A year on our expat life and I thought it was time to sit back, reflect on it all. Is it the good life?
It still takes me by surprise, most days, that we are living abroad. It was not in the plan, I am not sure what was but I had not considered that we would live abroad. Luxembourg is not far from the UK, not all has changed, but enough has to make you sit and realise, for it to occasionally take your breath away.
Learning, trying to speak French is hard work. I have had lessons for a year. Yes I can manage buying food, ordering in a restaurant, asking for things and I can hold a basic conversation. Fear of getting it wrong holds me back from speaking more. When I am in meetings at the library I can keep up with listening, I get the gist, but speaking in the meeting, I have not got enough brain power for that! My achievement of the year is reading 90% of the letters that come home from school with out a dictionary. But we live in Luxembourg and it is a truly multi lingual place. French is spoken here but so is Luxembourgish and German. To illustrate how it works, Pook speaks mainly Luxembourgish in school, but letters and official paperwork are always in French and the main newspapers , well they are in German!
Pook can now speak Luxembourgish well, having learnt though ‘direct immersion’ at Spillschoul. It is incredible to hear your child speak a language of which you can only master the basics. And I mean the basics, Hello, Goodbye and a few numbers! Meemoo is staring precoce in September so she will learn Luxembourgish too. I think it is time for me to start lesson so I have a small chance of keeping up!
Living in a capital city, all be it a small one, has given us so many things to do. It has been rare that weekend passes without some event somewhere. We have enjoyed Street Art Performances, Schueberfouer (massive funfair) Apple picking festivals a bus ride away, Christmas markets, Easter festivals. If we have not we have a whole new city to explore full of museums and new sites to see.
Honeslty I did not think I would enjoy living in a city so much. Its charm is in is compactness. You can get on a city bus and within minutes discover beautiful countryside.
A change is as a good a rest….right? So the saying goes, but some days it feels like everything has changed and you are left standing on shifting sands. Some days it is really hard. These are the days when I cant speak enough French, or I really want a Chocolate Digestive. Some days it is really lonely or too hot in the sun or too cold in the winter. But then it surprises you. You get to take delight in experiencing new things and making friends who are from all over the world. Please don’t think I am not enjoying my new life. I am having an amazing adventure. One that I never saw coming. One I am not sure I want to end!