This isn't just about French guys but also guys living in France (of any origin) really... It is so bizarre. At the moment I seem to just attract guys wherever I go and all of them seem so nice, complimentary, flattering and chivalrous.
I guess in Sydney I never hung around guys as friends (and would attract a random guy in the street maybe once or twice a year) and I feel that it's much harder to meet people there than in France or Europe. Of course it was very hard for me initially to meet people but now I found I'm that snowball rolling down the hill gathering more snow and gaining momentum... life here just gets easier as time goes on (and makes me all the more sad that I'm leaving so very very soon). :(
This morning I sat in again on a French class taught by one of the teachers at my school. Last time I sat in on a class in the lycée which I think was première (11th grade) and today it was in the collège, 5ème (7th grade). What a difference it was!
First of all, last time I was almost falling asleep because I couldn't keep up. The level was far too difficult for me but today it was more at my level and I was able to understand everything. Even so, the teacher and the kids speak soooo fast. And there is no way I can write French at that level yet.
In the whole time I've been at this school I've barely had any contact with this teacher at all, apart from the odd "Bonjour" or "Salut" here and there. It wasn't till I asked if I could sit in on his classes that we finally started talking...
I admit that I don't get along with a lot of the teachers. I think it's mainly because my French isn't good enough yet so when they talk in the staffroom or in the canteen I really have no idea what they are talking about! I can have a decent conversation with someone 1:1 since there is eye to eye contact and body language, etc, and I only have to focus/concentrate on one person but when it's lots of people and also with background noise, my brain just turns to mush.
Anyway so we talked a bit after the class (about the kids) and then he was like, "Are you coming to lunch?" I can barely remember a single time where one of the other teachers 'invited' me to come to lunch with them. I usually just go with the other assistant C or I go alone at a time which suits me. I mentioned that I forgot my swipe card back in the internat and needed to get it and he said not to worry, I can just use his. I thought it was really nice and always appreciate it when people are nice to me because at the beginning when I first arrived I admit that I felt that most people were mean and cold. I'm not actually sure if it's me that's changed, or them, or both or what.. probably both. I guess my impressions of them and behaviours towards them (everyone at the school) have changed a lot too since I've gotten more confident with the situation.
It makes me sad that I have to leave just when I'm feeling more at ease at making friends with the teachers...
Of course he let me walk through the door first too as has almost every single male I've come across. Then during lunch I was sitting at a table of about 10 other teachers. I couldn't understand what the heck they were saying of course but still it felt nice to be part of a group because I actually gotten used to eating alone or with only 1-2 other people.
After lunch and after a class, I went to administration to talk and ask about something. I'll miss the lady there too. She does all my paperwork for me and at first we were just on professional terms but then the day we started tutoyering each other it became a lot more like we were friends.
OK I didn't forget the title of this post... so where was I? Then I bumped into a teacher that I work with who thanked me for some work I did for a class last week. I was also dumbfounded by this as I thought what I did was honestly not that great... she said no, it was really helpful, etc etc.
Then, on my way back to the internat I had the strangest bizarre experience but then when I think about my other experiences in France, maybe it's not so bizarre afterall.
I was stopped by two random male students I had never seen/met before. They started gushing about how beautiful and attractive I was. "Mademoiselle, vous êtes ravissante." "Vous êtes magnifique." etc. One wanted my phone number so we could go out, etc etc.. I was laughing. Was I on candid camera? I asked, "C'est une blague, ou quoi ?" ("Is this a joke, or what?") They said no. Then to prove a point they asked 2-3 random strangers/staff members if THEY thought I was attractive etc and they all said "Well, yes she is..." OMG talk about embarrassing. Luckily I didn't turn bright red.
Then one of the students put his arm around my shoulders and started stroking my hair and saying how beautiful my hair was and kept persisting in asking for my phone number. I kept saying "Je peux pas..." (I can't...) His friend said, "Stop that, you're scaring her." I said, "You're not scarying me. I just find this all very bizarre."
They didn't even know I was a teacher at the school and I said that I was a prof d'anglais (English teacher) and then they were saying they wished they had me as their teacher... and, "Wow, you're from Australia?" I asked how old they were and they said 18 and 19. One had Turkish origins and the other Algerian.
OMG Honestly I didn't know what to think or how to act. I was very weirded out by the whole thing but at the same time flattered and found it highly amusing. I always thought that kind of thing only happened in big cities or to other people but I guess not!
I think as a female in France you just have to exist and eventually you'll get male attention (whether you want it or not!!)
And regarding the other stuff (teachers, life at the school) I really think it's the Law of Attraction at play. I guess negative things happened to me in the past when I was feeling down or vulnerable. But now that I feel much happier and content in general and somewhat more 'powerful' or 'popular' (although I loathe to use those kind of words because I don't want to sound arrogant and I hope I don't give the impression that I am!) I seem to attract positive people and situations...
It's not all good news though. My father just told me that his mother (my grandmother) is in hospital and is hooked up to various machines. :( She's in a stable condition but I hope she gets better...praying for her.
(image from here)