Saturday, August 19, 2006

Last glance back

I just got back from six weeks in Olympia, Washington, where I spend all of my summers. It always takes a few days to get in the swing of life in France, and I know it will be the same this time.

A friend from Aveyron visited me for a day while I was there. It's the first time anyone from my French life -- other than my husband and children, of course -- has seen me back in Olympia.

I picked him up at the Greyhound station, having thrown on jeans a casual T-shirt. I hadn't bothered with make-up either. Later he told me I looked so great, relaxed and at home that he could feel that I was just that -- at home.

His comment puzzled me. Was there really an obvious difference? After 16 years in France, do I still seem somehow unnatural there?

All I could find to answer was: "Here, I'm not a foreigner."

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