Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Waking up in a new time zone

I woke up late today, but only because I had to lie in bed thinking about what I've done by returning to France. It's good, I'm happy, but sometimes when I need to think or take something in, I need to pretend I'm thinking about it and sleep for a bit.

The time adjustment wasn't that hard -- I didn't sleep on the plane and, as predicted, crashed for a bit yesterday afternoon.

I feel stronger this time, that part I'm sure about. The extra French practice that I got down in Florida was also a big help. Yesterday, when going through customs, I made my French customs agent laugh several times. And that's a tough crowd. When I came here in September, it took me three weeks to figure out how to be funny. I was too afraid of making a joke and not being understood. Now, however, I can even make jokes in French using other accents. You wouldn't think that's important, but it is.

We went to Carrefour yesterday evening -- like a Loblaws superstore, but more of a Costco shopping adventure, minus the free samples. We looked at ski boots because we might go skiing. We live in the Alps, which is something I really only realized yesterday.

When I was flying over Germany, I saw these beautiful, snow-covered mountains from the plane. There were also some wide expanses of flat ground. This reminded me of all of the long walking-in-winter German films I had to watch in film school. I was thinking Germany, snow, and about humanity's relationship to the land when the first house appeared over one of the mountains. I thought, "What do people do in those mountains? Who lives here?" And then the announcement came on that we were making our descent into Nice.

Who lives there? I guess I do.

And although I've been snowboarding for the last couple of years, apparently I'm going to soon hit those mountains on skis. That's what people who live here do.

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