It’s been a while since I really talked about any frustration living in France. I think in part because I started to settle in and loved my little apartment (though not the commute), I had the great support of my BF and I was making friends here and overall Marseille, France was beginning to feel like home.
Sure, there were administrative frustrations (i.e. carte de séjour…) and occasional homesickness and loneliness and whatnot but those things could’ve happened in the USA. but this week has been very difficult for me. I guess it can stem from the fact that I had such a wonderful time being at home with my family and being in Paris with my BFs family that coming back to marseille, back to work, alone is hard. My best friend in France (my American bud) now lives and goes to school in Paris and though we talk often it’s not the same now that she’s there and not close to me here to complain about all things French together when we need to.
I suppose it’s time I told you about these frustrations… Warning … long post. But necessary.
Frustration number 1 (also refereed to as, the first reason I cried this week): When I arrived back in Marseille I moved into a new apartment. I was kind of excited since the location was better. I was just near the metros and buses to take me to work. I had a nice real bed, a closet, awesome shower, awesome terrace. The somewhat downsides, that I didn’t see to be big problems: Although I had my own “apartment/studio” i was sharing the kitchen with the landlord. She seemed nice enough and I thought it wouldn’t be an issue. She said she didn’t cook much so I pretty much took this to mean she ate out a lot, or wasn’t in the house a lot. Well come to find out, she just doesn’t eat. Anyway … my problems arose the first day. I brought only my two bags from the US into the apartment and she commented on the amount of stuff. I asked if I could do my laundry (cause she has a washer and dryer!) and she was like oh, I’ll do it. Um, okay. cool. Except I think it’s weird for someone else to do my laundry. But whatever. Then there are the rules. Basically she is a CLEAN FREAK like I’ve never met before. Her house looks like no one lives there. at all. I think she irons her sheets. This means that every darn day she goes into MY SPACE and cleans. The bathroom, makes the bed and moves my junk around. Some of you might like this, a maid. Except it isn’t. It’s like she’s coming up to my room (in the kind of renovated attic) and cleaning my mess because it’s her house and she wants things a certain way. This makes me uncomfortable. At first I told her, yeah sure, no problem. But she said she was going to do it from time to time. No. Every Single Morning. It means that I am stressed when I am there out of fear of messing up something in her house. I don’t wanna leave anything out. can’t organize my things the way I want. AND. I still have half of my stuff at my workplace because I don’t want to take it there since she’ll judge me for all of my crap. It doesn’t feel cozy. I don’t like it there. Then there’s the rest…
If you’ve been reading my blog over the past year you know that I am a perfectionist and super sensitive when someone comments on my French, in a bad way. Especially now, when I do actually feel comfortable in most situations. My comprehension is impeccable (in mine and others opinions). My landlord even says, daily. “I wish I could have English comprehension like you understand French”. But then she goes on to poke fun at how I can’t speak. Or if I ask her to repeat something because the TV was too loud or something she basically calls me stupid. I don’t need that. I don’t have to take that.
Because of the last few days in that apartment making me miserable (I cried like a baby on the phone to my BF the other night), I am looking for a new apartment starting late January. I may lose out on some money (paying double rent for a few weeks) but it’ll be worth it if I find something that doesn’t make me DREAD going home every night. Because of all of this I went to have a drink after work (well, after Frustration number 2 listed below. But it was planned before any of the stuff mentioned below even happened), went to dinner alone and went to see a movie, alone. It’s not the alone part I mind, it’s not the activities I did. I enjoyed it all (okay maybe not the French film I saw ,Quai d’Orsay. A whole movie about writing a speech. not my favorite). I did all of this to avoid going home. HOME people. Not acceptable. A change must occur. And so, I am actively searching a new apartment as we speak. I will visit one today. If it works out, I will give my 1 month notice and move out of this place and live happily in a different place (still with a good location, minus the paranoia).
If you have gotten this far, thanks for reading! Seeing as how this is getting super super long … Frustration number 2 and conclusions will be in my next blog post … until then – ❤