My Scarlet Letter
Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
23Trip End Ongoing
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When my host parents first proposed that we put this on my car, I felt ashamed. I’ve been driving for over seven years now, and I felt like I was marking myself as an idiot to put this on the back of my car. To make matters worse, they made my “sticker” out of some printer paper, one of the kids’ markers, and Scotch tape
The first morning with my new branding, I skulked to the car and climbed inside. I had already been humbled enough throughout my driving lessons and being bested in a foreign language by a two-year-old, but why not put a knife through my heart and just let the whole world know “Lauren has no idea what she’s doing!!”
I parked at Claire’s school and got out with both of the children to see her off for the day. To my surprise when I returned, the car that had parked behind me had left me a good five feet to maneuver out of my spot! I thought to myself, “Poor fool thinks I’m going to ram into her hood if she gets any closer.” And then it occurred to me, this scarlet letter might not be so bad after all.
I began to notice more cars that had them and not all of them were snotty-nosed 18 year olds who had just received their license. On my way to school that day, cars gave me plenty of space in the turn-arounds, and I don’t think I received a single honk! The initial pain of my wound began to subside as I accepted that my big, ghetto, scarlet A might help me more than harm me.
My driving skills have immensely improved though, and I feel really comfortable behind the clutch now
Along with my driving skills, my language skills have skyrocketed too! For the most part, I am able to convey what I want to the children. Usually, one of them has to interpret a bit for the other, but it works out. I still have trouble understanding adults who speak much quicker and with a better accent, but I had almost a full conversation with a man yesterday who was asking for directions. I told him immediately that I don’t really speak French, but that only enticed him to ask me everything about why I was in France. At the end of our small chat, he told me that I speak French very well! While he may have only been trying to get my number, I feel like there was at least a grain of truth in this statement!
Over the past two weeks, I have become much more comfortable in my surroundings. I have met more people and am starting to establish a more regular routine. Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to explore a bit more of the local villages and Paris. Keep me updated on your lives as well please!!