The word for 'foreigner' in French is 'étranger'; literally 'stranger'. But, having lived here for well over half my life (nearly 38 years), I'm certainly no stranger; even if I AM a foreigner.
When I first arrived I was desperate to fit-in. The last thing I wanted was to be seen as some peculiar foreigner who'd come to buy up the village. I even went as far as driving a blue 2CV (just like the one above) so that I wouldn't attract attention. When we arrived here we were the only English family around, and as such, something of a novelty.
Unfortunately fitting-in is also a state of mind, and my brain continues to tell me that I'm a foreigner. I am constantly aware that I'm in a foreign country; even when I take the dog for a walk (which is when I thought of writing this). It is extraordinary how imprinted 'foreign-ness' can be. But maybe that's just my inner-self reminding me of where I SOULD be.
I've written before about returning to my native Surrey village of Lingfield. Even though we left there when I was just 14, it still feels like 'home'. And I find it difficult to understand quite why.
Still, I'm very happy that I made my move. France is a wonderful country, full of all those life-style goodies that trendy Notting Hill-billies strive for. We live extremely well, and when the sun shines, life is pretty well perfect. But, of course, I'm still a bloody 'étranger', and always will be. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it.