It has almost been one month since I have moved in with the French family in St. Etienne. It is quite different than living with my friends but I expected it to be. Here is a quick rundown of the family:
Mike - He is kind of like an architect; he helps design the blueprints to remodel the interior of buildings. He actually made the blueprints for the apartment which is pretty cool. Apparently it was an office building before although you would never think that when looking at it now. Like many French people, he always wants to introduce me to foods I have not yet tasted. Definitely not a problem for me.
Frédérique- Secretary at the school I am currently working at. About half my size and a good foot shorter than me. Incredibly friendly and sweet natured. She really liked studying English when she was in highschool so she tries to use some English vocabulary when we talk.
Emilie- Mike and Frédérique’s 8 year old daughter. Very independent and opinionated, she has no problem telling you what she thinks. She is very inquisitive about the USA and asks me lots of questions. She was stunned when I told her that you could not drive a car to the US.
Robin- Mike and Frédérique’s 5 year old son. Looks just like a mini version of his dad. He loves to play the Wii when he is not romping around the house. He likes telling everyone that I am an American and I live with them. This includes his friends, teacher and the cashier at the supermarket.
Roukie- 10 year old beagle. She sleeps most of the time but also enjoys sneaking into my room to stick her snout into the garbage can.
Cowboy and Fremous- two guinea pigs. They live in a cage in the laundry room and always scamper away to hide when I go to do my laundry.
Of course family life has its ups and downs. I try to be extra quite at night so I don’t wake the kids up with my music or talking on skype. Kids being kids, like to run around and scream and laugh loudly at all hours of the day, including the mornings when I don’t work. However it is really fun to talk with them. Frédérique told me that Emilie loves my accent and tries to imitate me. They have been exceptionally welcoming to me and always are really pleased to talk with me.
I have to admit, I miss the atmosphere of living with my friends, however I think this is the best situation for me. The family is friendly, I am extremely close to my work, the train station and the center of town and the rent is decently priced for city living. So far, so good!
I tooks some pics of my humble abode for you as well: