So what is this exactly, well basically it is answering some questions and then setting some questions for anyone that wants to be interviewed. I have to set the questions for anyone who comments on my answers and then requests to be interviewed.
These are the questions I have been set, courtesy of FrogBlog, with my answers: -
1. Difficult times for expats, with the pound sterling suffering, the financial crisis deepening, people reluctant to splash out on holidays abroad. Are you prepared to tough it out, and how prepared were you for the crisis?
Yes I (we) are prepared to tough it out, the decision to move to France was not taken lightly and we are not going to roll over at the first sign of trouble. It does help that we created a buffer fund in case of unexpected occurrences that would see us through if needed, although it is not easy watching your hard earned savings being eroded as a result of third party incompetence over which you have no control.
2. Are you an English expat community, or integrate into French life and mix with the locals, kind of guy?
I hope we are both, I see no problem mixing with like minded people from my own origins and background, although I recognize that is the easy option, whilst at the same time trying to integrate into our new local community and mix with local people, probably the only way you can truly develop reasonable language skills as well.
3. Since moving to France, other than the effects of the crisis, what unexpected problems have you had to confront?
The true difficulty of dealing with the most mundane and routine problems everyone encounters in everyday life in a new language. When you are advised to learn the language before you come I would say that is the best advice anyone could give you although I would not agree that you shouldn't come if you haven't done that, it just makes it more difficult to function routinely
4. Describe your most pleasurable and your most awkward encounters with French locals since your arrival.
Just talking to people and enjoying a little time with them however brief. The most significant would be when we had a French family for dinner, parents and children, where we could experience the differences in behavior and culture first hand whilst very much enjoying their company a very rewarding encounter.
Most awkward for me is when I have not been able to communicate on any level due to a lack of language skills, not so frequent now but there are still bad days when it seems your brain just won't work. There is nothing more frustrating and awkward than having to walk away not having conveyed the information you wanted to.
5. What do you love most about France, and what makes you most mad?
The scenery, the architecture, the history, most of the people, the culture and the fact they are proud to be European, the mountains, the light (have you ever just stopped and looked at the sky around 5 in the evening on a clear winter's day) and the simplicity of life.
At the risk of contradicting myself, it is the speed at which bureaucracy rolls around, just cannot believe sometimes how long it takes to get a response on some fairly significant issues, such as health care, insurance etc. there is relaxed and there is slooow!!! Thankfully once you have got answers then you no longer have to concern yourself with it too much on a routine basis.
Well that's me and my answers, not really ground breaking but I hope honest and I actually quite liked doing this, it's been a tad therapeutic.
So... would you like to be interviewed?!
Just follow these instructions:
- Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
- I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
- You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.