Allow me to preface this section with a word on the learning curve of cultural understanding. There are certain things that just take some time to adjust to when traveling to a foreign country, or to say a different part of the U.S., things like time zone differences, language, meal times, and a plethora of other differences to get used to. I'm going to allow you to enter the world of cultural adjustment 101 and experience along with me the humor, frustration, and puzzlement of learning new ways to "make the world go round." So buckle your seats for the ride of your day! (Special note: No judgements are being made in these postings about the superiority of one culture to another, just simple notes on the differences and the challenges to learning them. No one was harmed in the
documentation of these events (okay, well at least no one died.)
First cultural challenge: The functional shutters that I mentioned before... actually have a purpose!
Our first night here I was so tired that I didn't even pay attention to the curtains and changed like I do in any bedroom. The next morning I realized that I could really see out of the lace curtains but I saw a wall just outside the window by my bedroom and saught cover to one side of the bedroom. As the days went on I realized that the wall was not really blocking the view into the room and that I was pretty exposed to anyone that would walk by.
So I mention this to Amy and she agreed that the lace curtains aren't covering the window like we would want, and we even discuss trying to think of something to cover the windows. We really can't find anything so we decide that changing in the
hallway is the only covered place with enough room to maneuver the changing process.
For two days we changed in the hallway to avoid being seen by the group that was staying here. I'm not sure who was the first to mention it, but someone said that we should see if there are shutters on our house that we could close (keep in mind that our house is covered in ivy hiding most everything). Well the picture below is Amy opening the window to discover that indeed our shutters do work.
We later find out that it is customary in France to close your shutters every night and open them every morning.
It is even written into housing insurance policies that if you are burglarized and don't have your shutters closed the insurance company won't cover the loss. I'm very excited to be changing in my room again (modestly) and another added feature... no sun waking me up in the morning!
And no the backdrop is not fake!
More of cultural learning 101 tomorrow!