I have officially spent a week abroad and while in the last post I recognized the differences between cultures, I have now already begun to see my personal growth. If you ask anyone I know, they would confirm that I am a type A person. I am 20 minutes early to everything, my calendar is color coded and organized, and I worry about everything that can go wrong when planning an event and prepare accordingly.
With the few days of experience in France, I am convinced that nothing happens on time: teachers are late, busses are late, restaurants don’t follow their posted times. I receive schedules and plans as the events happen. Everything is lackadaisical with planning happening on the spot instead of well in advance. This laid-back culture has fed into my everyday actions already: I arrive to class on time since the teacher isn’t expected to be there until late anyway; I haven’t filled out my calendar since being over here and not receiving the program’s schedule until the morning of classes; and I no longer question the plan for the upcoming days.
I’m given vague information and have learned to accept it. Plans change at a pace I have never considered possible and I roll with it. If France has taught me nothing else, it’s that enjoying a three hour, three course meal should be the highlight of the day and never the work or school completed. It’s about the relationships you have made and strengthened rather than your personal accomplishments.