5 ways I can tell I’m settling into life in France.

I may have the passport, but being officially French and feeling settled here are two different things. Here are a few ways I know I’m getting used to the French way of life.

1. My rebooted ideas on road safety…

When crossing the road, I no longer look the wrong way or feel panicked that I’ve looked the wrong way and so end up looking both ways, at least twice. I calmly approach the crossing and confidently look in the right directly. My brain has been retrained. Talking of which, I’ve also stopped assuming people will stop for me on a zebra crossing. Apparently, that’s only a thing in the UK and I should not get angry about people ignoring me waiting to cross.

 2. Accepting black coffee

Although other alternative milks are sometimes available, la vache tends to dominate - and the others cost you more. As I’m both cheap and conscious of seeming rude I have quickly adapted to drinking black coffee. I’ve not quite got to the ‘espresso with no sugar’ level yet but I have worked out I can sit in a café for less than 2euros if I have a shot and a soya cappuccino will set me back closer to 5.

 3. Becoming a regular

Talking of sitting in a café for long periods of time, we are now actual regulars in the café near school. To the extent that when I went in alone the other day the waitress assumed I was waiting for Rich to arrive before I ordered. (Also a clue we need to spend more time apart?!) She met our daughter today and had a lovely chat with her and basically, I can’t wait to see her again tomorrow.

 4. Making friends

I may sound a little obsessed with that waitress but that’s because it’s nice to talk to someone beyond ‘Bonjour’ at the school gates. So I’ve done that ‘New Mum in Town’ thing of posting on Facebook groups with subtle messages like ‘Will you be my friend?’ and even text the other New Mum from E’s class to see if she will be my friend. I’m not forcing it, I promise. But my hard work has paid off as I went for coffee with a lovely local mum and it was great to talk to someone other than Rich.

5. Getting excited about autumn

For the last few weeks we have been mocking anyone in jeans or a leather jacket, as it has been in the top 20s and to me that’s close to ‘too hot to function’… But this week it rained (for a whole 2 hours) and I got so excited I immediately whipped out my Dr Martens and corduroy dungarees. Rather than being upset by the cold, I was genuinely excited to get the duvet out and wear jumpers. Turns out it’ll be closer to 30 next week so I guess I shouldn’t pack away my cozzie just yet.