I’ve been living in France now for just over 19 months and as what you might term an “ex-pat” I have encountered a few problems. Many people have a dream of living in a different country and that doesn’t mean they don’t love their home nation any less just that they wish to go and sample somewhere else’s culture. After recently writing a piece for the lovely people at the Franco British Chamber of Commerce and Industry about why I moved to Paris in the first place I started thinking about the downsides of being a foreigner abroad.
1. Lack of Bacon – Not much needs to be said about this as all I have to say is the lack of this food of the Gods is in limited stock on the continent which is bad news for hangovers and quick dinners.
2. Absence of Family/Friends – Even though there isn’t a massive time difference between France and Blighty but it does impact on when you can call up your nearest and dearest for a chinwag or for moral support.
3. French TV shows – I don’t ask for much from a country but one thing I do require is a decent Masterchef-a-like programme of which France has nothing to offer. Finding sneaky ways to watch John and Greg eating strange taste sensations is just something you have to put up with as a Brit abroad who is in need of some cheeky, light-hearted entertainment.
4. The Weather – Out in Liverpool today, I was commenting on the phenomenon that is sunshine in the UK. As soon as the rays of dawn grace our tired morning eyes we decide to don a pair of shorts and make the most of it. This eternal optimism just doesn’t happen on the continent. Partly because they get good weather most of the time but also because they can be reet miserable. I’d bet you any money that there is a Parisian still in a winter coat and knee high boats walking down Rue de Rivoli at this very moment.
So there you have it. My list of the problems one faces as an ex-pat in the Hexagon. It is by no means exhaustive however it certainly covers most of the main areas that we roast beef lovers have to deal with when living in the land of frog’s legs.