I have been away from Australia for almost ten years now, first in Hong Kong and now in the UK, and I can tell you that it isn’t always easy living in a different country, especially during the early days.
When I arrived in London, however, I did at least speak the language, which is more than Aussie journalist Sarah Turnbull did when she arrived in Paris to visit a French lawyer she had met weeks previously in Budapest.
Almost French is her perceptive and often very funny account of her attempts to integrate herself in Parisien culture as she falls in love with the lawyer and decides to settle in the city permanently.
In particular, her observations about some of the more frustrating traits of the Parisiens are spot-on – I gave it to my sister-in-law when she moved to Paris and she has collected plenty of supporting evidence herself.
But you don’t have to be a fish out of water ex-pat or living among the French to appreciate this – it’s just a really good read about the highs and lows of starting a new life.