Harith in Aix-en-Provence, France

Portrait of HarithSalut tout le monde! I’m Harith, class of 2019, and I study Computer Science and Philosophy. Over the next few months, I will share my struggles navigating the lovely south of France with my broken French. I hope to take you along with me as I bike around Aix-en-Provence, relish French culture, and bore you with my 0.02€ about how interesting it is to be a Pakistani in France and study abroad again!

Harith’s Posts

  • Never Say No to Fromage

    Never Say No to Fromage

    The first advice to someone who has never visited France should be to never say no when someone offers cheese. Gastronomical reasons aside, cheese symbolizes something more important – a something well-conveyed to me during my first dinner with my host family. “Harith, would you like to try a little bit of cheese?” asked my host-mother, extending an entire unopened block. Our program instructor had instructed us to say “c’est un peu spécial” – It’s a little too particular for …Continue Reading...
  • Jesus Died for our Peaches

    Jesus Died for our Peaches

    Every blunder in French is either blasphemous or sexually inappropriate. During the monotonous 40-minute shuttle to Marseille, I always keep my eyes peeled for a stretch of graffiti that reads “Christ est mort pour nos peches” – “Jesus died for our peaches.” In the split second the writing is in sight, I steady my phone and snapchat a picture to every French friend. After all, only those who have suffered French orthography can relate to the ease of accidentally committing blasphemy. The …Continue Reading...
  • But where are you really from?

    But where are you really from?

    But where are you really from? Where are you from? I live in the US. But where are you really from? Why does it matter? Because you don’t look like everyone else and I was wondering about your origins. The “where are you really from” question gets me every time. It follows me everywhere in Aix, from classrooms to restaurants, the dinner table to squash matches. In fact, during just my first week in the south of France, I was asked that question thrice. …Continue Reading...
  • From Amherst, with Mixed Feelings

    From Amherst, with Mixed Feelings

    I took my first step out of Logan airport, looked around me and sighed deeply. I was surrounded by mountains of snow. There was black ice everywhere. Temperatures were sub-zero. The wind was frigid. My nostrils soon went numb…even breathing hurt. It was at that moment that I began asking myself precisely why I had come back. The next week, I was greeted by something called a “bomb cyclone.” This was indeed as fearsome as the name suggests, and I …Continue Reading...

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