It seems that the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about the question “How integrated am I in France?”
I have been living here now the last 12 years, yet I still feel an outsider in some situations. Now, is this a British thing? Other nationalities living in France seem to intregrate well into French society, a good example is the Portuguese.
Often I can be at a gathering “pour faire la fête” where I meet total strangers. Upon hearing that I am an “anglais” I am often treated as if I arrived in France last week at first, then a certain surprise when they find that I can speak French fairly well. Added to this total bemusement.
It seems that French people just don’t expect us to speak French. That said, listening in on some conversations between people I feel I may as well be on another planet! I can understand what is being said, but can contribute absolutely nothing to the subject matter. Is this all somesort of enrypted French code?
Despite my number of years here, I expect that however long I live in France I’ll always be “l’anglais or le rosbif” and that I won’t be accepted totally.
More reading… (thanks to Tish Bogdan for the link).