Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Home Is Where the Heart Is

I really am starting to feel like France is my home. I guess it has just been in the past of couple of weeks. It goes like this:
I guess I think about some home-related topic-- something that I miss about the US, and get a little feeling of nostalgia. But then all of a sudden, I realize all of the hundreds of little things that I love about France, that I never noticed before, and that I don't ever want to let go of. And then I understand that even though I might be "homesick" occasionally, it is never a dire need to go back to the US. In addition, when I start to get little feelings of longing for my old life, another odd phenomenon commences. I am getting "pre-host-country-sick." This is a very odd concept. It pretty much means that I start to think about me being back in the US in my head, and then I start missing things from France, even though I am still in France. I am almost like a child with separation anxiety. The departure is inevitable, but I know that I I'll be crying and unprepared quand-même.
I feel like now I would be perfectly content to stay here... forever... hehe. Maybe that is an exaggeration. I would like to see my family and friends again. XD But people aside, the way of life here has become so normal to me that I don't know how I will react when I go back the the States.
I guess my thought for the week has just been more about home, and how much my perception of it has varied from the beginning of my stay to now.

In other news, I read another book for my French class in French (Well, no duh it was in French). I am getting more into the written side of the language because it is soooo massively helpful with grammar and therefore affects all aspects of my use of French. Just for fun I have started reading Romeo and Juliet. It is a version with French on one page and English on the other. Oh, how that helps when trying to decode the cryptic art that is Shakespeare. I have to say, it is much more straight forward in French. Haha.
New word time!!! "une querelle," meaning a quarrel. Hooray!
Also in French class news, I have my first essay to write. Oh boy... at least I have three weeks.

Moving right along, I have to say that school goes by very fast here. Friday at four o'clock, I am on VACATION! For two whole weeks. Wow... that is amazing. Two weeks for ski break?! They really take their free time seriously here, I guess. :) Et j'en profite... We will be going skiing for one week in the Alps... I am very excited! Haven't been skiing for so long!

What was that other thing I wanted to mention...? I had some friends over Saturday! It was great and we failed at making cupcakes. But whatever. The process was fun... Urggggggggg. What was it I wanted to say?? French food is delicious? They have lots of expression to indicate that they are annoyed? I dunno. I forget. If I happen to remember, I shall post it.

I REMEMBER!!!!!!!!!! It is actually kinda a lot to say... :/ But I shall say it anyway! Yesterday, after having had many a failure in this respect, I finally asked Pia some questions of pronunciation. She is my go to girl for language troubles. Depuis je suis arrivée en France, j'ai eu du mal à prononcé le difference entre "ou" et "u," et "or" et "our." This is quite entertaining sometimes. As in me saying there are more sheep in New Zealand than people came out to sound like there are more mutants in New Zealand than people. Hmmm... Also, when I said I bought a cute sweater yesterday, it sounded like I had bought a cute chicken. Uhhh... And finally, my personal favorite, was a couple days ago, when Pia thought I said death instead of love (la mort and l'amour, respectively.) So I came to Pia with this question, and she actually was able to help me a lot. I think I am on my way to having a better French accent... hehe.

An opposite version of this is the fact that in my English class, my awesome British teacher brought up a subject that I find quite coincidental the other day... The students' pronunciation of saw, raw, jaw, four, more, war, etc. They tend to pronounce it like this:
Raw, saw, and jaw become row, sew, and Joe.
Four, more, and war are better, but kinda difficult with the use of the English "r," therefore it kinda turns out like fouw, mouw, etc.
But it is funny, because I had actually noticed this before. When I first got here and we would get on the topic of films, there would always be this question, "Have you seen the movie sew?" ... ... "Uh... no? What's it about?" "Well, it's this dude who takes people and tortures them and stuff..." ... "OHHHHH!!!!!! Sawwwww!" Many a lol escaped my throat in those first few months. But I shouldn't be one to laugh at people's accents by any means.

In fact, I found this awesome, to know that it isn't only me struggling with the various nuances of another language.

A bientôt!


  1. Because I find myself looking so forward to these posts and insights into the inner workings of Carly, I hope that you will continue blogging even after you return "home". Yes, "home", in parentheses. Dad and I can certainly relate to the mixed feelings you have about the end of your year in France. I'm grateful that you feel that way - it means that your year abroad has been a success! How wonderful that you now consider it your home.

    But your family and friends beckon...we can't wait to see you in July, and we will smother you with love and attention. Our re-entry program will include successful cupcakes, warm weather, beach trips, Pink Flamingos and Kitty love fests. Oh, and a trip to Portland!

    Enjoy your break, and please write about your ski trip. It sounds like great fun.


  2. Carly, I experienced the same feelings coming back to the US from Scotland in my mid-20s. I had finally accepted Edinburgh as my home (after 3 years) when it was time to come back to LA (to be with your mom). It may be a little sad coming back to LG, but France will always be a part of you - forever!

    Love you! - Dad

  3. Carly,
    as your dad notes, I was terribly sad to leave Berlin (and my 1 month camp out at your dads in Scotland)Today, I still have such wonderful memories of my time there, and how much I loved and adapted to the culture.
    I hope the rest of your time is Wundebar!!!

  4. Aww thank you everybody! :D It's great to know I am surrounded by such wonderful people that can relate to what I am going through!
    And mom, don't say these things yet!! I still miss warm weather and my kitties!

  5. You can't stay in France forever!! LG will miss you! I am happy that you love France so much.
    Do you think it will be possible for you to experience culture shock from LG (a place where you have lived for 15 years) after living in France for so long? We will see...

    Vive la France!


  6. @Gabby. Yes! From what I have heard, reverse culture shock can be even worse than that of the beginning of exchange... Weird, right? But true. :P It all depends from person to person, though. We'll find out this summer. :D

  7. Ahhh I want that feeling of belonging in France that you are seeming to perceive now... So many different emotions and adventures and all that. Why must there be a freshman year to high school?

    I lol'd when you said the thing about saw.