture is one of the hardest for americans to adapt to. french people are quiet, and keep their business to themselves. one example that sticks out in my mind is when I was locked out of Erik's apartment (for 15 minutes) in amsterdam. I was sitting on the sidewalk, and 2 people asked me if I was ok or needed help, in 15 minutes! In France, no one would have offered to help me because it is not their business. Any sign of emotion like anger or crying in public is not really socially acceptable in France. I remember this one woman was freaking out and crying and everyone was just staring at her. Another thing that is difficult is the obsession with image: being skinny, well-dressed, and good looking is very important for French people! Sometimes it got to be a little too much.

In the end, I stopped trying to hard to be French and embraced my exotic self! I mean, where else are boys going to tell me that I have a cute accent??

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