Our 3 month "moveanniversary"
Well March 26th, 2016 marks our 3 month anniversary of having made the leap to move to Aix-les-Bains, France! It's been pretty smooth so far, I really expected more issues, I suppose our Grenoble immigration day wasn't our finest but besides that we really have embraced the French lifestyle. My husband has really immersed himself in the culture, so much so that he has more friends than I do and i'm the French one! Mind you he has a pretty good routine, he goes to the same cafe every morning and sits among the locals and enjoys the conversation, the hustle and bustle (if you can call it that) and because of that he has met a few people, more like characters I should say - i'll tell you all about them in another entry! In three months we've traveled quite a bit, skied the Alps, explored our town and surrounding areas and really have taken advantage of our situation. The rail system as well as airline travel is so much more sophisticated than in North America as well as it being extremely cost effective. Here's an example, Via rail offers a train from Ottawa to Montreal just over an hour at a base rate of $58 per person, to go to Geneva which is a very similar trip was less than 18euros per person and even less for kids- seems ridiculous to me, they really are not enticing motorists to covert to rail travel.
What do we miss - well that's obvious, family and our community of friends first, creature comforts such our beds, sports on TV, and our daughter misses her snacks that she just cannot get here. What we don't miss however, North American TV, celebrity gossip or gossip in general, high food prices and snow in your day to day life. The weather really has surprised us, we don't feel as though we had a winter. We had one day of a light dusting, my new France boots were worn one time and one time only. The benefit of this climate is having the snow at our fingertips just 25 minutes away in the Alps but not have to deal with it on a daily basis, it's glorious. It's really been one long Spring season for us.
What we've learned so far is that the French language really is complex, they use words here that make no logical sense, here's an example - the most common word here is "sympa" in France that means, really great, delicious, pretty, all things good - in Canadian "sympa" is short for "sympatique" meaning "sympathetic" (feeling, showing, or expressing sympathy.) very strange and that's just one that stands out there are so many more. In France when you ask a question I've realized that you must repeat the answer received to confirm you understood and maybe even ask it again in a different format just to be sure they understood it. Not saying that the French are not truthful but answers seem to include opinions rather than actual facts here, so ask a question, get the answer, repeat the answer and perhaps re-form your question to ensure said question is understood.
The French love our accent - they absolutely adore Canada and it's associated accent and cannot understand why we would leave Canada to come to France. I was sort of ashamed or embarrassed by my accent at first but now I embrace it, when I speak I get an immediate reaction "tu viens du Quebec?!". They assume all Canadians are from Quebec!
I am very much looking forward to the next three months, we are busy and i'm excited. Paris for the French open, Lisbon Portugal and Paris with grandma, we are thrilled to share what we have here and to experience France through her eyes, I doubt she'll want to leave!