After the mindset and getting ready to move with family to Paris (blog1 ), the D day aka 15 hours of flight journey increased the thrill within one side.At the same time, the anxiety about leaving behind our own house, cars, wardrobe, garden, dining set, home theatre TV – each of it is something we had build over 15 years, step by step, little milestones together. Starting a new life, with just 4 travel bags had its own fear factor to the adventure. Who said French are not very friendly? As we landed in the beautiful city, my husband’s colleague met us at the hotel to welcome. He brought basic groceries to survive the next few days and also a map of Paris to explain us how things work around, the metro lines etc. It never felt lonely because of him being there to assure us of support. And the excitement meter went up as our hotel room had Eiffel view. The next few days were about exploring the little places around, also within we had the fear of ‘is this right? is that acceptable’ etc.
Lesson 1 : Never trust the Sun behind the doors. It looked very sunny day. Remember my dream including freedom of dressing up? So the first free outing begins. Not just me, but I pushed everyone home to go cool on dressing, my son who was well dressed on full sleeves and jean- I made him change to new shorts and tee. Just 10 mins after we stepped out, the weather did its magic. It started feeling cold and oops, I had 3 pairs of eyes starring at me. So, first lesson is “dress up for weather”. There begun my first confusion.
Lesson 2 : Google translator. Do you think each time you go to a shop, you can use google translator? nah nah! We are all educated smart brains to figure out products, even though all of their labels will be in French and nothing in English. I still did not give up. Bought a nice pack of moisturiser day 1 and came to hotel, turned out it was liquid soap. Day2, 3, Day 20 – I ended up buying wrong products, including cream for curd, pork for mutton, many such things. Day 21 – I realised, I should have listened to my husband 😉 “USE GOOGLE TRANSLATOR”
Lesson 3 : The biggest anxiety was about how kids would adjust to new school, with other kids from different countries. We all had our moments of breakdown including kids thinking about the school. My husband and I spend almost 5 hours daily to prepare them, create a right mindset, gave all pep talks. We also visited the school to buy uniforms and looking at campus and how entire timetable and independent schooling is very different from India, our anxiousness increased double. Finally day1 of their school, we prayed a lot, deep breathe in and out, gave repeated all the best and both kids were off to school. Nailbiting day for us as parents. And evening comes our mini-me and mini-him. Ta-Da – “School is fun, you can be anything you want, it is cool and casual, why did both of you give so much pep talk and scare us?”
Lesson 4 : The streets of Paris is filed with cafe bars and restaurants with appetising cuisine displayed. We tried different food each day, like Ravioli,4 fromage pizza, Pho, etc. And after 2 months when one of my French colleague did a fun contest on French cuisine, that is when we realised none of what we savoured were French food. This is a hub of different cuisines. So, to experience French delicacy, we understood that we should look out for the right restaurants. And once this lesson is done, our tastebuds are now drenching with the desserts, starters, filling 4 course meal.
And everyday’s lessons continues in this journey. Next episode is about the workaholic’s first coffee break. Stay tuned! Hope you enjoyed the blog