This is the blog of a British girl who upped sticks and moved to Paris, to learn French and to explore an enchanting city. (Plus, I’ve always wanted an excuse to write a blog.) It was entirely practical, but I’d be fibbing if I said there was nothing else.It was also for love of the city, the culture, and adventure. That was the clincher. But as with all instances of love at first sight, I wasn’t sure if it was just (wander-)lust, and I’m still figuring it out now. This blog will aim to document the ups and downs of my relationship with Paris, from beginning to end - whenever that will be. (I suspect, like most relationships, it will linger even after the end.) I will write about my discoveries, my trials, tribulations and my progress towards the ultimate goal: to be Almost French (or at least to pass). I’ve got the hair, the clothes and a love for cheese, but something tells me I’ve still got a way to go…
Autumn in a Jar
I found the vet hospital easily and the interview was very quick, to my surprise. Very straight, to the point. The hospital itself is quite nice, looks small, but is very modern and advanced and so clean you can’t even tell it’s an animal hospital. I hope that my volunteer experience, medical background, and availability (which matches their needs) really get my foot in the door and I receive a second interview. I won’t know/get called til probably early next week if it does happen by some miracle.
Today I was dragging, though. I slept so poorly, and felt like I had lacked so much energy, a first I’ve felt in a while, that I almost decided against going to the farm on the way home. Of course, I went to the farm anyway because its peaceful and scored a pound of delicious fresh green beans for only $1.00! I also bought an eggplant, because I had anticipated pasta tonight and wanted eggplant parm. AND the best purchase of today that I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to add to basically everything I eat from now on, organic, fat free, preservative free, all natural autumn in a jar:
After I got home with my farm goods, I cleaned up the kitchen and did dishes, etc, and my mom came home and had to go out to a doctor’s appointment by 6 and didn’t feel like cooking or even having pasta, so no eggplant parm sadly. Instead, I ran out and got us a turkey london broil, cooked that, and the green beans, baked a sweet potato (also found at the farm) for myself, and enjoyed dinner outside in the early evening and early September air. The clouds had dissipated for the first time all week, the sun was shining through, the air felt clear, and I took advantage of time alone to go for a walk. I’ve been DYING all week being cooped up inside due to high humidity, grey clouds, and rain, that I ended up walking for 45 minutes as the sunset, then ran home (how great it felt to actuallyrun), got on my bike, riding to the library to pick up my requested books (of which there are 3), and because I felt so good for the first time all day, I continued riding, and rode more than 3 miles. I got home and remembered that yoga was on my list for today, so I did yoga to help stretch and relax. I finished my September Challenge (the plank/side plank challenge) and took a shower to end the evening. I felt absolutely fantastic after that one and a half hour workout. Best spirits I’ve been in all day.
Here’s to sleeping deeply tonight after finishingThe Weird Sistersso I can start eitherAlmost Frenchby Sarah Turnbull,Domestic Violetsby Matthew Norman, orThe Sky is Everywhereby Jandy Nelson.
(I can cross off all except drinking yoga on today’s list- I’d say that’s a good day)
Book Review: Almost French
Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I love travel memoirs. I especially love travel memoirs when it’s set in Paris, France. Which is why I was so surprised at how uninterested I became during my read through Almost French.
Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris is exactly how it sounds. A young woman in her late twenties settles down in Paris with a Frenchman on a whim. Triumphs and trials ensue. Learning the language, social differences and accepting her new, different life from Australia is of course difficult at first but rewarding in the end when she overcomes them all. At first her career struggles but then it soars. When she first arrives in France she finds it difficult to make friends but by the end of the novel she’s volunteering in soup kitchens.
While parts of the novel were interesting, I always love to learn and understand new cultures and their habits, I found it hard to understand the actual point or plot of the book. There was no climax or resolution. In the end her and her Frenchman get married but even that is lacking the excitement a usual wedding entails.
For a book that seemingly focuses on love, there was very little to do with that in the book. The connection between the author and her lover/Frenchman/husband was never clearly explained and it always almost seemed as if they were just roommates. I had to assume they liked each other as they had bought a house and a dog together but at the same time there was no real connection between the two. I felt that during the first part of the book, when the author struggled with her French language skills, that could have been used to better explain their connection to each other and then that could have been connected throughout the book. Mostly I felt a bigger, stronger connection between the author and her dog rather than her husband.
I suppose when one considers moving to a country that has not been their own growing up and you do not know the language one would imagine hard times to come. That said, I’m not really sure what the author was trying to do here with the book other than saying, “yeah that’s happened to me too” and then rattles on with a story to relate.
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