“Adulting is no fun!” I tease my son, who just turned 24. He has a fantastic career that allows him to save towards his real estate and financial goals early in life.
And while I tease him about the challenges of learning life/work balance (all under the context of us reminiscing about his video gaming teenage years), I am also going through the same experience.
I’m learning “adulting in France.” Even after a few years of this, I don’t feel like I have it down pat.
I have been recently observing my girlfriend, Aurelie. She helps me with the girls when I am in Paris. Promptly at 9 AM, she is on my steps, wearing a cute but functional outfit and her hair pulled back or under a cap. But when she returns in the early evening with Pearl and Rose, she’s wearing a completely different outfit, makeup, and looking very polished.
Why is this important? Well, it’s hard to explain it all in 2,000 characters. But let me try. First, the French value an early-riser. I often start receiving calls around 7:30 AM. Appointments and deliveries begin at 8 AM. And people start knocking on your door for various reasons shortly after.
The hack? To get up and look JUST polished enough to get through the first half of your day. And then you use the long French lunch hour to shower and refresh for the rest of your day, which can run very late! Dinners in France often don’t start until 8 PM. And if you are invited to a dinner party? Don’t expect to go home before 2 AM.
Adulting here means learning all over again how to set up (or cancel) utilities, work with banks, use debit cards, how to write a French check, how to buy a car, how to write an email properly, how to use the post office, and so SO much more. Everything that I assumed or thought I knew as an adult in the United States is so wildly, drastically different here that I am new again. I know nothing.
👉Doing foreign things as a foreigner in a foreign language?
Now, THAT’s hard! 😅
Bisous & big hugs,