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20 August 2014

Inevitable Fails and Small Successes

I have been forcing myself to make small ventures into town each day. Both to get out of the house and to get used to it! I confess, the driving rules* and language and cultural differences make it rather intimidating. In someways, large cities are easier to be a foreigner ... because so many people are!

Today, we needed groceries (again), underpants, shoes for Jane, and pencil pouches. We have yet to complete our full school supply shopping (daunting), but apparently pencil pouches are expected. My kids weren't thrilled with the comic character pouches at the grocery and I had noticed a Librairie (bookstore) in the center of town next to a promising shoe store.  The Librairie had darling leather pouches of myriad electric colors (one for each child), plus needed post-it notes and the most darling cahiers. Cahiers being the French name for blank, lined notebooks. I'm certain I desperately need these for something.


We still need to find shoes for Lucette, as her recent growth spurt has her clad in only sandals. It's a challenge to find quality items at a good price when you don't know the lay of the land. I've already had a dismal experience of drastically over-paying for so-so items. Le sigh. So disappointing.

And I have been rather discouraged over my language abilities. It seems like I know so much in my head ... but everything is so rapid and I'm still so infantile in my language acquisition ... it really has been a struggle. I have to remind myself I've only been here a week. There is time to learn and improve. But right now? Très intimidé.

Tomorrow we make a trek into the bank. It will be very good to have a French credit card and not to have to explain "Je dois glisser!" I must swipe this card! (No need with the European cards. We have to convince them it is not a debit and indeed a credit card. In French. With hand gestures. And people in line staring at us.) And, we hope to get an appointment at the school Thursday or Friday to register the children. Bit intimidated about this, as well.

But in the midst of all my wide-eyed worries, I am glad to be here. Doing life with my family. In France. And of course, I can always write down my manic thoughts ... and small successes ... in my cute cahiers.

*Apparently, there is an odd right-hand right-of-way thing going on here in France. Sometimes when you are on a main road, people on side streets have to wait for you. Like one would expect. But other times, when it seems like you are still on a main road, if a person to your right, on a side-street, approaches ... they have the right away. Since I can't figure out the rhyme or reason, I am constantly and furtively glancing about and lurching to awkward stops. I've also nearly run a red light because the lights are on the side of the road and about 25 feet back from the intersection. Have mercy.

13 comments:

  1. Your items are lovely!

    Your French will improve in time.

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  2. I can't imagine the lifestyle adjusting you are having to do. It will come in time. If you need anything from the states don't hesitate to ask.
    Thinking of you all.

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  3. Oh gosh.... one more fun fact I came across just today that made me think of you. Did you know that the Eiffel Tower grows more than six inches in summer due to the expansion of the iron on hot days? I found this on a fun summer fact site.... so if on the internet it must be true. :)

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    1. That, I did not know. Wait 'til the boy learns of this ... you know how he loves trivia!

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  4. So are your children going to a French school there? Do they know French? I thought you home schooled. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to live in a foreign country and not know the language very well. But, it all looks so exciting and adventurous too!

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    1. Dear Anon,
      We have homeschooled in the past, as well as attending a charter school in the States in the recent years. While I am completely open to homeschooling again, for now we feel led to pursue the local option. An opportunity for the children to learn language and experience the culture on a whole new level! But you can be sure ... lots of prayers going on over here.

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  5. it must be pretty tough being new in another place, the kids needs to adjust and so are you, the good thing is it is an adventure everyday discovering new things, new friends and new lifestyle =)

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  6. Hugs! I expect that one day not too long from now you'll be bustling through the tasks of the day and you'll suddenly realize that somewhere along the way something (or several things) just got easier.

    I love your charming purchases! I must remember to pray specifically that God will give you a sweet, understanding friend in your new land.

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    1. Pure kindness to me Christian. xoxo

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  8. I don't know your personal stance on large supermarkets, but the hypermarkets in France are amazing and well worth a visit. We go to Auchan in Boulogne when we visit and the choice is just fantastic. We often stock up on lots of different things before returning to the UK. They sell everything you could possibly imagine.

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    1. We do have a hyper-marche in our town. Very helpful when one wants to shop anonymously!

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  9. Just in case you aren't a fan of large supermarkets, if you are anywhere near Le Touquet on the northern coast of France, it has a very good selection of small shops. Definitely worth a visit if you enjoy a day at the beach, combined with a little shopping.

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