I was an expat wife

The illusion of the similar cultureThe weirdest thing about moving to France was the culture shock. Not the fact that it existed — I was prepared for that.  No, what floored me was how intense it was, especially in comparison to my previous move. Who would have thought that adjusting to a Western culture would be more difficult than adjusting to an Asian one?

(The culprit was cockiness: I wildly overestimated my expat abilities because this was my fourth move and I thought I’d already made all my mistakes. One word: hubris.)

During those first challenging weeks in Bordeaux, the target of my wrath became the Internet café, where all the keyboards were — quite naturally — French. I’d never used a different keyboard layout before, and as a touch typist, it was discouraging to glance over a lengthy email I’d just written only to find a screen full of gibberish staring back…

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