Part of my motivation for writing a blog is the lack of relevance I’ve felt reading other womens’ journeys in France. They’re typically middle class, anglo (by which I mean Australian, American or British), have journalistic backgrounds, half heartedly studied French while in highschool and who purposefully chose to move to France.I don’t mean to discredit them in any way. For the most part I really enjoyed their stories and I certainly gained more of an insight into the French culture. But a lot of these experiences just did not resonate with me.
First and foremost I am a halfbred Kiwi from the bottom of the world! I am unashamedly working class and along with being part Anglo I am staunchly proud of my Maori heritage. I grew up surrounded by a multitude of Polynesian and Asian cultures so cultural diversity and compromise is the norm for me, not the exception. I reluctantly entered the university system as a mature student and no, I did not learn French in highschool and – far from being a journalist – I failed English! Perhaps the biggest difference between me and the typical “I moved to France, accidently (on purpose) fell in love with a French man and now I own a Bichon Frise” storyline is that I had NEVER in my wildest dreams considered moving to France. Italy sure. Spain, maybe. But France? That country of arrogance, smelly cheese and wine snobs? Yeah Right!
So I see this as an opportunity to share my unique experiences of moving to France. Without having learnt the language, without having had the desire to move there, without having an ounce of journalism under my belt and without the anglocentric tendencies that the other books have. This is not to say I won’t have any complaints or criticisms, quite the contrary. I will probably have a crapload of stuff to complain about. But hey, the French are said to be experts at complaining, so when in Rome.……….