Thursday, 10 February 2011

Allez les Bleus!

As I lay in my bed (I was feeling too ill to step in to the hallway to our makeshift lounge), I shouted to my flatmate who was watching the France v. Brazil football match “on gagne?” (“are we winning?”) but then corrected myself to “vous gagnez?” (“are you, you the French, winning?”) That slip of the tongue, the “we”, including myself as a French person got me thinking could I live in France long term?
I can name at least two of the American assistants who are both looking in to jobs and college/university courses here in order to be able to stay in France for a least another year after the assistantship is over. (They are both assistants for the second time this year so if they are successful in their hunts for finding something for next year that’s at least 3 consecutive years they’re giving to France.)
Apart from the fact that I couldn’t do the assistantship for a second year because I have to go back to university next year but I don’t think I’d want to. Granted, I love it here and I have decided to work here (well not Dijon but in France) over the summer, but I still like knowing that come September I will be back in England, the country I was born.
One of the Americans’ reasons for wanting to stay is the quality of life France offers compared to, they feel, the USA, or at least the cities they live in.
Now, I can think of many reasons why France offers good quality of life, the following for starters:
  1. 35 hour working week
  2. 2 hour lunch breaks
  3. Fantastic food and great coffee
  4. Never being far from the countryside so you can enjoy the great outdoors
  5. Great social benefits – housing, childcare etc.
  6. National health care
  7. Long summer holidays
  8. The governments reimbursing 50% of your travel costs to work
  9. The regular strikes meaning the country stops for a little bit so you get even more time off work
  10. Great shopping....the list could go on!
But a lot of these benefits the UK has to offer too, as a fellow European country, and the sunny outdoors, shopping, cheese based dishes and cheap but good wine, well I can always hop on the eurostar for a visit!
Don’t get me wrong, I love France and I love the French language and it makes me very happy that I live here and that I speak their language every day and I’m in no rush to leave, there’s still a long time until the beginning of September when I will be coming back to England for good (or at least for the foreseeable future) but there’s nowhere like home!:)

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