What is this blog all about?

The main purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the things I do, in my everyday life, in order to improve my English. Since I am a very lazy person, I mostly read, and watch movies, and do things which make it possible for me to improve my vocabulary, my grammar and my accent without getting bored... So this blog is going to be about the books I read, the movies I watch, and some other things which I find relevant (or not)...

I hope you'll like it! Don't hesitate to leave comments if you have any suggestions concerning what I should write about!!

mardi 24 avril 2007

My girl's a Yorkshire girl...

Good evening!! Well, my wrist is kind of sore, reader... Wonder why... :)

I'm pretty blue, as well, don't really know why either, I miss France even more than usual, and feel like calling home, but my phone is blocked, and I can't!! I want my mum!!!! Anyway. What I can do, and I'm sure it will make me feel better, is share my sister with you guys!! Well, actually, not exactly my sister, but her answers to my questionnaire. She spent a school year in Bradford as an Erasmus student, and here is what she has to say about her experience!! Thanks for answering, Marion!!!

1. Why did you go to an English speaking country?

Essentially because I already knew the language. Not only was it easier for me, it was a requirement of my university too, (I spent a year abroad as part of an Erasmus exchange program). I also chose England because it was not too far from my own country: I was very enthusiastic about moving abroad, but only if I was able to go back when I wanted to!

2. Did you run into any difficulties there? (integration, paperwork...)

As far as papers are concerned, no problem whatsoever, but the Erasmus effect makes everything very easy. Integration was not that hard either, once I got over the phase when I only dared to enter the common kitchen if there was no one in it

It was also a little difficult to integrate in the city of Bradford, where there was a lot of violence, and a tense atmosphere between the different communities. Indeed, Bradford welcomes an important percentage of immigrants, who essentially come from Asia. Their integration into the "white" society is not always easy, and among the immigrants, there are frequent conflicts between Idians and Pakistanis, because of their religious differences and the tension which exists between their two countries.

The town I come from in France is fairly small, quite touristic, very rich... And very very peaceful, so the contrast was quite stunning. But, well I wouldn't really call that difficulties. Just a little trouble adapting!

3. What are your two favourite aspects of the English culture? The two aspects you like least?

My two favourite aspects would probably be:

- the warmth and generosity of the English. They are a little difficult to get close to, but once their door is open, they are very thoughtful and extremely nice.

-Coming from France, I enjoyed the non-Latin atmosphere a lot. In England, people are not as careful about clothing as in France, girls can wear sportswear even outside the gym, can eat or drink whatever they like, and nobody will bug them about how it's not very ladylike... It was a pretty refreshing atmosphere, even if there are downsides to this, too (including, for example, the fact that I put on a few kilos during my stay)

The two aspects I liked least? it's a bit more difficult to find those... Let's say...

-The lack of respect for food, and therefore for one's own body. I did not miss the French gastronomy too much, I found it pretty easy to buy all the ingredients that are necessary to prepare very French dishes, (except, of course, for bread). What's different is not so much the food as the relationship to food. For the English, it has mainly a useful purpose. You eat only to prevent being hungry, and if it's nice, that's bonus. Completely different from the French mentality, which considers food first and foremost as a pleasure.

-The fact that the English are awfuly xenophobic. I sometimes had the impression that they divide humanity in two categories, themselves, and the rest of the world. This high consideration of England leads of course to a certain contempt for the rest of the world. Not to mention of course their hate of the French, but that's another thing...

4. Do you think that your experience would have been different if you had been other than French?

Insofar as by and large, the English hate the French, and vice versa, I guess it must have changed some things. But I also think that the country you are born and raised in changes your idea of a lot of things, from the role of men and women (see above, for non-machism) to the way you judge a country's political system, and one's own relationship to his or her country, or the way one structures his or her thoughts (one year of philosphy for everybody is a French idea...) Of course national culture is modified by a lot of individual factors, and therefore has a different impact on everybody, but in my opinion, it still is a determining element. In a word, yes.

5. Now that you're back, whot would you say of the outcome of your stay? Is it a country where you could live on a longer basis?

Well, general outcome is definitely positive, in every area (more experience, language skills, kilos...) I really loved my year over there. And I think I could live there for a longer time, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Now reader isn't it amazing how people seem to be very different in different parts of England?? There are quite a lot of differences between the answers of my two sisters!! Maybe it's because of the high percentage of French people in London compared to Bradford; they see a lot of us, and learnt to appreciate our undeniable perfection... :D

Well, I guess I'll stop there, I might write another post tonight, I got sudden inspiration from my revision program of this afternoon... but then again, since I am a lazy butt, I might also just turn on the TV and watch... what... WHAT??? An add for fish pâté in a tube, with a guy saying "voulez vous pâté avec moi?"???? Oh my!!! Oooooooh my!!! I'm just about to re-faint!!! What the hell happened to you Austrians?! I turn on the TV, and that's what I find??? Amazing... truly amazing... I need to focus on this!! See you!!!

4 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Ah ahah, merci. Pour les différences, c'est vrai que Françoise et moi ne sommes pas allées tout à fait dans le même pays, je trouve. Je ne vais pas te refaire le refrain sur la société de classe et tout, mais tu vois l'idée.

Claire a dit…

Non, oui, je vois l'idee... mais quand meme, c super bizarre, le jour et le nuit, en ce qui concerne les francais!!! Merci encore!! Bisoux!

Fran a dit…

Haha, ouais, trop drôle, entre les Northern oafs (oaves ???) et les Southern pansies (ça au moins je sais comment ça s'écrit) !


Voilà, c'était mon commentaire constructif of the day.

Mais faut dire que j'ai plus qu'un paragraphe à écrire pour la LCA du we, et après c'est les vacaaaaaaaaaances... jusqu'à dimanche soir !!

Claire a dit…

On pourrait organiser un forum de discussion!! En tous cas, vive les vacances!!! moi aussi, chuis en ouikeeeeeend!!!!