I studied French all through high school and for the first three years of my university degree. A total of eight years. I also took Japanese for a year and a half but dropped it in favour of French - ironic since I now live in Japan. I can barely speak French now nor Japanese.
I had two really fantastic French teachers, Mrs Willan and Mr Dwerryhouse. I especially loved the projects we did about France and French culture during high school. My favourite films were Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources which we went on a special field trip to watch. I loved the book Bonjour Tristesse which I read in French as another school assignment.
When I was about fifteen I wrote to Rotary to apply for an exchange to Paris. I didn't pursue it as I was lucky enough to be selected for another exchange to Tahiti (where French is the national language). I spent my summer holidays there when I was sixteen years old. I had a good time but I think I was too young and silly to really appreciate the great opportunity that I had been given.
All is not lost though as just this week I got an email from my host family sister. I have not heard from her in years. I think we kept in touch for the first couple of years after my stay and then lost contact. It's been twenty years! Quel surprise!
I still hold a deep love for France and all things French. I have visited France a few times and it is somewhere I would love to visit again. Each time I see a scene of Paris in a movie I can't help but say "I've been there!"
I think it is kind of cool that the Japanese seem to love all things French as well. The Eiffel tower is a very common icon on fabric and in ornamentation. Pictured is one of the French bags I have in my store.