Alors, because of All Saints day we get a weeks holiday and because I’m special (not really) I get two weeks off. So around this time last year when we were being bombarded with information and year abroad lectures and stuff, everyone – tutors, previous erasmus students, etc – all said not to come home before Christmas. At the time I thought this was pretty obvious, it’s only 4 months and is obviously better for learning the language if you completely immerse yourself in it for a long time. But then you somehow found yourself in the situation where you’re not the only person who matters any more, and the person you care about more than anyone else isn’t just a 10 minute walk away but in a whole different time zone. Which is why I flew the thousand miles back to Edinburgh for a week rather than going off travelling round France or going skiing like pretty much everyone else. And while I had a great time, I know why everyone tells you not to do it.
So firstly, although amongst my group of friends here we do end up speaking English the majority of the time, we’re constantly surrounded by French and have got to the point where we’re mixing in French words a lot of the time. Even just sitting in a bar speaking English we’ll talk a lot of French without even thinking about it. Also just little things like ordering food in a restaurant, buying things in shops, it’s become second nature to speak in French, so when I came back to Edinburgh it took me a while to get used to speaking English in these situations. Which I know sounds ridiculous as I’d only been here 6 weeks when I went back, but it’s amazing how fast you adapt to these things without noticing. But of course once I got over the initial couple of days in which I almost said ‘bonjournee’ to some guy in a shop, and even on my last night nearly said ‘s’il vous plait’ to a waiter, you slip back into speaking English all the time much quicker than you adapt to speaking French everywhere. Basically I feel like I’ve taken a huge step back. Now that I’m back in Grenoble I’m actually having to think about saying things in French rather than just doing it.
The other thing is that I now feel very slightly homesick. Just going home and seeing my friends and what they’re doing and just stupid little things like going to Teviot or lectures (yes I’m that cool) or just walking through the meadows. I guess it’s just the familiarity of it all and realising what I’m missing out on, even if I’m having a great time here. I suppose it’s just going to take a bit of time to re-adjust to everything here, which would be fine if I had classes but I still have another week off. And yesss I know I shouldn’t complain about having a holiday, especially since last year I would have killed for a week to catch up on work & sleep & just chill, but it’s not like our workload is that big anyway, plus I’m just the kind of person who prefers having routine and something to get up for in the morning.
Anyway this has just been a big rambly complaint about getting a holiday so I suppose I should shut up really!