Homesickness in Five Senses

Much as I’m loving living in France, there are some things that just aren’t the same and that give me a little ache when I think about them. This variety of homesickness is a lot less all-encompassing than the kind I had to deal with when I turned up at Yale four years ago (couldn’t tell you why), but for whatever reason this transition has felt much easier.

I do of course have thoughts about why, but that’s a topic for another day.
In the meantime, I’ve been finding it interesting to consider what it is I miss most about home (not necessarily America, but my own life there) and how there are some senses that are missing America more than others. Oddly, I feel like what I’m missing most are specific sounds, more than sights or smells or even tastes (though taste is a close second).

Sights:

  • Autumn color. Take it from an entitled North East girl who has spent all of her autumns surrounded by yellows and golds and oranges and reds. You definitely miss it. Leaves turn yellow and brown here- which is quite pretty- and you get the snow-like leaf shedding in the wind that I love so much, but the wonderland created by the other colors is just missing. Sighing for maples.
  • Giant supermarkets. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll choose France’s small stores and open air markets over a Costco or Stop&Shop any day, but there is something oddly compelling (and reassuring) about that almost inappropriate abundance.

Sounds:

  • Canada geese
  • Sirens. The sirens here sound different and much more musical. I miss our sinister alarms.
  • Blasting reggaeton. There are not enough people blasting reggaeton from car windows here. Though mercifully there are more than none.
  • English. Hearing people speaking your own language as you walk around. You don’t realize how subconsciously comforting it is until everyone around you is speaking French.

Textures:

  • There isn’t anything tactile at home that I can’t as easily palpate in Versailles, except maybe my bed. It’s very easy to miss your bed.

Smells:

  • Not anything really. The thing about perfume school is that your nose gets plenty of exercise and novelty.

Tastes:

  • Good lord home-cooked food. I miss it so much. I am cooking for myself here, but not any of the larger and more time-consuming recipes I would undertake at home. Partly because I’m sharing a kitchen with a host family. Partly because vegan ingredients are harder to find in these parts. Like the French don’t do vegan cheese. Why would they? Their cheese is a national treasure.  But Dad’s pizza? My banana bread? Chickpea cutlets? Cornbread? So many foods.

And of course I didn’t list anything relating to the people and animals I miss. Beings are amalgamations of so many senses. The feeling of a hug or of soft cat fur. Every person and animal’s individual smell and the sound of their voice…

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Late For Links: The Last of August

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Having missed my scheduled Friday links post yesterday, today’s post will be your belated links installment.

Featuring a lot of politics and a studious neglect of any Taylor Swift-related news. Continue reading “Late For Links: The Last of August”

Friday Fun Links 5/26

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Rest in peace, Roger Moore, who passed away this week. I don’t generally talk about the personages the world loses, but this was such a lovely story I wanted to share it. He sounds like a wonderful man. Continue reading “Friday Fun Links 5/26”

Friday Links 5/12

 

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I forgot to mention spoken word performances, Yale has a group called WORD which does some really excellent ones.

And since it is Friday, today is a links post! While I recognize that my more or less regular daily posting has already become sporadic (summer break woooooo), I’m going to be away in New York City this weekend, taking in some museums (and perfume stores and maybe a little shopping) and taking part in an interview that will ultimately decide the trajectory of my life, no big deal.
Links! before I start hyperventilating. Continue reading “Friday Links 5/12”

Wear What: Paris

This is extremely cliche.  The whole legendary chic of the Parisian woman is very cliche.  So of course I was very serious to go to the city and examine these mythical women like Elodia plant cells under a microscope.

An aside: I’ve seen a lot of love for Elodia on baby name websites. Does nothing for me (except remind me of high school biology, which was great, but not that great).

Okay.  So first to “debunk” the myth of the chic Parisienne. Kind of/almost.  My parents and I were kind of anxious about going to Paris.  One of the attendant anxieties was the fear that we wouldn’t fit in- that we would look like uncivilized/barbaric/slobbish American tourists.  We were American tourists, just without all those adjectives.  And hopefully not too touristy.  (Maybe even hopefully not so very American).

I don’t want anyone to look at me and say “I bet she switched to following Duck Dynasty when Honey Boo Boo was taken off air.” Continue reading “Wear What: Paris”