“When life goes out of control | Draw back your lips | Whistle and exclaim | Aal izz well!” – 3 Idiots
I can’t deny the fact that I’m not a fluent speaker of French despite almost two years of formal language studies. My abilities are only enough to get me through simple conversations and are by no means passable for the professional level. This is the main reason why I am so concerned about not finding a company that would accept me as an intern. Without work, I won’t be able to graduate because we are supposed to apply what we will learn in class in an actual business setting. Moreover, I do not have enough financial resources to last that long as a part-time student/part-time bum.
So, I have given up my chances of finding a job in Paris. I feel that it is almost next to impossible for a foreign student who doesn’t speak French to find work there. Lucky for me, my only hope finally materialized and I was officially employed the day after I celebrated my birthday. The only thing is that I have to leave Paris. It has been two weeks since I moved to Le Havre, France and it’s quite surreal that two years ago, I was only here for a business trip for Chevron Oronite. Now, I’m already one of its employees!
Le Havre is by no means close to Paris in terms of things to do, places to see or people to meet. It’s a relatively small and quiet city but deciding to move here has definite advantages for me. First, there is no adjustment needed in terms of work (language aside) because I am familiar with the company culture and the work environment. Obviously, I get to collaborate and talk to the same people I’ve been working with during the last four years. Second, I have better chances of improving my French because I am rarely exposed to the English language here. Third, there is lesser possibility of having “Paris-overload” since I would only be there for less than two weeks each month. Fourth, it’s less expensive to live here. Lastly, I’m always treated to equally beautiful sunrises and sunsets. For art junkies, Claude Monet lived here as a child and the city had so much influence in his style of painting.
Right now, I’m really very grateful for the things that have happened and I couldn’t literally ask for more. Despite some initial worries (which is pointless to do), things are doing really well and I just pray that they continue to go smoothly as months go by. The many wonderful people in school, at work, the old and new apartments, the Filipinos I’ve met and even other strangers and tourists on the road, they have all helped me achieve this amazing experience in my first seven weeks here.