Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Everyday Life - sometimes it's the same in France
Enjoying the everyday!
I was just thinking that I write a lot about how life here in France is different, new and sometimes pretty exciting. I think that's often the case when one moves to a new place, finds new friends, discovers new places and adjusts to new routines. Especially with this overseas move, most things just seemed different; A new language, new schools, new systems all in a foreign country. I think for most of the first year, I often compared my experiences here to my life back home in the States. The girls often talked about how things were different in the States. What we failed to focus on or mention is how life can be the same or similar no matter where you are.
I look at our everyday routine and I see with the exception of me (as I used to work full-time), life hasn't changed too much for the girls. They go to school, ride the bus, have lunch & recess with their friends and participate in several after-school activities. Parent meetings at the beginning of the school year to meet your child's teacher and learn about the curriculum, basically the same as it was back home. Same type of information presented and same type of questions asked by parents.
Parents registering kids for activities at the beginning of the school year was also the same here as it was in the States. We just finished the registration period for summer camps, same. Parents run their kids around after school and on weekends, going to different activities. There is that same feeling of giving your children the opportunity and experience of participating in various things. We are lucky here in Bordeaux that there are so many choices - swimming, tennis, gymnastics, martial arts, dance, musics classes, circus class, soccer, rugby - just to name a few. My children, along with their French friends, are all participating in several activities.
Weekends often mean one of the girls head over to a friend's house, or a friend comes here. We have hosted our fair share of sleep-overs. Birthday parties- every little kid loves to invite their friends over to celebrate their special day! Just like in the States, we have been invited to plenty of birthday parties. Kids here also enjoy playing their Wiis & X-Boxes, seeing a new movie, or just hanging out with each other. French pre-teens have cell phones, use instagram & have facebook accounts. Other than listening to all of this go on around me in French, I could close my eyes and the same scenario would be happening in the States. Kids being kids!
Food - we eat and I cook somewhat the same as I did back home. Yes, I have added some new dishes to our menu, but I have always been one to try out a new recipe in a cooking magazine or enjoy the seasonal specialities. But I have kept some favorite dishes that we have always enjoyed - Spaghetti & meatballs, Tacos, barbecued chicken and of course a good old-fashioned hamburger! The ingredients for these dishes are readily available at most super markets here and versions are also made by the French. Having a pizza delivered or going to a Chinese buffet are also everyday options for families. There are at least 3 pizza take out & delivery places located within a 1/2 mile of each other in my town here in France. (Now, I do live in a bigger city, not in the countryside - but isn't that similar to the US too - more options in more cosmopolitan places?)
Presently, we have just started our two-week Spring break. Yes, just like back home in the States, a lot of people are taking a vacation away. But others, like ourselves are staying around. Again, another similarity is there are a lot of special events, and family oriented activities available in this area - it's just the matter of deciding what you want to do.
There are many differences in how we live here, what we do, the rhythm of life and how things are done. We have gained such a different perspective and we are still learning. But sometimes it's nice to look around and realize how life is similar no matter where you live. For that reason I'm grateful and pretty content.
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