My first year of French was coming to an end when my teacher announced that he would be leaving the school. I was devastated by this because he was the most exciting and relatable teacher that I had. He had a traditional where he would take 40 students to France every two years.
Since he was leaving he was only going to have one more and I knew that I needed to go. After much begging to my parents, I finally was allowed to go. Before the trip, he would hold monthly meetings to plan us for our trip to France.
Upon our arrival to France, the reality of a foreign language, which I was far from mastering, hit me all at once. All of the signs were in French, everyone around me was carrying on casual conversations… in French.
As if it wasn’t bad enough, a lady came up to me speaking quite speedily in French, and all I could muster up was ‘I don’t speak french, I’m sorry’ in English. She rolled her eyes and ran off.
When we got to our hotel room we were warned about the size. I didn’t think much of it though. As I entered the room all I could think about was how three people were supposed to fit into such minimal space. It was definitely different from the hotels in the U.S.
A big change from my home state of Arizona was that immense walking was required to go anywhere. I sure gained some muscle from that. The breakfast that we had was another story. The meal was always the same, croissants with Nutella, croissants with Nutella and more croissants with Nutella. I didn’t ever think that the word croissant would ever haunt me after that trip. Continuing on the subject of food, the portions were much smaller than in the US and that was a hard reality for my friends and I to realize.
It was only at the end of the trip that I actually and surprisingly got used to the portions. With all complaints aside, the cultural aspects of life were very influential and helped me better understand their way-of-life. If it wasn’t for that trip and visiting such historical monuments, I don’t feel that I would be as broad-minded as I am today.
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