Today is the first day of vacation. (I feel like I'm always writing about vacation!)
I'm now in zone C, which means my friends all over France have already had their holiday and are now back in school, and mine is just starting. It's a rainy first day of spring vacation. And as for all spring breaks of my life, I am sick. I have no idea how my body could possible see the calendar, but to my memory, I've been ill for every spring break of my life.
It's nothing grave (I apologize in advance for the random French words mixed in to my sentences from now on, as that is just how my brain works). It's just a cold and it didn't stop be from going to watch the soccer game in my village today. Not only two hours sitting in the windy weather, but also the pouring rain/hail. No, I'm not that big of a soccer fan, but I happen to be dating the goalie. ;)
I only have about two more months left in France but I'm living every day as if it was the first of September and the beginning of my adventure. So when this guy asked me out, I ignored all my friends who brought up the fact that I'm leaving and this will make that that much harder, and said yes. And I'm quite glad that I did because having a boyfriend in France is really une bonne experience. It's remarkable how different relationships work in France.
Back in Maryland, people tend to be friends for quite awhile before they start dating. And they are together for awhile before any mention of the word love even comes up.
Here in France, three boys asked me out in one week. And in the same sentence where my boyfriend asked me out, he said he loved me.
Everyone knows that je t'aime means I love you. But it seems to me the French use this phrase much more lightly than any anglophone. Perhaps there isn't really the same weight to aime as there is to love, or perhaps the French just have very large hearts. But in any case, I have a boyfriend who m'aime and who won his soccer game today!
Another thing the French are much more open about, and the biggest difference in my opinion is the absolute acceptance to P.D.A (public displays of affection). Making out in the middle of hallways, in the bus and right in front of parents, teachers and friends, is simply not done at my high school in Maryland. It would be considered pretty weird, but here, well it's completely normal. I'm not sure I would be okay with such utter P.D.A except I know that this is just a culture difference.
At the soccer game today, I met his parents who had already heard all about me. They invited me to lunch next Sunday and gave me the bienvenue to their home at any time. As for my host family, I can tell they're not too sure how to react. Even though my boyfriend lives in the same village, our families don't know each other, and that makes mine nervous. An invitation to Sunday lunch with his family made my host family say, "uh-oh". Although my host family is cautious to the fact that I'm in a serious relationship (and leaving in two months), I have my feet on the ground and am aware of how hard it will be to leave this life I've made for myself here.
So there's the beginning of my "French kissing French boyfriend in France" story. I'll keep you tuned in.
I find this post in it's entirety slightly ironic because I'm not so sure I would have written it eight months ago. I write a column for my high school's newspaper and in the last issue a sentence containing the word 'underwear' was cut out. I still can't grasp the problem with the mention of underwear. Either I've forgotten how immature high schoolers can be or U.S culture is much more conservative than I ever realized (or both). I think living in France has made me much more open about certain things. Between members of my host family walking around in their underwear, and the P.D.A everywhere, I don't consider that kind of thing taboo anymore.
In the end, a year abroad doesn't just open your eyes to a new culture, but also to the one you've known all your life.