Sunday, October 25, 2009

What I would have said to Toto

There are only two things that make me fully aware that I'm in a foreign country. They are not: That everyone around me speaks a language I still don't understand; the pink stucco houses with terra cotta roofs and palm trees in front; the bizarre bureaucracy; the sea, the mountains, the landscape; my permanent cluelessness; the strange cell phone plans; the inscrutable behavior of the young 'uns; the persistently warm weather; all of those things I can accept.

They are: seeing the French flag, and hearing someone speak about the United States as a foreign, even exotic, country. Those are the only two experiences that truly give me the vertiginous understanding that I am far from home.

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