April 15, 2017

Life In France - 14 Years On

Spring in Paris

We usually do something in March to celebrate our anniversary of moving to France, but it kind of snuck up on us this year.
14 years. I can't believe it's been 14 years. How did that happen?

Looking back on our time here, I can see how France has changed us, and not just our palates! When we moved, of course we knew things would be different, but there have been many surprises along the way. There has been a lot to muddle through, be baffled about and to accept.


I never knew that a photocopier would become my BFF. I'm not joking. You can't survive here without one.
Turns out that French fonctionnaires love homemade brownies. (well, who doesn't, really?)
Also, la priorité à droite. Why? Just why?
And the importance of l'heure de l'apéro. What a fabulous tradition! Every country should do this!
I'm also a big fan of the 2+ hour lunches.

Pari Fermier market

I think our expectations have changed and we've become more patient people. Of course there have been some disappointments along the way.
One has been my struggle with the French language and the constant mocking of my accent by French friends. I know they think they're being cute and I try to take it in stride, but it is rather soul crushing.
Another is the (often) mediocre restaurant food, both in the cities and in the countryside. For a country that takes food so seriously, this was a big surprise.
Also, the bitterly cold winters in the south of France. Seems that the French tourism board is doing a darn good job of keeping that a secret.


Though the few disappointments pale in comparison next to all of the wonderful moments and accomplishments.
For instance, I never expected that I would have the mental and emotional strength to ask for and become a French citizen. That was an experience!
And I definitely didn't plan on developing such a strong addiction to French cheese!
After many crappy ones, I finally have a job that I love - who wouldn't love eating and drinking for a living?
We managed to find an apartment in Paris with a killer view and also have a great little house in the south of France for our vacations.
And we're so thankful for the incredible, supportive friends we've made along the way. None of whom we would have met had we not moved to France.

Who knows what the next 14 years will bring?
Well, there is one thing I can be sure of...more fromage!

Pin It


Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) said...

You've achieved SO much in those 14 years! Brava! And I think your French rocks! xo

Srivalli said...

The post title really pulled in to read..wow must have been a roller coaster ride! Here's to 14 years more of adventure..:)

Alison said...

What a ride, eh?

Becky said...

I'm miss you being here but I love getting to share some of your experiences through your photos & blog!!

French Girl in Seattle said...

Félicitations! You have made it, and even if it has not always been a smooth ride, you have proved resilient and have kept a positive outlook, so good for you! You have also moved around a lot, and did not start with Paris. Refreshing. ;-) Glad you have settled in and found a job you enjoy on many levels. I feel like I have "known" you for a long time, since I started following your blog when you still lived in southern France, (where my family is from.) You are correct about the cold winters. Many visitors do not understand what le Mistral or la Tramontane are, until they get "hit" by them. ;-) Bonne continuation en France. Ignore your French friends who tease you about your accent. They probably wish they could speak English the way you speak French. A bientôt. -- Veronique, aka French Girl in Seattle

Taste of France said...

Don't worry too much about the accent. One of my French teachers told me that French men think women speaking French with an American accent is just the ultimate in sexiness. Who knew?

Naperville Now said...

great post -- sorry you're being bullied on the accent. I think I'd be inclined to say, "Great. Let's speak entirely in English. You could use the practice, cherie."

Gee Backhouse said...

Pah - you have an excellent French accent!

Working Girl said...

Really enjoyed reading this. Congratulations! You have accomplished a great deal, much more than most people, and you should be proud.

wcs said...

Congrats! We'll have our 14 years in June. And we're starting the process of citizenship. And I agree about the mediocrity of restaurants, especially at today's prices. Maybe our standards are just higher than they used to be! ;)

Parisbreakfasts said...

Bravo! You've captured the beautiful skies here so well. Yes to French cheese and butter. Who knew? No more Vermont cheddar for me. For the accent watch, Engrenage and Quai d'Orsay. Worked for me but my comprehension and grammar lag so far behind. Again Bravo!!

Jennifer Greco said...

Thank you, hon. You are one of the great friends I've been fortunate enough to meet along way. Vive la France!

Glad you enjoyed reading and yes, here's to 14 more!

Never a dull moment. ;)

Jennifer Greco said...

I miss living close to you too. You will always be one of my best and most wonderful friends. I love you!

Thank you for such a lovely comment! I feel like I've "known" you for a long time as well. It would be fun to actually meet one of these days. :)

Naperville Now
That is a great idea! Ha!

Jennifer Greco said...

Not according to some...

Working Girl
Thank you!

That's great that you're asking for citizenship! Bravo!
I'm not sure if it's our standards or that the restaurants have gotten worse. It's really hard to get a good meal, especially in areas that cater to tourists all summer. They know people aren't coming back so they don't care. It's disappointing for the locals.
Happy upcoming 14th anniversary. :)

Jennifer Greco said...

The cheese! The butter! I don't think I can ever move back to the US now.
Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Parisbreakfasts said...

I haven't even visited since I moved here 4 years ago. The thought of no French cheese is abhorrent(sp).
Your lists of cheese and other resources are amazing! Thank you!!

max said...

What a journey from the cottage in magonila! Congratulations on marking the milestone with your concise perpections on life and food.

Mary in Tucson said...

14 years; how wonderful! I started reading your blog in 2007-2008 when we were housesitting in Normandy. Thank you for sharing your journey!

Marina Carstens said...

Congratulations on 14 years in France! It sounds like a fun life. :)

Jennifer Greco said...

Glad you have found the cheese list to be helpful. :)

A crazy journey! Though I still miss Seattle and my friends who still live there. xx

Thank you for such a lovely comment. I'm glad you've enjoyed following along!

Merci! It is a very good life. And a fun one too. :)