The thing about Sundays is that nobody is open. The trams and the buses run late and the stores like to close early, if they’re even open at all. The supermarkets are closed and the malls are too. So what do people do on a Sunday?
Well, go to church for starters, but that’s only for the morning part. After that, I’m not really sure because nothing is open. To be honest, I think they just sit around their houses and smoke cigarettes like it’s nobody’s business. Or sit in a park and smoke cigarettes like it’s nobody’s business. Either way, they’re not really doing anything, and that sort of how life goes by in America too.
Exciting news for today: I got a host sister! She’s Swiss-German and looks like a super model (#jealous). She’s the same age as me and has no problem going out with me, so that makes me happier that I now have a foreign friend. The funny thing is that before she arrived, she sent a letter that was apparently written in perfect French to my host family (her dad wrote it for her). And she has a pretty good French accent since both her parents are French professors. So my host family is in love with her, which kind of makes me the black sheep doesn’t it?
She’s great though – we’re on the same level of French and she’s really modest about it all. When they started complementing her on her French, she looked directly at me and rolled her eyes, knowing that it wasn’t true. She was wrong: it’s true, but she made me feel better.
Oh, my host family hates me…whatever. I literally could give zero shits anymore. When she asked them if I’m good at French, they beat around the bush and said that I’m “improving.”
LOL. Thanks, guys. I know I suck too.
Either way, because it is Sunday, I had no desire to leave my house. Yet, one of the girls in my group asked spontaneously if we wanted to just go explore and, of course, I said yes. I mean what else did I have to do?
So after moseying around downtown for a little while, we got hungry and started looking for food. It was around lunch time and I was a little desperate to eat something good, but cheap. On the side of a small road, we found this coffee shop that looked very old-school and retro. Very relaxing and small, but cozy enough to make you feel like you were back in your home college-town again.
The outside of the restaurant was filled with some people wrapped in blankets as they read little novels while sipping a cup of coffee. Luckily, we got to sit at the last available seats inside by the window and ordered a café latte with a tarte aux tomates. SO GOOD and I was in love. However, I ordered and the ladies still didn’t understand some of the stuff I was trying to say, which disappointed me still. This is an example of the times when I think that I haven’t improved.
But I talked to one of my debate coaches from high school today about this problem. She studied abroad too, similar to my program, and is honestly one of the only people who can talk me down from an emotional breakdown. I feel bad for these people because they put up with a lot of my shit. The thing was that everyone I talk to, my friends especially, don’t really understand what I’m going through because they’ve never experienced the same things as me, right now. This is hard and exhausting and I feel lost most of the time.
My coach told me, however, that it’s going to take months to have an accent strong enough for someone to understand. The more I stress, the worse I’m going to get. And it made sense because I feel like I have just been getting worse as I pressure myself to do better. It’s even more frustrating that my host family doesn’t even think I’m good yet, because I’m fucking living with them and they should be able to push me to do better rather than sitting around and commenting on how much I can’t communicate.
Not to mention that some of the girls in my group are a little condescending towards me when it came to speaking to actual French people. Things like that make me feel a little lost, still, and, if anything, I just keep wanting to punch a wall. Like I said, I’m getting better, but I’m moving at my own pace. If I keep pressuring myself, the home sickness is just going to get worse and I really miss home.
Especially after that amazing coffee that was bigger than the size of my hand. Now that’s an American sized coffee.