Saturday, August 02, 2008
I'm going to miss this so much
A friend of mine who went to the Congo with her husband at roughly the same time that Amynah and I moved to France, summed up the experience with a turn of phrase I've been using ever since: "It's us against the world."
When we first came here, it was very much like that: my language problems meant that I was even more isolated that working alone in a fifth floor apartment would seem to suggest: going to the bakery was terrifying. I couldn't make small talk with the cashiers, people on the tram, my neighbours.
Over time, however, I began to build up a community: the Postal people know me as Monsieur La Canada, the Bakery people know me as Monsieur le pain cereale, tranché, the local café knows me as Monsieur can't quite pronounce kougelhopf after all this time, I have a barber with whom I can make reasonable conversation, my mail delivery woman says hello when she sees me on the street. It's superficial, but I've made myself little connections here that mean a lot when I've no other social contact in the run of a day.
Tomorrow we move. The new apartment is far superior: larger, two t.v.'s, several rooms, two balconies and cleaning lady that visits once a week. However, even though it's only a five minute walk away, I feel like I'm uprooting myself entirely again.
And giving up the best view in town while I'm at it.