Around France

Moving to France: Patience

I’m not a very patient person. Never have been. When I moved to France, I knew it would try my patience.

Moving is one thing. Learning a new way to deal with bureaucracy and red tape takes frustration to a whole new dimension.

It takes patience

My move to a new apartment in Uzès, on top of recovering from my September 18th nightmare, has brought back to mind how difficult it is to do simple things in my new country… like having WiFi and telephone installed, or expecting dependable heating and hot water. You know, the essentials. I’m now two weeks in my new place and I’m still struggling with all of the above.

When I recently complained in an email to a new friend and blog follower, she reminded me of a post published five years ago. “You sound just as frustrated as you did when you first landed in Uzès,” she said.


I must say, it’s worth a bit of agony to be here. I’m literally one step off street level. Three steps from my front door into the living area.

France takes patience

While the magnificent view of the Duché is no longer outside my office window, and the Medieval Garden is missing from my bedroom view, I’ve gained a regal courtyard and easy access. The latter is a godsend.

France takes patience

A new perspective

The September 18th nightmare wasn’t supposed to happen for at least five years. Five years from now I would have said “it’s time to go back to the States.” My whirlwind adventure in France would have ended with a big grand finale. 

That’s not how it’s going to end now. I haven’t had my fill of France.

Instead, I’m looking forward to stepping out this street-level door to spend more time with French neighbors and friends. After five years of watching the French enjoy their special kind of lifestyle, I’m going to try to participate. 

Yes, I’m going to be out there and I’m going to be speaking in French!

Stay tuned for next week’s news and another great adventure. A French language school in Aix-en-Provence. I’m so excited and you’ll be coming along, too! 

France takes patience

38 replies »

    • So glad to know an alumni. I’m already hoping to return for more sessions. I’ll definitely send your regards. Thanks for the note!

  1. Looking forward to your posts from Aix. I so enjoyed my experience at IS Aix. Great school, great family, fabulous town and excursions.

    • I totally agree. So far it’s fabulous. I’ll keep you up with all that’s going on. Glad to know you enjoyed IS.

  2. Deb, I am so glad to see you posting again, I have missed you. I almost sent you a private message on FB to see if you were okay, but then realized with no wifi you wouldn’t get it anyway. Anyway, glad you are getting settled in your new apartment and looking forward to reading about your next adventure.

    • I’ve been in a funk without WiFi for too long! Thank goodness I now have it and I’m on this new adventure. Glad you’re along for the ride…stay tuned and stay in touch! Merci!

  3. Sounds like you really made up your mind to be fluent in French, that great ! The school is all the way in Aix ?

    • Yes, my time in the hospital with few English speakers gave me the kick in the pants I needed. The school in Aix is a two-week immersive course and I’m boarding with a charming French lady. Stay tuned…

  4. Would love to hear about your language course in Aix! My husband and I spent two weeks at a language school in the village of Sancerre last year, a very intense course. It was excellent and helped, but it is clear to me that along with all the course learning the most important part is just speaking and listening to people around you. And that is often a problem if you want to have conversations beyond the easy small talk in the streets and shops. Must join clubs, events, volunteer…. a bit intimidating sometimes. I know how you feel. We live in Languedoc (Accents! Dialects!) and have been here about 5 years and I’m disappointed not to be better!

    • I have been so throughly and completely happy and entertained with my English-speaking friends in Uzés. Now I realize I’m almost the only one who speaks little or no French. I’m determined to fix that and begin to join in on all those things you mention. Just wish there were more hours in a day! Thanks so much for your note of encouragement.

    • It’s all a lot to take in at once, but I’m ready to get at it. Thanks for being along. Stay tuned!

  5. Can’t wait to see more of your new apartment and hear about the French Language School in Aix. Bravo for your courage

    • I’m looking forward to getting back to exploring and sharing these next new adventures. Thanks for traveling along, Jenny, and for reaching out.

  6. Deborah, I’ve been following you for about a year now. Today I’m reading your blog and can’t believe my eyes! You’re in our building! We’re on the RDC also. Come for a drink B1, above our turquoise table. Look forward to meeting you.
    Georgia & Steve Wood

    • So you’re the “American couple” who are my neighbors! How exciting. Can’t wait to meet you. I’m back from Aix 2/15 so let’s get together before we’re both heading off again. Thanks for your note and introduction!

  7. Congratulations!! You and the Good Life France are my inspirations for coming to France. Now ending my first month in Nice of a three-month journey. Nice is it for me! Will get the long term visa and be back in January to make the final decision to come half a year or stay. One thing I’ve learned is that I must learn French—a few words and phrases won’t let me fully immersed in the culture. I know what you mean about stairs—found the perfect place, but 4 flights up is too much now and in the future. Had been dismissing the ground floor apartments as maybe not safe, but the terrace is lovely.
    All the best for settling in, and I look forward to reading about more of your adventures.
    Bon Chance, Zoe

    • Congratulations on your big first steps moving to France. Interestingly, on our tour of Nice in September, I felt it calling me. I’ll have to return and we can say “hi.” Glad you’re thinking ahead about the safety features of your new home. I was blinded by the amazing view of the Duché. Now I’m thrilled with the new find…and new determination to conquer my fear of the language. Please stay in touch and let me know how it’s going.

  8. Good for you, Deborah! I hope you get those annoyances settled soon! Can’ t wait to see your new place! The Yellow Submarine will never be the same though.

    • It has been an annoying few months. I’m definitely ready for a change. Can’t wait to see you again!

    • Oh my, thank you. These days I just go with my gut feeling and hope for the best. We’ll see … I am so glad you’re along for the ride.

  9. Good for you and your optimism! Keep going. Those of us who are living our dreams through you are counting on you! Enjoy your new apartment and French language classes.

    • We’ll see. This old brain is going to be thoroughly tested but it will be well worth it. I can’t wait to really feel confident to speak French. Thanks for your encouragement.

  10. Debby, I am so happy to hear about your new apartment and your resolve to learn French. The adventure continues!

  11. How nice to hear you are settled…..well, almost, and your attitude is so positive. Sounds like the best part is yet to come. Will look forward to hearing updates. May the “pesky” things be solved any day now.

  12. You may not be long on patience but you more than make up for it in perseverance and positive thinking! You will miss some of what you had in terms of view but are looking forward to new sights, adventures and making friends you just haven’t met yet! Bravo! Can’t wait to hear about French language school in Aix!

    En avant!

  13. Yeh! You dusted yourself off and are ready to really live the French life. I am cheering you on. We have visited Uzes. It is lovely, so enjoy, learn some more French, interact with locals and be the best you, you can be with a bit of French flair thrown in for good measure.

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