en français, s’il vous plaît

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I wasn’t able to return home yesterday at the end of my first workweek, as planned. So, I’m here in Montreal for the weekend, by myself. When this became apparent, it didn’t bother me – I figured I could get some housework done around the apartment, do some work research, and explore the city. Then on Friday evening I whacked my toe on a concrete ledge in the recycling room so hard that I’m wondering if I might have broken it.

It’s Saturday evening and I didn’t really accomplish much today. Despite the pain, I went for a hobbling walk, partially to get out of my apartment and get some sun, but also to run some errands. I went to the drug store, the book store, and a vegan cafe that I wanted to check out. I did a very small amount of work (only about thirty minutes) and I’m going to try to assuage my guilt of wasting a day by working while I wait for dinner to arrive. Yep I’m ordering dinner. The list of what I didn’t accomplish (that I wanted to do today) is long: exercise, groceries, housework, photography lesson. It’s just barely five in the evening, so maybe I can do a few of these things, but let’s face it: I’m not going to do too much. (Stupid throbbing toe!)

I’m impatient to learn French. Sure, I might not need to speak French to survive here, but it’s quickly becoming aggravating. It’s causing me to feel social anxiety and guilt, like when I panic slightly when I have to approach someone who I know is going to speak French to me and I have to admit that I’m an idiot and sheepishly ask that they speak English to me. And frustration when I can’t join a conversation (or even know if someone is gossiping about me). And it could actually impede my job a little bit.

The company has promised to provide private French lessons, but, like I said, I’m impatient. I did a little research and I ended up buying a widely recommended textbook and delved into the idea of immersion. Of course, I’m sitting here writing in English while listening to an English YouTube video. I think I could teach myself and that it, in fact, might be more effective than any French tutor or online course or app. Jumping in, pretending that speaking English isn’t an option might be the right idea.

I’m a little terrified.

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