The day has finally come, and now my friends and I must ship off to Strasbourg. This is the real deal: my real French family, my real French school, my real French classes, and with some luck real French friends. With this move in mind, it should then come as no surprise that the pressure of this rather auspicious day may perhaps be making me a little anxious. As such, I’ve compiled a top five list of things that are making my stomach churn more than that weird dessert cheese I had a few nights ago:
5. Fact: I don’t eat meat. Strasbourg is famous for sausage.
Fear: WHAT IF MY FAMILY ONLY EATS SAUSAGE AND SLAUGHTERS THEIR OWN COWS AND WILL BE SO OFFENDED WHEN I DON’T WANT TO EAT BLOOD SAUSAGE? OR CORN CHIPS?
4. Fact: I will be living with this family for the next nine months.
Fear: WHAT IF MY FAMILY HATES ME BECAUSE I’M RIGHT HANDED AND ONCE WHEN I WAS IN PALM BEACH I FORGOT TO PUT SUNTAN LOTION ON MY BACK AND GOT REALLY BURNED?
3. Fact: The University of Strasbourg is the largest university in France. Holy Cross is not the largest university in America.
Fear: WHAT IF I SHRINK TO THE SIZE OF A THIMBLE AND THEN I’M LOST IN A SEA OF FORTY THOUSAND FRENCH-SPEAKING GIANTS WHO MAY CRUSH ME BECAUSE I’M TO SMALL TO BE SEEN?
2. Fact: The Internet is an integral part of my academic needs and social connections.
Fear: WHAT IF MY FAMILY DOESN’T HAVE WIRELESS AND THEN I NEVER HAVE INTERNET AGAIN AND I WON’T BE ABLE TO SKYPE, BLOG, READ EMAIL, OR FEED DONKEYS WITH NEEDLE-NOSE PLIARS AGAIN?
1. Fact: French people can be aloof and sometimes have the propensity to not care for strangers. I can be aloof and sometimes have the propensity to not care for strangers.
Fear: WHAT IF I NEVER MAKE FRIENDS WITH ANYONE AND GROW RESENTFUL OF MANKIND AND BECOME A HERMIT WHO LIVES IN A CAVE WITHOUT ELECTRICTY, WALL-TO-WALL CARPETING, OR TOILET PAPER?
There you have it. Those account for my worst fears about Strasbourg. I really don’t think they’re that irrational. But until I get there I cannot guarantee any of the above, so I will go back to Harry Potter. In case you were wondering Diagon Alley is not the same in French either. Le Chemin de Traverse hardly evokes the same inscrutable magic of the English name. Hufflepuff is Poufsouffle; this I find to be acceptable.