So in order to celebrate the best way I could, I decided I was going to try to find a Vietnamese place to eat lunch. The place I wanted to go to ended up being closed (which in retrospect makes sense because hello, holiday!) so I ended up going to the restaurant I went to the day before - a place that serves "world cuisine." While I was in the middle of deciding what to order, I thought back to orientation and how Alan Roberts (Director of the Marchutz School) presented us with the multitude of definitions that come with the word "abroad." I can't remember all of the synonyms he listed, but I recall something along the lines of (to take an overused phrase used in perhaps every study abroad pitch) expanding one's horizons.
It's a weird thing to think about, as an Asian American woman still trying to find her own identity while trying to adapt to another. To break it down even further: Here I am, alone on Lunar New Year, in the south of France, at a world/traveler-themed restaurant that serves everything from gyoza to empanadas to nutella tiramisu. I'm recovering from a cold, wearing a blouse, a blazer, a leather jacket and a scarf, and I glance at the window to see snow beginning to fall. I'm considering going to H&M to buy another coat and a hat, but later decide against it because my motivation to make it home trumps the need to go shopping.
As far as what I had for lunch, I ended up ordering a tapas sampler plate and a chocolat blanc. It was nice.
But getting back to this weird existential crisis moment I was having during lunch... it's strange that I find myself wondering (perhaps uselessly) what it means to have a true French experience. Is that idea just composed of stereotypes that Americans have of the French? Am I changing? What have I picked up in these first few weeks?
I suppose that last question can best be answered in list form, but I'll save that for another post.