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Back to reality

I wasn't sure where to put this topic, but here goes:
 I don't claim to speak for other british people in France, but for us, during the last 16 years we have had a very contented and peaceful life in rural France. However, I've always had at the back of my mind that we were hiding away from reality, and now we're coming down to earth with a bump.
The cultural changes here since 2001 are huge.
There are compensations though - mainly the language,and being nearer family. I think we have been very fortunate to be able to afford to make this choice of where to live in our retirement.
For various reasons we decided against applying for french citizenship.
Any views? (ie on 'the french dream' is only a dream.)
And ALBF has no need to reply as I know what he will say.

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Re: Back to reality

It does not matter where you are, its making the most of it, getting involved and realising life is moving on and you have to keep up with it.

We have been here for over 20 years in a country village where life moves slowly. Currently changing it all for life in a French city, which many would consider a backwards step, but it suits us.

The French dream soon becomes the French nightmare if you don't constantly work at it, as will any dream.
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Re: Back to reality

Are you now back in UK PaftF?
I think your experiences are not unique. I lived in Canada for two years..before the internet so my contact with the UK was limited to a weekly phone call and the papers that my mum sent. When I return to Uk I was completed culture shocked as it felt so different to what I remembered. If you live in a place then you adapt to those changes as they happen. In the 7 years since we've been in this part of France it's changed busier, more cars, more shops, etc.and houses being built everywhere.
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Re: Back to reality

Weird stuff happens when you aren't in your native land for extended periods. I remember thinking it must be a bit like being sent to prison for a shortish sentence when I came back from one stint abroad to find there were several new coins I'd never seen before, among other changes. And that was years ago, when everything moved more slowly.
It was even a huge shock to go back to an area we used to live recently, with a vague thought that we'd like to move back there. It was as if the whole place had become another planet in a relatively brief 20 years. And that's a place only about 15 miles away from where we'd been living. I can only imagine how much more marked that difference must seem if you've been in another country!
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: Back to reality

Having worked for a company that used a lot of international delegates (secondments) to instil a company culture around the world I have seen a great deal of reverse culture shock when the delegate and his/her family return home - and often after just 3 years. Certainly not just British, but Australian, American, French, German, Spanish as well.

A European Rahinja.
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Re: Back to reality

Yes, Andy, I remember your telling me some years back on here that, if I were to go back to the UK, I'd certainly have a culture shock.

Actually, I don't even have to go back, I just need to turn on the TV.  Can't seem to understand the language, especially the lastest slang words.  I have to listen carefully and might have to work out carefully what things might mean.

Years ago, when I went back to my old school, I couldn't believe what a titchy place it was and the playing fields were tiny and the bike sheds had become practically non-existent.  Strange how everything appears small when you go back as an adultSmile [:)]

PS and oh, the teachers seemed ancient!

Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: Back to reality

Nowadays bike sheds are taboo, dear, they are far too non PC
Ticking over, just about.
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Re: Back to reality

PatF, i can’t wirk out where you are. I presume you have moved back to the UK, is that correct?
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