Exactly one year ago today I said a (very) tearful goodbye to family and friends and then hopped on a plane to France, ready to live out a 2 year adventure in the City of Light.
Actually, before the plane part we drove around like maniacal Amazing Race contestants in a borrowed minivan, desperately seeking our travel visas. Then while Husband checked out at the office, I had my last radio sing along with Lady Gaga. Papa-papa-RA-ZZI! And then the car battery died.
So that’s the story of how we almost didn’t make it to France, and how Husband almost killed me right there on the corner of 22nd street. They should put up a plaque!
But thanks to $50 and the Exxon gas station just around the corner, I survived and we did in fact fly to Paris. I remember how disorienting it was: all of my worldly possessions either packed in a shipping crate, sold off or stored in Big Daddy’s basement. No cellphone. No serviceable French language skills.
We arrived jet lagged and emotionally exhausted, but somehow still bursting with excitement. We were in Paris! City of smelly cheese and fresh baguettes! Land of bubbly champagne! So much of it felt like wonderland, except of course for the hideous temporary Ikea couch.
Then Husband went to work and I…did not. With no internet connection, no job, and not one single friend to go drinking with, I was just a wee bit out of sorts those first couple weeks. And just in case you weren’t one of the lucky few getting morose phone calls from France last fall, you can watch me grappling with early-retired/housewife/loser status here:
After watching this, I am shocked. Shocked! Who is that girl!? (I blame it all on France: the mood, the hair, the wonky nose). All I can say one year later is, thank you little baby jesus in velvet pants for helping me come so far.