Well, expectations are a tricky thing. You often don`t know that you have them until they have been broken. You can speculate, search deep inside for the things that you want to see, the things that you hope to see, and the things that you dread to see, but who`s to know whether they are real or simply a product of on overactive imagination? But, if I`m forced to give some expectations about France, then I will. I expect there will be a lot of Frence people there speaking a lot of very rapid and almost incomprehensible French. I will have a very hard time. I won`t flatter myself; learning a language is hard and it takes years to learn one completely, a life time even. I am going to try to learn it in a year. Good luck with that, you may say. Merci, I will need it. I also expect htat there will be a lot of food, very good food, that I will force myself to try every bit of. I may as well take advantage of the oportunities granted to me during my voyage, non? I also expect everyone will be much better dressed than me. It is true here, and I expect it is no less true in the fashion capital of the world. I also expect to do a lot of walking. Eco-concious people love that, and none more than the French, though I am told it is a european epidemic. Don`t get me wrong; I love trees and animals and air I can breathe, I am simply making a conjecture thatit may be possible to be too concious to the point of paranoia. That is the French. My past expereinces in France have led me to believe that it will also be full of hypocracy. The French love to do that. It keeps people guessing. For example, they love the enviornment and love to be sseen as the eco-warriors, but more people smoke here per capita than any where else I have ever been. Go figure. I have no ideq what to expect about my host family, the town; or the school. I have worked hard to keep it that way. I don`t like expectations because they are misleading, and often disappointed. If you have never been to Paris, it is one of those cities that can do no wrong in your mind, but you get there and see it is more crowded, dirty, and, well, normal than you expected. Its still wonderful; but you still feel somehow let down that there are no baretts, no muscians or painters on every street cornor, and no amour pour vous. The French qre regular people, with regular lives, living among a history and a culture that we find facinating, but they can do wrong. I would rather evaluate them on truth and expereince than fallacy, dream, and expectation. I mean who would want to be called Freedom-landers anyway? Don`t laugh, that is a direct quote. In the end, i think it is kinder both to them and to myself to simply wait and see, anticipating surprise instead of the surprises.
Picture courtesy of flickr.com, no author listed.