You know how doctors say that you should use both sides of your brain to ward off Alzheimer’s and stuff like that? Like, as you age you should learn a new skill like knitting or Sudoku. Well, based on this move to France, I should live to be 100 with every memory intact. My brain is sufficiently stretched. And perhaps even strained. Here are some things I’ve had to make room for in my 40 year-old brain:


A new language (French, of course)

A new money system (the Euro)

Writing out a French check — i.e. deux cent quarante trois euros, vingt centimes

(and also they use commas instead of decimals, and vice-versa. That’s a scary mix-up!)

Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit

The metric system- measuring in meters, etc. (should have paid attention in 3rd grade)

How much I weigh in kilos (I love this one- it makes me feel skinny)

How to work crazy public toilets

Washing clothes, Drying clothes, the oven (all of these have settings that don’t translate to our common settings—they’re all new to me)

IMG_4413 IMG_4414 IMG_4416

Metric measurements for cooking

A huge public transportation system and corresponding maps

Getting cash out of an ATM in French

Using the 24h clock for telling time. All times read like this, for example: School Party: 14h30.  Huh??

ALL NEW codes and numbers! Door codes, gate codes, ATM Pins, cell phone number, home number, Wifi code, favorite TV channels, bus lines, credit card number, my address!


That’s a lot of numbers, people.