Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Struggles of Living In France

This time last year I was packing up my bags to move to France for almost a year.  I had an absolutely amazing time (which you have probably gathered from all my posts on France) but there was definitely some struggles of living in France! 
This is meant to be a light hearted post and not meant to offend, however these are my genuine gripes with living in France! 

I did write a post where I listed all the amazing things about living in France, you can see it here!

Finding An Apartment Is Ridiculously Hard
There is a lot of bureaucracy surrounding renting a property, it is VERY hard to do unless you have a French guarantor to co-sign for you.  On top of that, there is a couple of centralised websites for finding an apartment but often you will need to go to a local estate agent (who you will have to pay for).
Understanding How To Live In France Is Hard
Once you are in the apartment there is even more bureaucratic potential barriers.  Plus you will probably be disadvantaged as some people will try to exploit you because you are international.  The fact that I was an international woman also didn't help- my landlord once shook my boyfriend's hand and directed the whole conversation at him without looking at me, despite my boyfriend saying that he was only here for the weekend and to speak to me. 
The Language Barrier Can Be Tiring
Although living in a different culture was such an enriching experience it can get a little tiring after a while.  For me, I could get by pretty comfortably in person but on the phone it was a nightmare!  I just didn't understand, but luckily I had some very lovely and helpful French friends who could help me out.
Netflix Is Not Good
The Netflix in France just isn't as good as in the UK and the USA!  
Cinemas Are Expensive
This is a petty whine but the cinemas are just more expensive! 
The Strikes... 
This is a very stereotypical struggle but the strikes can be really debilitating, especially on public transport.  On my last working day in France I received a true French send off, with a strike making my 35-35 minute commute take over an hour and a half!
Rude Waiters
Another stereotype but you would be surprised with what the waiters would say in French when I was talking in English to my friends!
Bank Accounts
Banks can be a proper hassle!  But I must say I was very lucky with mine and I would really recommend Britline as a French bank for those with a British or Irish address!
Your English Gets Worser
Talking to a lot of people with English as a second (or a very impressive third/fourth/fifth) language has meant that my English has actually got worse!
You Sound Pretentious At Home
This is more of a struggle of coming home after living in France!  But starting a sentence with "When I was living in France...." does make me sound super pretentious! 

So that's my struggles of living in France- but don't worry I had an amazing time there!  Have you ever lived abroad?  What was your everyday struggles?

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5 comments

  1. Sounds like you got a pretty rough time there .. i hope you managed to put them all in their place... eventually!

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    1. It was so good but definitely some rougher bits- I just wanted to show some balance on my blog!

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  2. Some of these sound so annoying (I HATE rude waitstaff!!) but I'm sure all the fabulous wine, cheese and food made it all worth it! xxxx

    Erin | Islandbell

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    Replies
    1. Oh I definitely had a good time but defo some GRRR moments!

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  3. Yes yes yes yes! I just moved to Paris for my year abroad and have experienced all of these things!!! Though I am using a VPN to mask my location so I can watch Netflix - there's that at least!

    Laura @ What's Hot?

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