So far, we really like Bordeaux. It’s like a smaller, more relaxed version of Paris, with great bars, restaurants, and shops…and similar architecture and atmosphere. But perhaps most appreciated, folks are really friendly and helpful. It’s comfortable here.
After all our prior travels, we someday wanted to live and immerse into another country, with a different mindset, language, and food & wine tradition. And suddenly it’s happening.
We only had a few days in town before classes started, so there wasn’t much time to prepare. And the immersion came quickly. The commute to school, opening a bank account, dealing with French immigration, buying groceries, figuring out the washing machine. The list goes on. It can be frustrating (…damn it, I just want some clean underwear), but when you turn that off, such challenges can actually be fun and interesting. And you learn about yourself and all those ingrained expectations ….and just how meaningless they can be …and how much they interfere with enjoying one’s life…
But perhaps the biggest challenge is finding enough time for everything that’s here. For me school is usually 8 hours, 5 days a week, with an hour commute on either end…and then homework. Lynn has French class 4 days a week and studying for her sommelier certification. Then there’s everyday domestic stuff, an occasional night out, and weekends exploring the Bordeaux wine country. What a grind! But after a few weeks, I think we’ve found a good pace.
And after slowing down a bit, we also suddenly realized we were adjusting. Feeling like we live here. Everything which seemed so foreign at first is now becoming familiar. This is what we’re looking for…and it’s all just beginning!