Welcome to the last post in the Blogging Every Day in France series. I am actually not currently in France anymore. Honestly, I have no idea where I am right now. According to the map, I am in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
A month ago when I took the flight to Paris, I was so excited. Today, after spending a month in France, I am also very excited. Like I mentioned yesterday, I am so happy to be back. Every adventure has different phases. During the first phase, you’re excited and curious about the new surroundings. However, after a while of that time, all sorts of problems arise. You may find it hard to communicate, to eat well, to sleep well. You start thinking about going back home, where you are comfortable living in. A month is definitely passing that curious phase. I’ve tried different things in France but right now, I just wanna be back to my little comfortable dorm(obviously I won’t be living in the same dorm as during the semesters but that’s still better than France).
During the trip, we were always talking about the cultural shock we experienced in France. I would love to see different things, which fulfill my curiosity. But aside from food and air-conditioning, I barely find anything super interesting. I said a few times during the trip that French culture is a mixture of Chinese culture and American culture. The humidity is a lot like my hometown while the temperature is more similar to Rochester; the city structure is way more compacted than most cities in the U.S. but it is about the same degree compared with my hometown; the public transportation is so convenient that everyone loves them, but that’s how I usually go out at home; the city cycles are nice but I also have them at home, only that I don’t use them; the cars won’t stop if they see you cross the roads, but cars are even more rude back home…. Personally, Chinese culture and American culture are two extremes while French culture is more of a mild one, which is nice. Except for the AC stuff. French is definitely an extremist.
During my time in France, I would always be able to talk to my friends and families since some of them are 6 hours ahead of my time while some others are 6 hours behind my time, which is perfect if I am suffering from jetlag and want to talk to someone.
Speaking of jetlag, I don’t know what do you guys think about it but most of us, by which, I mean my classmates in the program, think that going east is much better than going west. You might sometimes as much suffer, but at least it makes more sense. When we flew from the U.S. to Paris, most of us had overnight flights. We departed in the afternoon or evening U.S. time and arrived in Paris in the morning. We lost 6 hours but we don’t feel weird when we got off the plane. It makes sense to be in the middle of a morning after a night. Time always flies. Hours go by quickly. But flying back to U.S. might be really tough. We were just talking about our flight length and at what time will we arrive. Most of us arrive in the destination 2 hours after the plane took off. But the flight is usually longer than 8 hours. Getting off the plane, it feels weird to be living in the time that should already passed. In a sense, we want time to slow down but when it actually slowed down, we don’t like it.
I remember the first time I experienced jetlag was when I travelled to London. The plane took off at around 3pm but we arrived in Heathrow airport at 5pm. One of my classmates posted that we had a 31-hour day. But when we flew back, we left around 1pm and arrived at 7am the next day in China. The flights were the same length but except from feeling tired, I did not experience any psychological discomfort about the difference in time zone. It actually took me more days to adjust back to Chinese time zone than to adjust to UK time zone. But it’s still better to flying east.
Writing this, I am 4 hours away from Toronto by plane. I would imagine the time shock when I arrive and the jetlag issue I will go through. But this time I would be able to talk to my parents about it if I wake up in the middle of the night. Like I said, Rochester is my little home right now. I don’t have to worry about suffering from stomachache, cold or similar problems(maybe I would, so sad there’s nothing wooden around me), but at least my parents know that I would be able to make through(I hope so. I don’t want to jinx myself). If I talk to them in the middle of a night, I would be like joking and live with it. For jetlag problems, you just need to give it time. Also, I’ve only drank two cups of coffee this year and both times, I am on the plane either flying to Paris or flying from Paris. It made me a little sick but that’s okay. Coffee helps me stay awake. Sometimes you just gotta do something unusual to be able to adjust to your usual life in a different time zone.
Jetlag problems can be really tough. Once in a while, my excuse for not going back home was to avoid the 12-hour time difference. Think about it, according to your departure place time zone, you are supposed to be awake all night when you need to go to bed in your destination. Most jetlag problems are either hard to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of a night but 12-hour is both, because you are not supposed to sleep at all lol. So fingers crossed for those who will fly to Rochester from different places in China in August.
Now I am finishing up my last post for this project. I would like to say “Au revoir” to France. It’s really nice to get to know you. We went through a lot together and we’ll definitely see each other again(I am not paying the expensive visa fee for only one enter). Next time, we’ll get on the top of effiel tower, re-visit the triumph arc and I will be ready for the “canicule.” Sorry there’ll no “see you tomorrow” at the bottom of this post and probably won’t be any more.