Posted by: britgirl82 | August 10, 2010

May 2010 – French lessons

So BritGirl made it back to Bordeaux for the end of April…her boyfriend appeared to have lived from vending machines in her absence, so at least she realised that her time in France was not completely mis-spent or wasted – she kept him well fed and watered!

In an act of positive thinking and an attempt to help herself in the job search, BritGirl started French lessons at a local language school. For 2 weeks (once you see the costs of these lessons you will see why BritGirl only opted for 2 weeks) BritGirl was up early and heading out like the rest of the civilized population – lessons were every morning and two afternoons a week.

BritGirl would like to report that she felt better and re-assured from these lessons, but in actual fact, is still uncertain whether these lessons really helped her confidence. Nerves are a natural phenomenon and that week BritGirl suffered…should she be able to speak more French after 6 months here? Would people think badly of her for only just starting lessons? What would people think of her?

In fairness BritGirl didnt have much to worry about- she was placed in an intermediate class, which was a challenge but in a positive way – she understood and listened..the stumbling block was her confidence! The students in the class were not really long term Bordeaux residents. BritGirl had hoped that she would meet people during the course and finally have friends she could call her own (the friends she had made through hwer boyfriend and his work were and still are lovely people and great to spend time with, but everyone needs their own friends and companions)! But that was not to be, all were students in one form or another, in Bordeaux to learn French during or after their studies for a short period.

The BIG surprise for BritGirl – which now seems very naive –  was that she was the only native English person in the class. There were people from Spain, United Arab Emirates, Itay, South America and Holland – no English was spoken. This made BritGirl feel more out of her depth…in hindsight it was a good introduction to the language, its learning and the issues experienced by other language speakers…French apparently was not an easy language for many people!!

So two weeks of lessons and not entirely sure that she was more able/confident, BritGirl finished the course and felt a little more motivated to continue her job hunt and life in Bordeaux. The big question remained for how much longer would BritGirl be able to manage without a job?

Through discussions with friends and her boyfriend BritGirl had made another life changing decision – the second in six months!! If by October she had not found any work in France, she would be going home. Yes it might mean failure (her friends assured her that this was not the case, but it was how BritGirl felt), a hard return to the UK to re-establish life there and live without her boyfriend, but for her sanity and outlook on life, it had to be an option. It was not talked about often…lets face it, none of us want to make difficult decisions if we can possibly avoid them, but it was there, like a shadow in the background everytime BritGirl looked for work or thought about the future….the uncertainty and fear was there.


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