In # 1 of this series, I presented the questions.
# 2 profiled Kay and Todd from Japan and the USA
# 3 profiles Vibek and Spencer from Norway and Gibralter
#4 profiles Lobot and Mrs. Lobot from the USA and France
#5 profiles Anna and Dr. Trouble from Poland and Japan
#6 profiles Denise and her guy from Malta and Hungary
#7 Profiles Joe and his wife from Canada and Turkey
#8 profiles Lewis and Lady X from Australia/Greece and Bulgaria
#9 Profiles Erin and Senor Mysterioso from the USA and Spain
#10 profiles Vanessa and Vincent from Australia and France
1) Your names
Vanessa and Vincent
2) Your blog or website (again- optional)
3) Your nationality
4) Spouses nationality
5) Where do you live now? Do you live with your spouse?
We live together in Fes, Morocco
6) Amount of time married
We will have been married for two years in July, but we’ve been together for 12 years.
7) Are you still married?
8) How did you meet?
We met in England when I was 21, we were working in the same restaurant – he was a chef, I was a waitress, there was a staff Christmas party and a bottle of champagne…! He was in England for his career, I had moved there with my family from Australia when I was 15.
9) What was the biggest impediment to getting married?
The logistics of getting international friends and family together in one place. We gave people 18 months notice and rented a large house in the countryside so that we could offer them free accommodation in return for flying such a long way.
10) Where did you get married?
In France, in a tiny village called Chaunac near Bordeaux. We wanted to get married out of Vincent’s registered area (Le Mans), so had to get special permission from the local mayor in Chaunac to be married there. We also had to live in the area for a month beforehand.
11) What was your marriage ceremony like?
It was a standard French civil ceremony, but we also wrote our own vows and did a personal ceremony as well. My friend and Vincent’s brother both acted as translators for the civil ceremony so I could understand what was being said!
12) How is the relationship with your in-laws?
Good, they are very fond of me. At the beginning it was hard because they didn’t speak English and my French was minimal but over the years my French has improved and Vincent’s mother has taken English classes as well.
13) What about your spouses with your family?
Vincent has a good relationship with my parents because his English is now excellent after 12 years with me, and most of those years being spent in English-speaking countries.
14) What was your biggest cultural misunderstanding?
Language. At the beginning of our relationship we had to sit with a dictionary between us for anything other than superficial conversations! It was frustrating for both of us when we argued over things being misinterpreted due to the language barrier.
15) Can you tell a funny story about a cultural mishap?
Vincent was in a restaurant in Australia and the waitress had brought his food without cutlery. As she was walking away he called out “Excuse me, can I get a fork and knife?” (Say this out loud with the words running together and you’ll realize it sounds like ‘can I get a f**kin’ knife’!) The waitress turned around and gave him a death stare while the rest of us at the table were in fits of laughter. Vincent is now very careful to say knife and fork instead…
16) Have you traveled with your spouse?
Yes, extensively. We’ve been to Australia, India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Antigua, Greece, Spain…
17) If so, has it been challenging? Why?
The biggest challenge was getting Vincent residency in Australia – we moved out there together for 7 years – simply because getting a visa for Australia is hard.
18) If not, why not?
The rest of our travels have been fairly easy because both of our passports are accepted around the world.
19) Do you have children? If so, what is that like, internationally speaking.
20) If you don’t have children, why not? Do you plan to?
We haven’t had children yet because we wanted to wait until we were married and since marrying we’ve been on the move a lot. Now that we’re settled in Morocco we plan to start a family soon. We are looking forward to bringing up bilingual (or trilingual!) kids.
21) What is the best and the worst thing about international marriage?
The best is having a personal insight into another culture and being able to experience your partner’s country as a local – you’re accepted more easily by the ‘natives’!
The worst is the language barrier and the misunderstandings that arise from that. Having deep intellectual conversations is difficult and you have to think a lot more about how you say things. However, the effort is worth it in the end!