Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not all Sunshine and Flowers

Today I got the chance to wander in the local forest with just the older boys. It was supposed to be one-on-one with R, but J tagged along. It was okay for awhile, but then J found something he just HAD to show R. So off they went.

I found a moss covered stump to rest on while waiting. I closed my eyes. When I opened them, a dog was sniffing nearby. I held out my hand for it to smell, thinking it would be okay to say hi. The dog jumped up barking and got in my face. I don't know if it was going to bite me or not, but it really scared me.

It's owners were nearby, and one of them spoke to the dog. The other one spoke to me (in French, of course). I didn't understand the words, but it was NOT an apology, and included the word "Permission," like it was my fault the dog jumped on me, because I had said it was okay.

I was PISSED! What kind of a person watches their dog jump on someone, then blames them for not defending themselves better?

Afterwards, I started crying. What is it about this place that makes people such jerks? Just because I don't speak the language doesn't mean I'm an idiot.

I've been here nine months now. Day to day I do all right. But some days I am really homesick to be in a place I understand. Where I can communicate. Where I can ask for what I want and need. Where I can sit on a tree stump in peace.


  1. Rachel,
    Sorry to hear about your dog experience. Unfortunately these kinds of people exist all over the world, be it in foreign countries or your own. Yes, in France, just like in any other country there are tree stumps that you can sit on and ponder. What was your mood when you set off that day?
    Also, speaking the language is not a guarantee that you will always 'understand' what people do or what goes on in their heads.
    Try to shake this off as a single bad experience in a new world that you're trying to come to grips with. Look at what you've accomplished so far, take little steps and don't let a small set back get to you.
    Life has too much to offer!
    Oh, and I so envy you for going to Musee d'Orsay. Isn't it beautiful? But you do realize that Van Gogh is Dutch, don't you?

  2. It's also OK to tell people to FO once in a while.. But playing devils advocate, since you don't know what they really said, we can't just assume it was something insulting. But being French, it would most likely first be defensive - they don't like to be in the wrong.

    Anyway, I just tried to email you again and it came back.....

    I'm using