I think it's getting worse.
22.11.2009 9 °C
Yeah, that's right. I think it might be getting worse. Here I was, on this steady upward incline to fluency and this entire month has just been... kind of flat. My accent seems to be getting worse, and the fluidity of my words isn't as it was at one point. I'm also probably just over exaggerating that, but I really do feel that recently, I've been tripping over my words, often having to rely on liquid courage to get over the little hump of hesitation.
I remember when I was in France the first time around. I was always so hesitant to speak. I doubted myself, doubted my abilities, thought too much about the language and its connection to the other languages I spoke, tried to find ways to make it easier by analyzing, scrutinizing every tiny individual word and grammar rule... Only to realize that I was missing the big picture by not actually looking at the big picture. Hmm... that sounds awfully complicated. Well, that's me.
But this time around in France, that hurdle has been overcome. Mostly. I don't scrutinize, I don't look at ever detail and instead, concentrate on the big picture of the French language: getting my point across, making sense, having a conversation. Making mistakes, it's going to happen. So why spend time worrying about it? I make a mistake, I get corrected, I remember the correction for future reference. I move on. I think every aspect of my life should be led like that and not spent thinking too much about past mistakes, past regrets, tiny details that don't matter.
I have been a bit rusty on the French recently. Maybe since the past few days I've been actually studying for the first time since I've been here. I've got 3 research papers coming up all relating to linguistics, child development and psychology (good thing this actually interests me but researching and writing in French... ew), an exam on roughly 60 dates of the Ancient Regime along with a paper on the topic, and teaching myself the entire work of the Old Testament. That one was interesting, as I only realized Friday evening that this class I've been taking called Recits Fondanteurs is actually a class on the Old Testament and not the New Testament. And that Moses in French is actually Moïse. Yeah... Though being in France has also made me realize how much I love teaching myself a class. Doesn't matter if I don't understand something because it's in French or because I'm in the States and the professors are still incompetent, there is such an immense satisfaction in teaching yourself the material. You are your own best teacher because only you know how best you learn. Right? Well I think so anyways...
I've decided that in this last 5 weeks I have in Lille (I have 7 left, but 2 of those are going to be spent in Germany and Slovakia), I really want to go and just check shit out. So I've made myself a little list:
1) Go check out Vieux Lille with all its shops, architecture, it's little church, go to a cafe, a nice restaurant, the market.
2) Rent a bike again. I love renting bikes.
3) Check out the Vieille Bourse and get a really cool trinket/book/used postcard.
4) Go to the Citadelle. Still haven't done that.
5) Eat at Meert. Charles de Gaulle loved that place as a kid.
6) Make Crepes.
7) Sit in a cafe all day and write in my journal. All day. Or at least all afternoon.
8) Go to a bar and get the largest drink possible. Oh, that's a bad one...
9) Cook Indian food for someone again.
10) Go to the Opera.
11) I'm sure there's still one more museum I want to go to.
12) Take the metro to each opposite end, even the one that goes right near Belgium. And then walk to Belgium. And do that stupid "Hey look I'm in two countries at the same time!" thing.
I think that's about it. Oh, and take lots of pictures. And just chill. And enjoy France. Take it all in. I don't fancy doing the extended goodbye thing. At least not until the last week I'm here. Trying not to think about all that. I've still got a while to go before I head home. Though, it doesn't make me feel any better that I just bought my TGV ticket back to the airport.