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. …

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 …

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 …