Algamdulillah, there are five days left before 2018 is finally over. This year has really been a life altering one, a year of taking huge risks, a year of getting out of our comfort zones, a year of making life changing decisions, a year of breaking the norm and doing something out of the ordinary and pushing all boundaries, Algamdulillah! It has been five months of living in France and I thought of jotting down five of everything: best and worse moments, likes and dislikes about living here and so on…
Five of our best moments:
- Moving into our own apartment and having our stuff from SA be delivered to our place – there is something about having your own stuff around you. It reminds you of home, reminds you of normality, reminds you of what you use to – your personal space and your own stuff. And also getting kids all settled into schools, Algamdulillah.
- Road trip with a train all the way to Lyon (about 493 km) and then having to drive back to get our own van – our first road trip!
- Visiting Kehl, Germany and being taught by my friend, Anya about the different cheeses – had a cheese party at her place. Had to take off my takkies and put on “house shoes” – slippers that she gave me – pity I did not take a photo of it!!
- Waking up to a winter wonderland and helping small ones with their very own Olaf! It was sooooo much fun!! They named him Alpha Junior.
- Going to mosque Eid morning was a different experience but one that I surprisingly enjoyed.
Five of our likes about living here – Algamdulillah:
- No school fees, no costs related to school uniforms.
- No major crimes.
- Family – work balance is on point – Hishaam does not work after hours, he does not check emails at home, he does not work week-ends – NOTHING!
- There is no rush or stress about anything or to go anywhere. Shops are all opened till about 8pm and we live like 700m away from a nice shopping mall.
- The fact that we situated close to countries like Germany, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, etc – all these places can be visited by just taking the train! Easy, convenient and very cheap.
Five of our worst moments and dislikes about living here:
- Getting lost not once but twice and ending up on the highway after dropping Hishaam at the train station one morning and then after fetching Jihad from school.
- Getting a call from Ameerah to say she took the wrong tram home and ended up on the other side of Strasbourg – very scary experience for her!
- Locking myself out of the apartment one day – Hishaam had to leave work early to let us in – otherwise we had to wait outside in the dark for him!
- We have no social life at all – no visiting of family or friends weekends, going with friends and their kids to the park or movies etc. or just having people come visit. When the door bell does ring its either the postman delivering something or the gas people coming to do their routine check-ups or the upstairs neighbour coming to say we making too much noise haha – boring stuff!
- It is lonely most of the time and we experience FOMO when we get photos from friends and family after spending the day together or going out etc.
Five of our goals we aim on achieving in the beginning of the new year:
- Starting French classes for myself ASAP – becoming fluent in French is the aim of the game for the whole family.
- Visiting Cape Town in February, Insha Allah.
- Getting our residency cards sorted – all applications are in, now we just have to wait on the actual cards so that we can travel!! (everything here is a looooong wait!? *rolling eyes*)
- Getting our health insurance card sorted – application submitted but still waiting on the card.
- Furnishing the apartment – getting bedroom cupboards, dining room table etc.
Happy holidays everyone – we hope the rest of 2018 is amazing and that it is spent with loved ones!