Lacking excessive wealth, an expense account or employment as a food critic, I have wistfully looked at the world of haute cuisine as off limits. Thankfully, we have some friends who know how to give a thank you gift that is far too generous. That is what Erin and I received 10 days ago, when we were treated to the meal of a lifetime at L’Arpege.
In the last week, it dawned on us that we have LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS left in Paris. With return tickets purchased and a lease freshly signed for an apartment in Minneapolis, the end of this adventure is feeling alarmingly close. We’ve started to go into panic mode about the things (food) we haven’t tried yet — or the things we just haven’t tried ENOUGH of.
Nobody likes to feel stupid. It really sucks. But when you move to a foreign country, it happens a lot — at least in the beginning. In the beginning, it feels like you can’t go five minutes without feeling stupid. Whether I tried to swipe my credit card instead of inserting it into the chip reader, or mispronounced a word and received a prompt (and public) correction, or had to explain in really bad French that my French is really bad so I didn’t understand what you just said to me, I felt perpetually embarrassed.
After swapping some of these stories with a friend (also an American – shout out to you, Carrie!) shortly after our move here, she told me that feeling stupid was something you just have to learn how to do and become comfortable with. This turned out to be very valuable advice.
This blog over the last few months has turned into a bit of a travelogue. Which makes sense, I guess, but we are doing some fun stuff here in Paris as well. So, with the new year, and after talking to some friends and family recently, we feel like we should update everyone a little more on our everyday doings.
When it comes to seasons in Paris, spring gets all the glory. And truthfully, it’s hard to argue against it. The flowers are in bloom, little birds flit through the gardens, and everything feels all dreamy and romantic. But Paris is great all year (except in August when almost everything shuts down), and we have particularly enjoyed this fall.
Standing topless in a room with someone I cannot fully communicate with is not my idea of a good time. Yet, this is exactly the situation I found myself in this afternoon.
Want to find out how much you love someone? Move to a foreign country together, one of you leave for a week, and then stop and think about just how excited you get when that person returns. What seemed small and manageable together all of a sudden feels unwieldy and fear-inducing.