Former Mediacorp artist, 44-year-old Sharon Au, has been working and living in Paris for more than a year.
Stories of her life abroad have intrigued Singaporeans ever since she decided to uproot herself at the age of 42.
Au has been pretty open about sharing her thoughts on living in Paris.
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The beginning of Fall is magic. Leaves turn yellow, the crunching sound of your shoes stepping on fallen leaves, and crisp autumn breeze reminding you that things fall apart but life begins all over again. Telling myself I will bloom again. Don’t give up. I was very touched when my bff texted me “Anyway 可以就可以 不可以就搬回来住” . Thank you Michelle. Meant a lot to me.
In a recent interview with the Chinese radio station, 96.3 FM, Au shared some of the challenges she faced in adapting to the Parisian way of living.
'Harassing' French colleagues with email and message after work
The self-professed workaholic shared that she was reported to the human resource department (HR) twice for bringing up work to her colleagues after the official working hours.
Au said that the first time she got reported by her French colleague was during the first week at work, because of an email that she sent after work at 8pm.
The colleague took a screenshot of her email and sent it to the HR which gently reminded Au to stick to the stipulated working hours.
Three months later, another colleague reported Au to HR again.
This time, it was a reminder text at 11 pm which Au sent to ensure all necessary preparation was done prior to a meeting at 8:30am the next day.
The colleague ignored her text, took a screenshot of the email and sent it to HR.
What's the consequence?
In response, the HR was more concerned about Au's well-being as they encouraged her to pick up hobbies such as yoga, instead of reprimanding her.
The company even gave her movie tickets to get a life outside of work.
While sending emails and messages after working hours is pretty common in Singapore, the French Labour Laws are very strict about the legal length of 35-hour workweek, Au said.
Au quipped that reminding colleagues of work in the evening can be counted as a form of harassment in France.
Enjoys visiting the farmers' market
Another challenge that Au mentioned was keeping her expenses in check.
She shared that she will now record her monthly expenses in a book and visit the independent farmers' market to buy groceries so she can strike a bargain.
She added while she still struggles to communicate with the locals in French, she really enjoys asking the farmers about culinary tips.
The farmers are also very kind and will even give her freebies.
The interview clip ended off with Au discussing future plans.
Au said she would prefer to stay in France for another five to six years.
Having said that, she is certain that she will return to Singapore again and hopes to be able to contribute more by then.
Here's the interview in full:
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Haha I found a perfect text for my epitaph, “At 20 years old, she made her stage debut in I Have A Date With Spring, at 30 she gave up everything and left for Tokyo to pursue an overseas education, at 42, she gave up everything again to start afresh in Paris.... what is she going to do when she turns 50? “ HAHAHAHAHA no pressure...#cestlavie #milestones #dontgiveup Full interview on 96.3好FM’s Facebook page.
Top photo collage from 96.3FM Facebook and Sharon Au's Instagram
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