Let me just begin by saying this: congratulations. To me. I’ve learned a lot about myself since yesterday morning.
One, I just had dinner with my host family and I spoke almost fluently. This was because I didn’t give fucks about what they were going to think about me because it’s been three weeks and who cares if they hate me for not being able to speak. Yet, that just really worked out for me in the end because I’m pretty sure I was thinking in French the entirety of the time. How did this progress? I have no freaking idea…it sort of just happened. But it’s working, and I’m just going to do the same thing tomorrow. As in caring, but not too much. If I overthink this miracle, it’s going to go away. So end of that discussion.
Two, the alcohol here is cheap and STRONG. I haven’t gotten drunk since I lost weight this summer and that might have a contributing factor. However, I did go to a bar last night and they sold a liter of drinks for 5 euros each. FIVE EUROS. So after a week filled with quizzes I studied my ass off for but probably failed, I was ready to let go. And I was ready to give up more than 5 euros.
Turns out 5 euros was way more than enough.
Last night, I could have been the hostess of the Ugly Truth and would have won about 5 Primetime Emmys for my performance.
The good thing is that I remembered what happened. The bad thing is that I remembered what happened.
We all have our drunk alter-egos. The girl who laughs too much. The girl who grinds too much. The girl who falls asleep too fast. Or blacks out, whatever you want to call it.
I thought I knew my drunk alter-ego, to be fair. It doesn’t take me long to get drunk, but it’s fair to say that I’m not totally crazy until after about six or seven shots. When I do get drunk, I’m incredibly happy and I begin hugging everyone within 3 feet of me.
Yet, I chugged that sangria down and I was ready to speak some French. Funnily enough, I had no French accent. Or French thought. Apparently I wasn’t even speaking French right. And when I was, I was being a total bitch.
Ah, how different countries change you.
“Je me suis parler francais.” Haha – jokes on drunk me, because that’s not a freaking sentence. In any language.
Here’s the thing, though. Why did I do this? Well, in case you haven’t been reading my long line of pathetic complaints, I’ve been really worried that I haven’t been improving since I got here. After tonight, I’m thinking a little differently and anyone who tries to tell me otherwise is just a complete asshole. Like I said, this is all about confidence. If you don’t have it, then it’s going to be pretty obvious. So if you don’t have it, at least pretend like you do because nobody wants to talk to someone who doesn’t even believe in themselves.
So, yes, I was incredibly worried that I wasn’t improving, and even though I’m improving a little slower perhaps, I’m doing so at my own pace. Of course I wish I’d met French people when I went out last night, but night life is a little different here than the American college town bar scene. And when I say that, I mean WAY different.
Grinding: doesn’t really exist as much as in America. The dancing here is pretty awful, in my opinion. I go out to dance, because it’s the best way to exercise to be honest. But, here, nobody can dance, in my opinion. No grinding, that’s for sure (not that grinding is dancing). It’s more like standing in a circle with your friend group and jumping up and down to bad American music.
That’s the other thing: I need good music. At least it has to be on point with the mood, and in France, it isn’t really. I’m sure there are places with good music, but it’s pretty hard to find. When I say looking for good music, however, I mean looking for good French music and that involves singing in French. Don’t forget that English is one of the most common languages in the world, so everything is in English. Yet, not everyone speaks English still, so it’s like watching people try to rap to Thrift Shop without doing it right or understanding what it’s about, which kind of takes the fun away.
Carding: doesn’t exist here, either. Which is sad because I’m of freaking age. I saw a 14 year old in a bar last night, and I legit stood there and watched how he interacted. I expected him to hide in the corner and sneak his way past the bar hopper. Well, the bar hoppers just let him in and he acted like he was part of the crowd. Just a 14 year old hanging out in a bar.
But I went out for a reason that I really shouldn’t have gone out for. Yes, I needed to let loose and drink a little because I hadn’t gone out already. Yet I was doing it because I thought that if I let loose, then I would be able to speak more fluently. The alcohol would cause me to not overthink, which would allow me to speak better.
Wrong motivation. In any scenario. You don’t smoke to feel less stressed. You don’t drink to drown your sorrows. You don’t do that stuff to make yourself feel better because you think you suck ass so much.
And it didn’t work. Tipsy, perhaps I can speak better. But drunk: no. Everything I hear in French just goes out the other ear and there’s no point in listening to it. The French accent that I’ve been working so hard on since I arrived just disappeared, because it wasn’t natural. Also speaking incorrect French (way off, my middle school teacher would be upset) just proved that I don’t think in the language, like I should be. Which only made me sadder.
And that’s not how alcohol should make you feel. That’s not how anything should make you feel.
Not to mention that I was acting like a bitch last night. Maybe a funny bitch, but nevertheless the hostess of the Ugly Truth.
Not an attractive side of me. Will I get drunk again? Yeah, probably, because I’m legal here, so why not? Plus, the alcohol here is so much cheaper and so much better quality. I live in the region that grew wine as its main export.
But I don’t think I could ever resort to drinking as a means of boosting my confidence in my speaking skills. That was wrong.