A Mid-Month Update
The temperature is dropping in Paris and it’s cold out! After five years in LA, I’m getting reacquainted with the bundling and unbundling that happens every time you venture outside. Oh well, we knew we weren’t going to live in California forever.
Today, instead of a singular topic, I’m writing a little update on what I’ve been doing and thinking about in these first few weeks of 2016.
I finally organized the pictures from our summer road trip.
Looking through all of our photos made me recount so many moments! So I will be writing about on all we did and saw during our three and a half week trek. I will put them up on the blog in the coming weeks, so get ready for a few non-Parisian, 100% American adventures.
Making friends as an adult is not as easy.
A new friend and I were chatting about this over drinks the other night. Sometimes it’s easy - you make friends at work, you get introduced through old friends, you find yourself frequenting the same spin class or another activity. But in a new country, there are different barriers. I, personally, don't have an office full of people to meet, so I've found new friends through things like Meetup, blogs (!), and my former French tutor. Once the initial connection is made, then it’s almost like going on mini dates with each person, trying to figure out what we have in common (other than living in France). If the conversation is going well enough to meet up again, you go for round two. So far, so good, even if a little awkward at first…
Improving my French.
At the moment, I’m on an 11-day DuoLingo streak. I think it's my record! But seriously, I have decided that to make progress in the following areas, I need to put in much more effort. Immersion only takes you so far.
- Grammar - I'm want to understand the logic of French. Knowing the patterns and the why behind certain rules makes them stick in my brain. I’ve found new resources for grammar that help. And I also get corrected daily by my little 6-year-old French charge.
- Improving comprehension - For me, this has been super challenging. I took Latin in high school, so listening and speaking were never tested. People talk fast and it’s tough to catch everything they say. Sometimes when I think a certain sound means one thing, I find out nope, not at all. One example: hiver (winter) and on y va (let’s go!). That one took a while. Also, TV has helped a bit. It’s not top-tier programming, but we had fun watching Danse avec les stars.
- Quicker thinking - Many times I know what someone is saying, but I have something in my brain holding me back from processing it as communication to respond to. I need to get rid of whatever this little bug is so I can answer in an appropriate amount of time without a terrified look on my face.
Also, on Monday, the registration for the city’s French classes opens up. Apparently, it’s hard to get in, so fingers crossed.
Visitors are coming.
We had our first visitors during the holidays (Steve’s cousin & her husband). We showed them around and had a blast. Even more friends and family are coming in the spring, so we’re starting to think about where we’ll wine and dine them. Everyone is different so we want to try and find the best version of Paris for them. And it’ll keep things exciting for us!
Start racking up the passport stamps.
Now that we’re getting settled, I’m itching to take advantage of being in Europe. We haven’t left France yet, partly because I needed my visa (check!). Also, at least in my head, it doesn’t seem real that everything is truly so close and manageable. I think we need to start looking up flights this weekend. Any suggestions for a first trip?
Bon weekend, everyone!
Vocab for today:
- milieu du mois - mid-month
- Amerique - America
- l'ami - friend
- améliorer - improve
- le visiteur - visitor