It’s Esasina here…
My mouth has done a lot of “I will write a post today” ,but I decided to take ACTION today.
So HERE we go!!!
Okay so a lot of people go like:
“OMG! You are in France?”
“That is so cool!!”
“I mean you can visit Paris,Louvre,Tour l’Eiffel.Girl!! You are living the life.”
But to be honest…It has not been a bed of roses here in France.
1.I have never lived alone before.
I mean I’ve gone for sleepovers,camps but I never ever lived on my own before.I went to boarding school and even in university,I always had roommates.
So living in France all alone with no roommate or companion was “dur”(means difficult in French).The other Ghanaian student here in a different hostel further away from mine.
My roommates here in France are my bed,sink,laptop,table lamp and fridge.
It was so hard for me to cope.I was frustrated and very lonely in the beginning.
I really respect all those who live alone and manage their lives well.It really is not a walk in the park,GUYS!!
2.The time difference between Ghana and France was 2 hours (it is 1 hour now because of winter).
Anyone who is my friend knows I love conversation so it was not easy to adjust to the break in communication.
The sad part was,it took about a month for me to get my French sim card because I had to meet a number of requirements.It was just someway guys!!
All I could do was Skype and I could log on to the Wi-Fi with just my laptop.
Most of my conversations followed this trend…
Me… Hello Miss Y (6pm in France)
Miss Y… Hi Kwor,in class now..brb (4pm in Ghana)
Me…… Okay cool
Miss Y replies (9pm in Ghana) …. Kwor Love.
I fell asleep.
It was so hard for me because the transition to a new place was already difficult and to top it up I was hardly in touch with my family,friends and loved ones.That was extra hard.
3.I had classmates and no friends yet.
Before I left Ghana,my friends kept telling me that they know I will go to France and end up so many friends because I am sociable.
Eiiii,please it was not like that at all.I walked to school all by myself for more than a month till I found out that my Korean classmate was on my floor.Fortunately,I met a few people in my second month at the Student Party at my residence.
4.Going to the bank with my “French.”
I had gone to the bank twice with an elderly Ghanaian man who speaks French.He spoke on my behalf and it was just fine.The first time I went to my bank unaccompanied,I was confused.No one in the bank spoke or understood English.I tried to explain my mission with the French I knew and I used gestures too,but it was challenging because some terms are technical..mehn!!!
In the end,they understood what I meant and assisted me.They are all my friends now.
5.My shopping strategy has changed.
In Ghana,when I want to shop,I either go to the Accra mall,to the Madina market or go home and shop from my Mummy’s kitchen.
The story is different on this side of town mehnn!!
This is my shopping strategy in France.
1.Do window shopping and compare prices when you taking a stroll.
2.Make a shopping list for the week.
3.Take your backpack and shopping bag(s).
4.Wait for the bus(the buses have a timetable,sometimes I wait for about 10-20 minutes at the stop).
I salute all the cashiers who have served me in France.
I mean,the speed with which the cashier scans all the items and finally shows you how much you are to pay is amazing.
Just when the cashier shows me how much it all cost,I quickly pay and like a marathon,I quickly throw the items into my bag.At this moment the next customer is waiting impatiently for me to finish.Just when I zip up my bag,the cashier starts scanning the next customer’s items. Everytime I go shopping,I am ready for the marathon at the counter.
I then carry my heavy bags and rearrange my things.I quickly run to the bus stop for my bus,sometimes I am just in time.On other days,I have to wait in the cold for about 20 minutes (depending on the day).
In Ghana,I always had a trotro going my direction after shopping.
Like I said,I shop for the week and I cook a lot but,once in awhile I give myself a treat and eat out.There is no Mummy to bring me stew when I have exams.It’s just amazing how I’ve learnt to budget and cook for the week.I feel like a mother..lool!!
6.Managing my money.
There is an estimated amount of money you need to have in your account to obtain a French visa.The French Embassy ensures this,so that you would not be a burden to anyone when you get to France.
Okay…so like I said,the money is your estimated expenditure for the WHOLE ONE year.
I was excited when I saw my bank details on my first week in France.Until I had to pay my school fees,my rent and other expenses.
I am learning to manage my money and to walk away from the beautiful dresses and shoes I keep seeing at H&M and Zara.I am waiting for the “MEGA SALES.”
I am still rocking my black backpack from Ghana even though I have seen beautiful,brown handbags in various shops.
I am still rocking my grey sneakers.It works fine with everything I wear.. so YES!!
We are fine!!
I am learning to buy only what I need and not what I want!!!
I have been in France for 81 days and I am enjoying the experience whilst it lasts and I am learning a lot from living on my own.God has been Faithful to me.
“For everything there is a season,a time for every activity under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Thank you for reading.
Keep on keeping on my Dear.