lifes too short to pretend to hate pop music
dads are either too nice or assholes there is no in between
Officially at home and my family is saying how tan I look and that I lost at least 5 pounds. I’m moving to France.
Okay, now that I’m going back home tomorrow and reality has already struck me, I’m going to rant about all the things (good, bad, and neither) that this trip opened my eyes to.
1. Most Europeans are multilingual for the same reason most Americans are monolingual: it’s convenient. The countries are as close as the states in the US. They travel a lot, so languages are kind of a necessity. Americans can get away with really only knowing English, at least near their home land.
2. The French hate Americans. Well, my host family doesn’t actually ‘hate’ Americans, (hence they’re hosting an American girl) but some snide remarks about specific tourists were made here and there.
3. Parisians hate tourists in general. I see why. The streets are flooded with them in the summer. No wonder they’re so eager to leave for family vacations for all of August.
4. Given the right education, which is almost always, the French are very intelligent. School is hard, especially high school. Nothing like in America. But then again, they don’t have sports in school, unless you count PE.
5. Most French families are physically active. I experienced this while spending 8 hours daily just walking through Paris, intense bike riding on an island, (intense for me, anyway) horseback riding in the woods in Normandy, and swimming in nearly every pool and beach we went to in southern France. And not just hanging out in or out of the water like we Americans do at pool parties: it was legit swimming. When the girls asked me why I wasn’t actually swimming, I had to explain the whole concept to them: we don’t usually swim for real. The whole thing seemed ridiculous even to me.
6. Fast food as I know it is virtually nonexistent. During one of our road trips, we stopped at what they called a fast food restaurant and I imagined something like McDonald’s. What it turned out to be was a nice cafeteria that sold French food which- you guessed it- was ready on the spot. Salads, hot and cold sandwiches, and little pies for dessert. (Where’s the French fries?)
7. Topless beaches. That’s a thing. It’s legal. I saw a little too many boobs while I bathed for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea. But hey, tan as you like.
8. The concept of customer service is ironic because it’s not about focusing on the customer like it is in the states. The waiter’s job is to serve you, not bother to ask you about the weather or tell you they like your shirt. It’s a bit ‘colder’, but it’s a faster paced lifestyle, especially in Paris.
9. Europeans do more with less. That’s the best way to describe how they manage small spaces, no air conditioning, no refills on drinks, tighter road spaces, etc. No wonder everyone is thin- they all have to fit somewhere.
10. The French keep their toilets and bathtubs/showers separate from each other in their homes. “La salle de bains” is the shower and a sink and “les toilettes” is- well, you can guess. I was so used to being able to pee after taking a shower until I discovered the art of peeing IN the shower. (When in France, do as the French do.)
11. Traveling by yourself as a kid (otherwise known as an Unaccompanied Minor) is very common. The kids do a lot of exchanges in and out of Europe, and go for weeks, sometimes even months, without seeing their families. That’s how they were raised, and that’s why it hit me harder to leave my family to go to Paris than it was for my host sister to leave her family to go to Houston.
I always hear about foreign exchange kids attending my school, but I never hear about kids from my school going out and doing an exchange themselves. This was new to me. I’m glad I did it. Knowing what I know now, I would do it again. I got to experience France in a way no ordinary tourist does. I got to tag along and vacation alongside a European family and see things through their perspective. It was a wonderful and actually life changing experience that made me more open-minded, and I realized I could go without a lot of things for three and a half weeks and learn to adapt to a completely different culture. I can’t imagine doing an entire year though, and I admire those who do. Even though I’d previously been to Europe and I come from a Colombian family, there were still a few things that gave me culture shock. But it’s okay, because I learned from it, and I grew. Until next time, France. You treated me well.
Oh yeah… The landscapes and food aren’t half bad, either.
twinkle twinkle little star
why is art so fuCKING HARD
#up above the world so high#i cant draw the OTHER EYE
twinkle twinkle little FUCK
I give up.
This is my anthem
psa: if we are friends i will 100% always end up caring about you way more than you care about me