Gail: Best of Nice
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Nice, etc.
I moved from Maui to Nice in the late 90’s with a sort of “Under the Tuscan Sun” vibe: post-divorce, no job, no connections, no apartment, no residency card… and not even able to speak French!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
As the only one in my circle of friends that reads the Nice-Matin every day, I always end up being the go-to gal for local info. Finally, I decided to just put it in a blog.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I love writing about the strange news stories that happen in Nice; in fact I even have a category called Life Imitates Comedy, with some of my favorites.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Nice differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
There is no comparison between life in the US and life in Nice. But actually, I thrived here even from the beginning; oddly, my personality is somehow innately better suited to this life than to life in the US.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Nice? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was completely unprepared! No job, no connections, no apartment, no residency card and not even able to speak French! Fortunately, what I lacked in preparedness I made up for in determination, and 16 years later, not only am I still here, I’ve become an expert.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Too many to choose from…
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Nice?
Learn French (as much as possible) and read every book you can on adapting in France, like Culture Shock: France, French or Foe, Sixty Million Frenchmen can’t be wrong…
How is the expat community in Nice? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I’m not really particularly involved in the expat community. I have a few very close American friends, but largely my social circle is French.
How would you summarize your expat life in Nice in a single, catchy sentence?