All my love to Alexis today.
July 2004 Archives
It's dawned on me that almost every single one of my entries is about me being a foreigner in France, where I talk about cultural differences and things like that.
This is a huge misrepresentation of myself...
I really don't see myself as "an Australian living in France", but as "Katia having an adventure". I don't spend all day saying to my colleagues, "in Australia, we do it like this", or all sorts of annoying things like that - I save those thoughts for my blog, and that's why this blog gets a bit of a beating in terms of my "isn't it funny how the French do it like that" entries.
In fact, in public, I do my best to not stand out from the crowd. I don't want to be seen as different, just because I have a funny accent or I don't like eating blue cheese. hehe.
There's a little boy and his grandmother sitting across from me on the train. They're reading a book about dinosaurs. He's probably about 6 or 7 years old, and his paleontological knowledge is incredible. The vocabulary coming out of his mouth is extremely impressive, and he's amusing himself by trying to make the sounds of each dinosaur he comes across.
I'm enchanted - he's pointing at pictures of prehistoric men hunting and eating animals, and exclaimed, "Oh, the poor animals".
His grandmother shrugged and said, "Well, you know, we eat animals".
He looked at her with big eyes and responded, "Hmm... I think it would be better if we all just ate fruit and vegetables".
I read another Dan Brown book last week, this time it was Angels & Demons. Again, it was devoured in less than 24 hours, and I was left breathless, wanting to read more. It's exactly the genre that I like, so I really enjoyed it - I must get hold of his other two novels.
Yesterday, given that I'd convinced myself that I had something wrong with my teeth, I took the plunge and went to the dentist.
I found the name of the dentist on the Australian Embassy website, as someone who spoke fluent English. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to explain myself in French or that I wouldn't understand what they had to say, but when I got there, I found that I was comfortable speaking French with the dentist that they had put me with - I think it's really all a matter of confidence.
Nothing is wrong with my teeth - it's all in my head. I was shaking like a leaf whilst sitting in the chair, so the dentist gave me a lovely relaxant which made it ALL better. teehee!
We went to a wedding this weekend, the civil ceremony having been held a few weeks ago (the French make a big separation between the church and the state, your marriage is not legal unless it is officially witnessed in the town hall - you cannot just do a church wedding).
The religious ceremony was just lovely, and held in a tiny village church, then we all headed to a nearby chateau for the vin d'honneur and the reception. We ate plenty of delicious things, like garlicky escargots hidden in balls of bread & langoustine timbale. In typical French style, we didn't finish eating until well after midnight, and danced until the sun came up.
Best medecine : listening to Queen Greatest Hits Vol I & II on ones computer headphones.
Vision of Katia : jigging at her desk, feet a-tapping, whispering the words to "Don't Stop Me Now".
There are some days when I'm so bloody tired of being corrected all the freaking time for my mistakes when speaking French, that I want to sit down and cry until there aren't any tears left.
Then I'd like to curl up in a cave, surrounded by piles of English books, and not be disturbed for about ten years.
I'm trying so bloody hard and I know that by correcting me, people are just trying to help, but it's so exhausting. I feel like standing on the top of a mountain and screaming, "but I have a brain - even if I can't express myself the way I want in French, I really do have a brain!"