Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Welcome to... Chaos.

When I have more time, I will fulfill the year abroad cliché & begin a new blog dedicated to my stay in La Belle France, but for now a post here will have to suffice.

Most people know that I was so anxious about my year abroad, that until about 2/3 weeks before I actually left home, it was a topic best not talked about too much for fear of triggering tears (A LOT of them) or turning me into an anxious rambling mess... neither of which is a great reaction to spending the year in another country. Gradually I progressed from this, to lying about being extremely excited (obviously more so than scared) even though in truth it was the other way round: I was TERRIFIED. While most of my friends loved the idea of being able to repeat freshers all over again... I wasn't so taken by it: What if this is hard? What if my French isn't up to it? Plus, I maybe 20, but I hadn't flown alone until now. So that was an added anxiety. But despite all of the panic and the last minute preparations, I made my flight, said goodbye to my friends, family and boyfriend... and made it to Montpellier in one piece.

Since then everything has been chaotic. From signing in, getting my room key, to my toilet breaking (& having to explain this in French) and researching bank accounts (then finding the bank is closed), phone contracts, and the most recent (but definitely not the last) error I made was turning up to the wrong introductory lecture at the university yesterday morning... mainly because I had a blonde moment and forgot that in France, French is NOT a foreign language... Ooops. Though all of these things stressed me out no end, and though day to day things continue to stress me out, out here I am learning fast that it almost always about the small victories: the times when you meet new people & they understand you, learning the best route to uni (it's actually fairly simple) and finding places to buy food to name but a few. However, my proudest moment to date has to be the achievement of my second day: I OPENED A FRENCH BANK ACCOUNT.  I had to make sure I understood the charges, the things I was signing up for and the kind of account I needed. With patience and A LOT of brain power... I did it.

During a 2 hour long walk home after a night out (It's advisable not to try to walk 14 stops on the tram at 2am...) with a group of new people I was reminded how good, loving and incredible my God is. He looked after all of us the whole way & some situations which could have been potentially bad, were always escaped. Plus, I got to have an amazing conversation with a girl from my floor who is also a Christian, which just made me feel so happy & secure in the knowledge that my God truly is a God who loves, and provides.

Two full days in and I am already learning... This year is going to be crazy. But bring it. I am ready to fall in love with French. And very possibly France.

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