I have good intentions…

…like feeding crumbs to the local birds just outside my window. Unfortunately, my aim isn’t as great as I want it to be.

The result?

The house owner dropping by three hours later, informing me politely that I ought to NOT throw out stuff from the window because bits of it lands on her balcony. Never mind that I understood her completely in French but I replied in English, thus resulting in her repeating the same thing with hand gestures. Never mind that I feel absolutely sheepish and worse, totally worried now. She probably thinks that I’m some dirty Asian woman.

I really have good intentions…

…like trying to speak French even though I’m a bit tad shy. Unfortunately, when I do get around to it, people just get faster than me, like that lady at the tram station.

The result?

Before I can finish off what I’m saying, she starts on the hand gestures and simplifying her French to just two words – “Un? Deux?” Never mind that I know that what I want; I just have a problem piecing it together in French. Never mind that I feel absolutely crappy at the end of it and worse, slightly turned off. She probably thinks that I’m some arrogant Asian who refuses to integrate.

I really really have good intentions…

…like trying to fit in despite the fact that I look radically different. Unfortunately, I stick out like a sore thumb.

The result?

People stare and worse, people assume. When some of them talk to me, they give me this utterly strange look and on bad days, it’s as if I’m a zoo exhibit. Never mind that I’m trying super hard to not care even though it scares me and worse, it puts me off the idea of fitting in. They probably find me strange…

End of Week 2 and I’m having a not-so-fantastic time adjusting to life here. Maybe I’m just being hypersensitive. I think I’ll look forward to moving to a bigger place. At least I’ll end up throwing crumbs on MY OWN balcony.


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  1. Hmm… kinda makes me worried how I would adapt when I move. At least you DO speak some French. I dont speak ANY Italian at all. Gosh.

  2. Tash: I suspect I’m just having the blues, but seriously, it would be good if you can pick up some basic Italian. It would make life much much easier!

    Nurhanne: Thanks for the vote of confidence. HB says the same thing as well and he even thinks that a baby will help the transition. No…am not pregnant but we *are* trying. 🙂

  3. good luck! i know how disheartening it can be. i used to cheat when i found myself struggling with the local language by switching to english – and immediately regaining the upper hand. but guess what, i got there and even manage to argue with stubborn bureaucrats about paperwork in the end! the assumptions will always be be made by some silly people unfortunately but it’s even more fun to see people completely shocked (and embarrassed) when proven wrong!

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