Are we at home yet?

Last September, I blogged about our reverse culture shock and wondered how long it would take us to feel at home here. I talked about some of the ways we knew we weren’t at home (and others must have known too!) – see blog entitled ‘Culture shock – in reverse?’.

Now, a year later, we are feeling more and more at home – but what does that look like?

Well, we know our way round a bit better (I now can find all three supermarkets in our home town).

We are tempted to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road less often (that’s a good thing).

Now we turn our heads when we hear French spoken.

We are aware of fewer gaps in the girls’ spoken English (I even heard one of them talking about ‘the dole’ the other day – until a year ago that meant a mountain top near where we lived in Switzerland!).

We enjoy the ease of having a carry-out (or is it a take-away?).

We are becoming more accustomed to the ‘banter’ that is such a way of life here.

Words like ‘diaper’ and ‘vacation’ and ‘pacifier’ have dropped from our vocabularies (having been added for the sake of ease in conversing with our American friends in Switzerland) – though I must admit I still do think twice when someone asks me if I want to ‘nurse’ their baby!

We are getting used to starting the day later than 6.30am and finishing it later than 9.30pm – though how much of that has to do with having teenage girls?

We are certainly getting used to phoning (not ‘calling’) people and having them phone us later than 9.30pm without automatically thinking it’s an emergency.

It’s interesting how many of these adjustments have had to do with language. I can now use the word ‘coup’ (or is that cowp?) freely in a sentence without having to explain what it means!

But just in case we are tempted to forget our ‘American’ or ‘international’ English, we have had several visitors here to help us keep it fresh. And we have even had the chance to use our French, firstly when Alan and I had the pleasure of escorting the President of Burundi and his entourage at the Franklin Graham event, and then when some Swiss friends visited us earlier in the summer.

Aaaah! the summer! Now, that is something we miss! The weather here is not quite what it was in Switzerland. We are certainly realizing why it is a constant topic of conversation – because it changes constantly. There is an old saying that if you are in Ireland and you don’t like the weather, wait a minute. It’s true that it changes all the time and it’s also true that we get lots of rain (see Alan’s blog about our weekend floods).

But then we didn’t come home for the weather…..


3 thoughts on “Are we at home yet?

  1. Pauline –

    I love reading your blog from time-to-time. And I will say that you guys are too loved for any of your (American OR international) friends to allow you to drop such important key words and phrases from your vocabulary! 😉

    Miss you all!

  2. Hello Pauline,
    Interesting to read your blog. Ah, that reverse culture shock, it hits us all, but glad to hear you are over that tricky first year.
    I started a second blog a few months ago called
    It has proved tremendously popular with those who live here, newcomers to Nyon and even those who used to live here. I will be interviewing Becky Luedtke this week on the Church/Au Pair link for the blog.
    There are photos on the site of things that are happening in Nyon (the banner this week is of Prangins) I’ve even taken a pic of Le Marronier /The chestnut man in Nyon. That will bring back a few memories for you! We are all well and Suzy is in her final year of the Swiss “mat”. She is now babysitting for other peoples children. How time flies… Warm wishes from Nyon Catherine

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