The last three weeks have found me on the State side of the moon forgetting everything I knew about French and remembering little American tricks like eggnog and cheddar cheese.
We spent the first few days of our trip with Sebastien's parents in Columbus, Ohio--I tried the strangest ice creams there: Banana and bacon, rosemary, olive oil and chocolate chip, raspberry and goat cheese and marshmallow and yams. We also met up with a friend from university and caught up on the who-and-the-what.
Next stop was Saint Louis to rendezvous with all of the Torrini Clan--ie Sebastien's extended family on his mother's side. It's cool because a lot of his cousins are right around our age and they've asking interesting questions, dating cool people and have maintained good taste in music.
From the Lou we caught a flight to Boston and met up with another college friend- whom my best friend from High school coincidentally learned about on Goodreads. If you like Zombie books, you should check her out too.
After that I spent more time than I should have at Chez ma mere. My mother for her part doesn't really like me, stoutly refuses to offer me validation but is at least willing to miss me sincerely whenever I leave--so that's something, I suppose.
Seb and I rang in the New Year with my younger sister and my best friends along the shore of Oyster Pond watching the fireworks from water's edge. While it certainly lacked the splendor of the 14th of July in Paris, we were most definitely entertained.
It's always fun being on the Cape, looking over my old bookshelfs and boxes now relegated to the cellar. I can see me and remember what was feeling that first read through whenever I touch the spine of an old book. Just on a lark I reread the Great Gatsby and decided by page six that this text is utterly wasted on High school Students:
"Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven-a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anti-climax."
If your not impressed, you will be if only you reread the book for yourself. And why not? It will fit so cleverly into your pocket.
Atanyrate, I shared this notion of wastefulness and teenagers with my former English teacher, whom I had the good fortune to encounter at my younger brother's basketball game and was pleased to find that she whole heartedly agreed. It very much made me feel like I was in a secret club...
On to cultural notes:
Sweatpants...they're a thing in Boston.
You can honestly pay a lot of money for a pair of sweats in the US. This would never, ever, I repeat ever happen in Europe.
Heading to the corner store for some milk?
Get on some real pants.
I'm not trying to be uppity or put on airs--it's the T not the metro. I may speak a second language but haven't forgotten my roots. It's just that uggs and a juicy suit have never been my thing. And I would never date a guy in ecco complex anything. I'm not a judgy face--I don't even like Downton Abbey.
Other cultural notes:
American Pickles are better. But if tiny and warty is your thing, I'm not going to stop you.
Trader Joes is an asset to cultural diffusion. Did you know that you can buy raclette cheese there now?And the samples lady called Crayfish langoustine.... Ok playa, time to pump those breaks. Cos that shit cray.
American beers are way better than French ones. Belgium you're still cool. Seriously though, Europe--Stop scoffing and start checking out these breweries: Magic Hat, Flying dog, Red Hook, Blue Moon. Honestly, these are just my steady eddies, a bunch of new regional beers have sprung up that I haven't even had the time to try. Much like how the States can't be summarized by San Francisco and New York City--American beer isn't just Budweiser. But sometimes it is, because I get nostalgic for running from the cops and drinking in the woods. Plus bud light is 7 dollars a pitcher--and that's after happy hour.
I feel like I'm leaving a lot of stuff out and that this is also getting kind of long so for further clues as to how I spent my time you can head over to my new instagram feed. Add me if you like me.
In closing, I just want to make clear that I'm so glad I we made this trip. I saw a lot of the people I love--not all, but a lot of them. Sebastien and I came up against constraints and annoyances and still managed to make the best of it. If you haven't heard me say it in awhile, he's so much better than I deserve.
We head back to France tomorrow.
It's weird to know that I still feel more relaxed in States that I've never lived in than a country that I've called home for two years. And yet, I'm going back expecting to feel relieved when French is the background noise I hear between songs....Attention à la marche en descendant du train..
I always do.
Even when it's just the T and there ain't no gap to speak of.