Well mes amis, here we are: the end of the line. France and I must say au revoir. What a wild and wacky time it has been. I’d have to say that my two years in France have been … weird. A good weird, as in completely different from my life before France, but weird nonetheless. I had no idea what to expect and I’ve learned that there’s no other way for me to roll.
Of course I didn’t do half the things I’d planned on doing. I didn’t see every corner of France. I didn’t eat every delicacy on offer in this mecca of bizarre cuisine. And I didn’t become fluent in French, not even close. But I did meet many extraordinary people and I learned how to offend a lot of them with my well intentioned yet vulgar phrases.
I studied this fascinating culture and I learned many things about this marvelous country. I experienced the incredible French health care system. I trespassed on a few fine estates. I got sweaty with a gaggle of French bodybuilders. I was called out as a vagina owner in a packed pharmacy. I stood in a field of sunflowers taller than me during one of my many moments of existential angst. And I wrote a book. Overall, not bad I’d say.
But all things must end and I’m ready to be existentially anxious in a new place. Come 7 a.m. Monday morning Rusty and I will embark on what may prove to be our toughest transition yet. We have to pack as the movers load, drive 4 hours to the Swiss border, pass a full customs inspection, go over the apartment with a fine tooth comb with the rental agent (the Swiss way is one of rigorous standards in all things) and then begin the set-up. The next day we have to register with the authorities and then tackle the tasks of health insurance, driver’s licences, vehicle importation and full psychiatric assessments, obviously.
I’ll be going offline for a while. Now, don’t look at me like that. Our apartment won’t even have lights (Europeans take EVERYTHING with them when they move) so you can imagine internet service may not be first on our list of priorities. That said, if you don’t hear from me after two weeks, send a few RCMP officers over to the customs office in Vallorbe where I’ll be incarcerated for trying to smuggle in 20 bottles of Miracle Whip.
Anyway, I’ve had a grand time and I hope you have too. I know some of you don’t look too kindly on my abandoning La République, but that’s just because you don’t know my little corner of Switzerland yet. Trust me, you’re going to love it. I don’t know how long this blog will endure (or what to call it now) and I don’t know if there will be another book (tell everyone you know to buy the first one and the chances of a second improve), but for now my plan is to continue telling our story to anyone who cares to listen.
Merci France for hosting us so well and merci beaucoup to all of you for coming along for the ride. See you on the other side.