If my sudden interest in French films, politics, and the French language is any indication, I’d have to say that I’ve somehow reawakened my passion for France. It started in high school, when I took a year of basic French. As was not the case with my one Spanish class, my interest in France and the French language grew outside of academia and turned into full on lust for anything and everything French. If anything looked remotely Parisian, I bought it. If I came across a French recipe, or even a French-sounding recipe, I made it. My high school French teacher took our class to an authentic French restaurant called Jeroboam during my senior year. The restaurant is long gone now, but I will forever remember its pomme frites with sauce au safran (french fries with saffron sauce)! I kept my ears tuned for French phrases uttered by pretentious Americans, phrases such as “je ne sais quoi” and “excusez-moi”. Before taking French language courses, I knew nearly nothing of France, it’s people, or it’s culture, with the exceptions of a partial line from “Alouette”, the “fact” that French people are rude, and that escargot is allegedly delicious. After starting the classes, I learned the rest of “Aloutte”, discovered that the perceived rudeness of French people is largely attributed to cultural disconnect, and because the teacher was offering extra credit for trying it, found that escargot is really, really disgusting. Coq au vin, on the other hand, is amazingly delicious.
It was those experiences that inspired my desire to see, live, work, and play in France. Being constantly cash-strapped, however, has kept me here in the U.S. I feel like a broken record saying that, but it’s true. Money talks, people. Still, I’m completely obsessed with the idea of a considerable stay in Paris. To quote Carrie Bradshaw, I’ve never been to Paris, unless you count old movies. I’m tired of experiencing Paris and the rest of France through old movies, other people’s stories, and the occasional baguette. I need to experience it, the real thing, for myself. I have no idea of when this will happen, but I am committed to taking steps to make it happen in 2011. As I mentioned in an earlier post, while I have let go of the idea of exploring the world in one shot, there’s no reason why I can’t experience in smaller chunks over time. A dream that goes unfulfilled is just a wish. I want this to turn out to be more than just a mere wish. I don’t have the details worked out, and I have no idea of “when” at the moment, but it will happen.