This is another story about student life in France.
Hong Kong people of my generation should normally have experienced two public examinations prior to their (overseas) tertiary education or career journey. I believe that the following phrase should be quite familiar among us:
Some senior/university students/ freshmen in the workplace, “your student life is so nice, it reminds me so much of mine. Oh, it was so good before the public exams. Now I work so hard and the competition is so keen… So, you gotta enjoy your last moments…”(Sounds like a prisoner telling the public not to commit any crime or a dying old man telling his relatives and friends not to waste their time.) “OMG! I miss everything in the States/ UK/ Australia/ Canada/ Japan/ EU states! I did this and that… you shouldn’t miss this and that or you’ll regret it…” (What about China when all the so-called cool destinations are in the list? China is unfortunately not considered as a cradle of memorable souvenirs for many Hong Kong people of my generation…)
As an ordinary Hong Kong born and bred Chinese man who behaved the least individual to avoid being the deviant, I eventually assumed this experience was absolutely right. My experience would be identical and I would be repeating the same story to the next generation. Strangely, every time I proceed to a new phase, I cannot reason in the same way because I have found myself more fond of my present than my past. Why would these people choose to move forward if the past was so much better? Is it not ironic? It makes me so weak in beautifying anything for a cultural reason. Had I been compromised by my culture, I could have said, “yeah, great, student life in France rocks, everyone should study in France once in their lifetime.” The truth is, everything has its good and bad sides. All remarks I made a year ago in On Student Life in France are still valid; the beauty of French girls and the tranquil countryside are equally memorable treasure of this nation. But, since “working is not the only thing in their life”, the multidimensional difficulties a foreigner deals with in such a I-don’t-care-it’s-none-of-my-business-it’s-not-my-problem-go-away working culture are tremendous. Could you still tell your friends how amazing the architecture of the police office is when the police officers inside make fun of your unfortunate encounter, for example, your car has been maliciously damaged? Seriously, I can’t!
I would say, student life has to be good wherever you live it. Wait, I rephrase, it has to be better than being scolded by your boss because of your not fulfilling the monthly sales target. So, Werther Armand’s advice is, don’t have too many unverified expectations because someone told you that it is like this and that. It risks more deceptions in return. The grass is not always greener on the other side. The consequences can be disastrously disappointing:
On an unexpected day in an unexpected occasion, an obviously-nouveau-riche woman asked Werther Armand, “Tell me more about studying in France, I want my daughter to study in PARIS, you know PARIS, It’s France!”
Having heard such an impolite tone from a stranger, Werther Armand was showing explicitly his nausea against this obviously-nouveau-riche woman, “Ma’am, I don’t know much about Paris because I’ve only been there for touristic purpose,” Werther Armand continued, “And actually, Paris is only one of the many places in France. For example, the city where I…”
The obviously-nouveau-riche woman interrupted enthusiastically, “You must be lying, do you know about France? Paris is France, if you don’t know about Paris, you will know nothing about France! My daughter is going to study in PARIS!”
The smart readers of this blog should have found a problem in this extract and ask me if I carelessly forgot the preposition. Should it not be “Paris is in France”? I am an honest Chinese man. She did say, “Paris is France”. I wish her daughter would enjoy the insecurity and pee odor in the romantic Parisian streets.
Bye for now, see you next blog!