Thursday, June 15, 2006

You know and you never know

I think I always knew, somewhere, somehow, that I would end up living in France.

When my oldest brother took a year of French in high school, I looked at that book whenever I could (I was about 8) and I tried to get him to teach me what he learned in class. A few years later, we got a book with a two page photo spread and description of every country in the world. My two favorites were France and Nepal. France for the descriptions of the food and wine and fashion and perfume and Nepal for the pictures of a woman on her wedding day with gold dust stencils on her skin. Gold dust. Wow.

In high school, I finally got to take French class myself, and I loved it. I think I irritated most of the people in the class because I was such an eager beaver about it.

My first year at university I continued studying it. And then. In August of that year, I sold my VW Bug and bought a one-way ticket to Paris. I was 17. I knew no one in Paris. But I went anyway, alone, except for my textbook grammar. My poor mother. Anyway, I went back home after 3 months when money and my tourist visa ran out. But I loved it and knew I would be back to stay.

10 years later, nearly to the day, I moved back for good. Which is funny, because at certain points during those 10 years, the possibility of ending up here seemed more and more remote. You just never know, do you?


beth said...

I hope your husband has thanked eldest brother for taking that French class - subsequently getting the "France ball" rolling for you - otherwise might be married to an American and living in Kansas. Although, nothing against Kansas, I just don't think that's a place for you to thrive - France is much more you.
And, I remember your eagerness for learning the French language - and although I love you - it was a bit irrating - especially since I also took French and you learned more in a week than I learned all semester.

Diane S. said...

I love it when people actually get what they wanted. I'm lucky that way too. I visited this town as a child of about 10 and remember thinking, "I'm going to live there someday." And here I am!

zeb said...

I am glad someone got some use out of my high school books, we both know I never used them.

beth said...

Zeb - so you and Nicole are more alike than I thought, neither of you used your school books much, you were (are) both naturally smart - no fair - I could read, outline then reread the book and maybe get a B-, and you two both got As and never even opened the books! In my next life I'm going to be tall and exceptionally smart!

charlie said...

I love France, visit often and feel envious that you live there. I too shall live in France one day, even if in occasional, short bursts. I shall sail to La Rochelle first and spend some time sitting in the marina there, thinking about le stuff.

Amy said...

I have little secrets bubbling around in my head too, places I'd rather be, things I'd rather do... and I'm only just now coming to realize that it may be possible, these bubbly secret things. So coooo to you for making France a reality for YOU.