Oh look...I've had another gap in my blogging for the past month. I blame a lot of busyness from getting work tied up enough to go on vacation, a little bit of end of winter blahs, and way too much Twitter. Thanks to those of you who have commented that you missed my blogging! It's always good to know that I am appreciated, and I will try to do better.
Tonight may not be the night to do much better, unfortunately. I have been awake and traveling for the better part of 30 hours, and I keep dozing off in bed. The only reasons I'm making time for this now is that 1) I'm hoping to blog more about my trip, and I feel a need for a post that will transition me into blogging about travel, and 2) 9 PM seems a little too early to go to sleep. So I will attempt a post.
I have been looking forward to my trip to France for months. I started taking French lessons in preparation about 7 months ago, and in my typical fashion I have been scouring travel guides and Trip Advisor and Atlas Obscura for ideas for about as long. I have been ready to go for weeks.
When I looked ahead to the trip, for some strange reason I anticipated that I would feel very comfortable here. I imagined myself effortlessly reading all the signs and directions, and I could picture myself casually striking up conversations with store owners ("Pouvez-vous me recommander un très bon fromage?"). I don't know why I envisioned things this way, because I am anxious and socially awkward in my own city where I speak the language fluently, but the fantasy of language and cultural competence was strong with me.
What has happened so far has been much more in line with the person I tend to be. While I have been navigating signage and ticket kiosks quite well, I have been pretty avoidant of actual interactions with real human beings. I have said awkward "Bonjours!" and "Saluts!" to store owners, but I have otherwise mostly kept my head down and tried not to engage. As much as I want to be practicing my French and taking advantage of this opportunity, my social anxiety is rearing its ugly head and keeping me quiet.
But...it's only day one. And I am horribly exhausted and jet lagged. I will not likely reach a point of comfort with talking to people in French before the end of this trip, but hopefully a day or two of adjustment will make me more willing to talk. Because with a glass of good French wine, I am actually half decent with my French.
If you're on Twitter, please follow my adventures in France at Frugalish Physician@FrugalishMD. (Thanks to the anonymous commenter who pointed out that I had originally entered a totally incorrect half email/half Twitter name here. Jet lag! Yay.) I will be posting photos and random musings and other things there. But I will also do my best to post some substantial posts (complete with photos) here!