Culture shock? Pah, we’re locals!

4 October 2009

Do you get the impression that I am blowing hot and cold here? You are most probably right. After I got everything that really gets on my nerves off my chest with my last posting, things have been good. On Saturday, we had music lessons and Lucy’s violin teacher was much better with her. He really made an effort to get Lucy to understand things and I am hopeful that  she and him will develop some sort of fruitful relationship. She started on a new piece (morceau – I am learning as well here!) and was introduced to a new gamme while he drew on things that she already knew. So things are promising. Linus’ lesson? Fab, as expected, and Linus was chatting away to the teacher in French.  Oh, I am jealous…. wish I could talk like that.

Lucy is struggling considerably more with French than Linus. Not surprising, I guess, as she does not have the grounding that Linus can draw on after a couple of years of French at Charters. Lucy also has much more regular lessons that are held entirely in French than Linus.  Both Rolf and I spent quite a lot of time this weekend with her completing tasks in French that she was not able to complete at school, because she cannot understand. A challenge for us too! I feel a bit sorry for her, it does get her down a bit and she sometimes goes in to ‘I can’t do this mode’, but she has only been at school for such a short while, I am sure by Christmas it will be a different story altogether. I expect something to click and to fall into place sometime and off she will be, leaving the rest of us behind. We just have to keep her happy and upbeat for now. I try to do as much together with her as possible. The other day we wrote those post-it notes I was contemplating last week to learn vocabulary and she really enjoyed that. Her homework is a brilliant exercise for me too. Talking about homework, I get quite a lot of that from language school (we asked for it, though…) It has already taken me the best part of two hours to complete it and I still have to write two pieces. This will probably take another two hours :). But I feel like I am learning and I can proudly announce that I have written two emails in the past two days to French people who understood what I was saying, and I have also written a note to the school, all by myself, without the help of Google Translate. A major milestone in my quest to become somewhat fluent in French :). I have also managed to read about 8 or so pages of my book. If I carry on at this rate, I will probably be eighty by the time I finish it, but I expect to increase my reading speed in due course, so I might finish it in time for my 45th birthday?

But I am digressing, I am sure you are anxious to know why I think we are locals…  After six weeks? It’s quite simple. We went for a picnic in Parc Tête d’Or today with our ‘campervan friends’. They are, by the way, hoping to rent somewhere soon-ish, I keep my fingers crossed for them. Anyway, we had a picnic and a lovely time and as we were about to leave, Trish and family happened to bump into us. So we stayed a bit longer and had a natter and made some plans for social activities. How lovely is that? It’s a bit like Windsor Great Park on a Sunday. Makes me feel so much more at home in Lyon. Will the nasty culture shock catch up with me again? I guess so, I am expecting it to lurk behind some dark corner and to jump all over me when I least expect it. Until then, I will pretend to be a local  and enjoy life :).

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