I am a native of France, a retired French university professor living in the USA. I return to France every year, and love discovering new places I have not yet visited. I am interested in issues of bilingualism and expatriate identity. I enjoy good food, great books, and all kinds of music.
There is a part of me that even my closest American friends will never understand – The French part of me remains very opaque to my American friends, and only a French expat who has lived in the U.S. as long as I have can understand it.
Dazzling white tablecloths… starched napkins… the obsequiously formal waiter (always a man!)… All embody the French restaurants of my childhood! Although my family seldom ate out when I was growing up, I was absolutely in love with the pomp and pageantry of restaurant dining.
On Christmas day, we had a “traditional” Christmas dinner – which always included an appetizer of escargots and raw oysters, which I loved. It is only much later that my parents began to serve foie gras at Christmas.