Bienvenue à France!
I have arrived in Chambéry which will be my home for the next 10 months. There are a few things I noticed that are different from the US as soon as I stepped off the plane in France:
1. Bread OR/AND Cheese is eaten at every meal– I’ve only been here one day and I can already tell French food is better than American. 😜
2. “Would you like sparkling or still water?“- this is a super common question all over Europe. Most people drink sparkling water and they drink it without ice.
3. Bisous– if you ever come to France, you must know what “Bisous” is. This is a kiss on the cheek (1, 2, 3, or sometimes 4 kisses depending on where you’re at in France). You must greet everyone you know with a bisous. In Chambéry, you must give two bisous starting with the right side.
4. “Oh you’re American? I speak English too“- during the whole 24 hours I’ve been here, I have not met one person that does not know a little bit of English. In the flight, in airports, on the streets, and even in my host family, you can hear people speaking English. I don’t know if it’s because of the region I am in but, I have gotten to know so many people that speak English! It’s definitely a benefit when learning another language because I have been asking them a lot of questions about the French language.
5. My host family is awesome– everyone in this family can speak English, some more than others, but I’m having a fantastic time and I’ve only been here one day! When I arrived in Lyon (which is the second largest city in France), we spent the whole day walking around and window shopping. Then we drove to my new home in Chambéry and we walked around town and my host sisters showed me my new school which is only a 10 minute walk from the house. Also, my home is just about 10-15 minutes away from the center of town in Chambéry, so I will be using the bus frequently to go to town. I am enjoying my time here so much!
6. Grab your most comfortable sneakers because you’re going to be walking a lot– I made the mistake of wearing sandals on the first day. So now I know why Adidas, Converse and Nike shoes are so popular here! Not only are they comfortable, they are also very stylish with any outfit.
7. As for my progression in the language– I realized I can understand a lot more than I thought I could. Of course there are times when I have absolutely no idea what they’re saying, but there are a bunch of words and phrases I’m able to understand!