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  • The emigrant's destiny: The foreign country has not become home, but home has become foreign.

    --Alfred Polger (d. 1955), Der Emigrant und die Heimat

    Emigranten-Schicksal: Die Fremde ist nicht Heimat geworden. Aber die Heimat Fremde.

    Between 2007 and 2009, I lived in Los Angeles after living in Paris for many years. My Paris blog (before and after my Los Angeles sojourn) is Rue Rude.

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    « The last bastion of English America | Main | The rude children »

    14 August 2007

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    I've noticed this too, in my travels around the US- many people think that once they know where you're from, they know most of your life story. I find that if you sit back and watch someone for a few minutes, maybe an hour, though, you can figure out at least their socioeconomic class and interests- that is, if you're familiar with the area's culture. Many northerners' ideas of the South is coloured by what they see on TV shows and the jokes they hear. Yet, many seem to be experts on Southern culture. Makes one think?

    My experience has of course been the same as a French expat in the States:
    - "Where are you from?"
    - "I'm French"
    - "Oh! I love Paris!
    The truth being: I wasn't born or raised in France but in a French island lost in the South Pacific. But who wants to confuse people the first time you meet them by telling the whole story. So "I'm French" is it.

    For the few years that I lived in LA, most of the people that I hung out with/saw on a somewhat regular basis had no idea what I did for work, although I saw some of them at the end of many work days. And when I left LA to go back to SF (for work purposes), one woman assumed, "Oh. Your chances for finding a husband are much better in San Francisco!" and asked nothing else.

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    Today's quotation

    • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

        –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

      À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

    Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

    • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.