Accents and Americans in Aix

Last year, when I told my mother that D and I were going to move to France she was concerned.  After all, she would be losing her “one and only” daughter to the French; I would be an ocean and 6 hours away.  One of her concerns was that her sweet, introverted daughter wouldn’t have friends in France.

I admit that I feared that my mother would be correct.  After all, I’m not a social queen and this is France.  You can’t just start random conversations with French people on the subway or at the Super-U.  As much as you may want to practice your French starting a conversation with les français is not be recommended.  So, how do you go about making friends?  The easiest way for an expat to make new friends is through the expat network.  Well, I had a challenge: geography.  D and I were moving to Nice and not the expat vortex that is Paris.   But that’s why the internet is such a great tool.  (Hey, I found D on the internet why not connect with new friends that way too!)

Through my blog I’ve had the pleasure to connect with other bloggers here in France that geography was made insignificant.

On Saturday, D and I made the drive from Nice to Aix-en-Provence to meet with the people behind the following blogs:

Sara from Sara in Le Petit Village

Charley from 365 things that I love about France

B from Is there such a thing as too much Cheese?

Piglet from Piglet in France

Aidan from Conjugating Irregular Verbs

Kirsty from You had me at Bonjour

Piglet mentioned in her post that it was difficult dealing with the various accents in a crowded restaurant.  (Piglet: I second that.)  Somehow, in my head, everyone was accent neutral.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The only person I could hear and understand over the din was Charley.  I found I had to concentrate a little to understand the Australian and English accents.  But that was one of the joys of this meeting too.  I now know what these ladies sound like and I have a truer sense of who they are beyond the words they share with us.

The second is that I was introduced to two new blogs I didn’t follow before.  I think I had spied B’s blog a while back and lost track.  (I’m back on track baby!)  Somehow I had never come across Kirsty’s blog but I did some snooping and it’s a beautiful blog.  (Seriously Kirsty, you had me at bonjour.)

Sadly, the blogapalooza had to come to an end but I’m looking forward to our next meeting.  In Nice perhaps?

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Categories: expats, getting out

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and France!

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15 Comments on “Accents and Americans in Aix”

  1. March 8, 2011 at 9:07 AM #

    I’ll do Nice!
    And next time we definitely need a round table, much easier for conversing.
    Fantastic meeting you Tanya, really looking forward to seeing you again 🙂

  2. March 8, 2011 at 9:32 AM #

    Was fantastic to meet you and D, Tanya, and to also discover your blog. I had a great afternoon and am looking forward to doing it again, and Nice sounds AWESOME! Will promise to speak slower next time!

    • March 8, 2011 at 2:19 PM #

      LOL, I think it was more the noise in the restaurant than it was your accent. 🙂
      It really was great meeting you and your blog and photos are gorgeous!

  3. Tuula
    March 8, 2011 at 9:41 AM #

    Sorry I missed everyone! Would have loved to add my American accent to the mix 🙂 Hope to catch y’all the next time!

  4. March 8, 2011 at 12:18 PM #

    Hi Tanya! It has been awhile since I have been here. I was looking at Piglet’s blog & wanted to come & see your version, too. How fun that you guys got to do this meetup! And so fun to see a very pregnant Piglet there. 🙂 I take expat meet-ups for granted here in Paris — they have been so much fun. I am so happy to know that some of you bloggers in other regions had a chance to connect F2F, too.

  5. March 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM #

    Very jealous! I will soon be a London blogger but my heart really resides in France. Expect me to crash your France/Nice/Paris blog parties… 🙂

    • March 8, 2011 at 2:18 PM #

      @Oneika: for sure! You’ll be the honorary French blogger!

      @Karin: It was a lot of fun. Outside Paris we’re just so spread out; not many of us in the same city, or so it seems. (Yeah, Piglet is very pregnant. That belly of hers is almost a shelf. But she looks gorgeous anyway.)

      @Tuula: you were missed! I hope your weekend was a good one.

  6. March 8, 2011 at 4:31 PM #

    Yay! Nice write up! It was lovely to meet you and D too Tanya, I hope we will get another opportunity soon 🙂

    I agree with Sara about the round table and I’m sure with a bit less noise I’ll adjust to the accents easier next time… I’ll also NOT be pregnant anymore and will have more brain capacity to use!


  7. March 8, 2011 at 10:05 PM #

    Nice works for me too!

    I didn’t have any trouble understanding anyone – but then again, as we established, I watch a lot of TV so accents don’t sway me. And I work with a bunch of Anglos from all over the globe (including a few Glaswegians – now THAT’s a tough one to follow).

    Do I really sound that Australian (pronounced -Oz-stray-yun)?
    Darn it.
    I’m really aiming for a Cate Blanchett, universal style, classy accent. Boo.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
    Lovely write-up Tanya.

    • March 9, 2011 at 9:37 AM #

      Normally accents don’t sway me either but it was a little difficult with the noise in the restaurant. And yes, there’s no mistaking that you’re Australian! 🙂

      Looking forward to seeing everyone again too!

  8. March 9, 2011 at 10:17 PM #

    I’ll meet anywhere, that was too much fun. So nice to meet you, courageous girl Tanya!! 🙂


  9. March 10, 2011 at 5:35 PM #

    I’ve met a few bloggers in the UK – so fun! Off to read more of your posts on your lovely blog. ..

    Oh, perhaps you would like to join me for my Expat Link Up on March 19th? I hope to see you then, if not sooner.

  10. March 17, 2011 at 1:15 PM #

    Hi Tanya!
    I’ve been really interested to read your blog, my partner is French and we have lived in the UK and Australia for almost 2 years now but will be moving to Nice in September this year. I’m quite anxious as my French is only conversational and I worry about finding a job, but also quite excited as Nice is so beautiful and I think an amazing place to live. I’d love to hear any advice you have or tips for before I move to France!

    • March 17, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

      Bienvenue Kristy!
      September is a great time to be in Nice. The crowds have started to thin out as the August tourists go home but the weather is still divine then.

      My best advice for you would be to do some research. I’m still finding my way about too, as we moved here Aug 2010, so I try to learn as much as possible. The job market here is quite small and, from what I understand, is very network-based (meaning: it’s not just about your skills etc but about being connected to people in your industry).

      As I’m currently in a similar boat, I’m learning as I go and will be posting any updates in the future. If there is anything specific you want to know you can drop me a note via my contact me page.

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