Getting to know expats in France is one of the things I want to do as well as making French contacts.
I am such an introvert and shy but with our new life, I want to be that bit braver in terms of reaching out to people and perhaps making friends.
Getting to know expats in France started from day one as our contact here is an expat who was so very helpful in letting us use her bedroom as an office for a couple of weeks when we had Internet issues. She pointed us in the direction of good places to visit and things to avoid. Expats seem to be a fount of useful knowledge and although we want very much to have our own journey here, it is good to hear some tips from those who are more experienced too.
On our regular walks around the village and elsewhere, we are starting to realise there are many English people around. Sometimes hearing English conversation can surprise you a bit when you are starting to try think in French.
Another route to getting to know anyone including expats in France is to use social media. Facebook has already revealed several groups in my area. Via this avenue, I found out about a coffee morning and got into direct contact with two lovely ladies via direct message. This is great because I find it safer to reveal how I am feeling in advance and online. When I meet people all too often words get stuck like glue in my mouth and my mind will keep telling me I am saying absolutely the wrong thing and am super boring as a person.
So yesterday off we went to an expat coffee morning in yet another sleepy village. It took us a while to find the venue but that’s OK because we love to explore. I saw a lady with a clothing rail and thought that was a sign and indeed as more cars arrived, it was clear we had found our location.
There was a buzz about the hall with several stalls selling plants, vegetables, jewellery, clothing, jams and chutneys, cakes and crafts. If you know me, you will know that I love nothing better than a stall so I was in my element especially as the prices were ridiculously low. For example, I got what looked like a new Monsoon dress for just 4 Euros. We also got some books in English and a little sign for my daughter.
I identified one lady I had chatted with online and she is here a little longer than us so had good tips and experiences to share. She made me feel at ease so big thanks to her.
I was looking for another lady and asked a woman if she was the same only to find out that she was French and not the person I was looking for at all. The French woman had very little English but was so desperate to help me if she could only work out what I wanted. People are so friendly and helpful here I find.
The real woman I had made a connection with came in and hugged me. As you know I am not great at hugging but have learned not to totally cock it up via blogging events over the years. This lady was so chatty and fun to be around. She really made it easy to settle into the event and almost feel at home.
We stayed almost until the end of the event and I enjoyed chatting with a couple with some gorgeous dogs about Brexit.
I guess all expats know a little of what you are going through so come with at least some degree of understanding and empathy.
My husband and I differ a bit about getting to know expats in France. I think it is a great idea and he is less sure as he says he wants to get to know French people and not just live in a little English bubble. I think we will find the right balance as times goes by.
Do you have experience of getting to know expats in France?