Life in a new country is an incredible experience. The best I’ve had to face in my life. After a little while, it’s always nice to realise that you managed to cope with the country and its culture, improve your language and build a comfortable but still exciting little life in a place you call your new home. But as nice as it may sound, there are always a few things you didn’t expect would happen or some part of yourself you had no idea would change…
10 things that have changed in my life since I’ve been living in London
I speak Franglish
You know that mysterious language halfway between French and English? I’m sure other nationalities have their own name for it and I wouldn’t be surprised native English speakers from other countries have the same syndrom. I remember my New Zealand flatmates always used to add a “Hey” to end any sentences. That’s surely some sort of “New Zenglish” right?
Ok so this one might only be understood by some cultures. In France we generally go straight to the point.We kind of giggle but you know, we’re way too proud to show it. Except when we are “French londoniennes”. Then we LOVE playing the game of what I called girly noises and add a little “owww” here and there once in a while. I have also noticed that my voice goes higher when I say “Hello” and “Byyye”. How strange. It’s just me beeing a londoner and actually enjoying it.
“Elodie, E.l.o.d.i.e.” Is my new British name. I can also go with “Melodie without the M” as it looks like nobody has never heard ot it (See the way that Starbucks guy wrote it on the picture..). And guess what, people LOVE my name. Sorry I’m showing off a bit right now but I have to admit I love having such a “beautiful” or “gorgeous” name (as people said) when it’s actually such a basic and dull name in French. I think for this reason I will never be able to leave England :)
I wear prints, floral, leopard, stripes and all sort of them, flashy colors, green nail polish, leather skirt/trousers/jackets and flat boots or silver trainers (proof in the picture). And sometimes everything at the same time. Not exactly the codes of French fashion but surely the right way to be a Londoner : Find your style and enjoy wearing it. An other great reason why I LOVE London so much.
I speak English to my boyfriend
Easier with an English boyfriend. I have to admit I’m not sure how he coped with me the first few months as we met right after I moved to London but I’ve always found it so good to have to go through the challenges of our own languages and find other ways to speak and make each other understood. Sadly, now my English is good enough for a simple normal conversation.
Live in a flatshare at 30 is not exactly what I had in mind when I was 20. But you know what? I absolutely love it. I’m obviously lucky enough to have a lovely and cheap flat and amazing flatmates which makes the whole difference. But I also love the fact that I am not submitted to the social pressure in London. It’s ok to live the way you do, and given the real estate market, it’s even more ok to live in a flatshare no matter how old you are.
Skype is my new best friend. I have never used it that much and had to go through a lonnng explanation process with my parents when moving here. After a few weeks they said that “it was amazing to be able to use that kind of tool and wasn’t different me beeing here or there after all”. Thanks Dad.
Pubs. I love pubs! that’s definitely something I have learned to love. I’ve always thought they were just smelly places where British people would go to eat fish and chips and get drunk but quickly found out it’s much more than that. I love going to the pub for a quick drink after work, a good sunday roast on a sunday or a lovely dinner any time of the week. People gather in pubs, spend quality time with quality people and I love the cosy atmosphere we can find in any of them. I love them so much I also listed them in my 10 good reasons to live in England.
Plane is my new favorite transportation mode. Well almost. Home beeing south of France + the fact that we live on an island makes all of us spend quite some time in airports. I love having my airports habits, preferred airlines and even though I don’t leave Europe very often, even taking the plane to go home is still travelling right?
And at last but not least, my blog, the “Little joys of London” as we would call it in English. Becoming a blogger has been such an incredible experience. What I simply started to add a line on my CV as a digital marketing professional, and sort of keep a track of my London experience has now become a major thing in my life. The blog has grown enough to treat it as a mini website and I am now speaking to all of you guys, other expats from other countries in English. How cool is that :)