Why France? Talking with Sini
In this series, I want to take a look at why people come to France. Everyone has their own personal struggles and triumphs as an expat – but I would love to take a look at patterns and similarities between each individual.
Today we have a guest post from Sini at Bons Baisers de France. She tells us about her big move from Finland to France.
Since I was kid, I have had a thing for France. Loving the films by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, I was thinking that France must be amazing country and I wanted to move there someday. That was long time before I met my french boyfriend Raphaël. After 2 years together in a long distance relationship, I decided to finally give my dreams a try and I reserved a place at university of Avignon, to learn french, book my flight tickets and resigned from my job. I was relieved when I came, moving here was like coming home.
My first impression of France was that people are friendly, so welcoming and they eat much! Really much! Oh mon dieu! Avignon is a beautiful city, I still find it magical and I’m really lucky to live in this kind of place. Now after these years, I’m starting to realise that everything is not like a dream – there are problems too. Now I know how it feels to be a foreigner, I was confronted to bad attitudes after some people realised that I’m not french. Luckily it’s just few ones, most of the people are lovely.
Oh yes, I do now! That is something really important, specially in southern France. Most of the people don’t speak english at all, and the ones who do, have a heavy accent and I have a hard time understanding. I started learning french at the local university, after the first semester I already had improved enough to paddle out in daily situations. Second semester, I was speaking alright and I got my first job in France. It’s important so you can build your own life here.
4.) Do you feel integrated into life in France?
Quite well, it has been a bumpy road but I’m still hanging on. I’m not a quitter, although a few times I felt like leaving back to Finland. Just need to stay positive and try!
But with the support of Raphaël and his family, my family in Finland and all the new friends I have got along the way, I’m happy here.
5.) What do you miss the most about your native country?
My family, everyday more and more. I try to visit them a few times a year, but it’s not much compared to how much time we used to spend together. I miss sauna, the finnish nature with forests and lakes, finnish mid summer and snow at winter.
I feel like I’m on holidays, as south France is so different from Finland. All the small boutiques, people, great food and sunshine at summer make me feel good. When driving to north,there are mountains and driving to south, there are amazing beaches. Love this life!
I’m a beginner with wines, I didn’t actually drink any when I came here. I do now drink some, only white and rosé. Best ones I like come from Côtes du Ventoux and Châteauneuf du Pape.