I’ve never thought for the life of me that I would live here in Paris. The thing is that in one of my classes back at the university, I was assigned to present the French political system. I passed the subject by the way. At that time, I have known three French expressions only like “oui”, “bonjour” and “l’état c’est moi”. Oh, well, we can add up the “laissez-faire” which always came up during our exams.
Now, I am a resident of Paris. Time flies so fast. I do remember my first months here in France. When I was on my way back to the Philippines to visit my friends and family, the memories flashed as the plane took off like a slideshow inside my head recapitulating the two years I’ve lived in Paris. I’ve had my share of those winter tears. I’ve missed my work and the responsibilities that I’ve had. When I came here in France, I couldn’t speak the language so having the kind of work that I’ve had in Philippines was not one of the options.
A month after my arrival here which was also a month after my resignation in the Philippines, I’ve already started my nannying. This career shift was kind of abrupt - from working with the military to working with kids. En plus, the upbringing here is so different from that of our country. I’ve noticed that the kids are already vocal on what they want and believe. For example the kids do not hesitate to ask a stranger adult to get their toy which got stuck somewhere at the park. In the Philippines, the kids are quite timid and are not supposed to argue with the adults. When adults are talking, it will be disrespectful for kids to butt into the conversation without being asked. The hierarchy is so present there. Still, we cannot really compare the two cultures especially in one paragraph. There are always pros and cons to each way of raising kids.
The nannying stuff really challenged my guts even if it is just two hours per day. Nevertheless, I don’t want to change a thing should there be a genie popping out of the bottle because I have learned a lot. Firstly, changing nappies. Then, the most important things are: learning to have patience, keeping my cool and finding quick resolutions to kids’ war in public. It surely is better than dealing with warring countries though. Being unable to control them reflects your skills so I’m glad I’ve developed this one.
Then, in the course of my job searching, I’ve encountered some people who were able to achieve what they have wanted to be here and regardless of age. The reasonable “what-you-want-to-be” of course and when you learn French. I’ve heard myself in the Philippines and many others said, I’m too old to do this or it’s too late to do this. I’m not saying bad things about the Philippines, I’m just saying what I’ve observed. What I love here is that, there is no such thing as “it’s too late”. A career change is not difficult to imagine even at your 60s or 80s. Well, if you choose not to retire and continue on working.
I know life is harsh with the news on wars, terrorism and unemployment but this city still welcomes dreams, dreamers and starters. This is one of the reasons I guess that Don and I came up with the idea of starting this blog. I don’t really remember who brought this up first. All I know is that we’re discussing over a coffee about my own blog and the things about moving in to another country which is totally different from yours. Like always, adapting is not that easy for most people, I included. We ended up sharing about the difficulties we’ve encountered. In this blog, we’d love to know people’s experiences, learn from them and also to check on our progress, on how we’re gonna make it here, years from now.
Just before the plane touched down at Charles de Gaul Airport back in 2016, two questions came up in my head. I was like, “Paris, what do you have for me and what do I have for you?” Questions that are answerable for now with “on verra”. So, on verra.