This weekend, I got to visit my mom and grandmother in Paris. It was wonderful – but it was hard to leave my mom this morning. I wasn’t quite ready to go. In fact, I was even more homesick when leaving this morning than I had been. Seeing family in Europe kind of tripped me up. I’ve talked about this idea before to people who have lived abroad – when you leave, you hold a picture in your head of exactly what ‘home’ was like when you left it, as if the lives of your friends and families, and your relationships with all of them, could remain like the furniture in your house: stationary and isolated. When you come back, your life abroad feels almost like a separate life, which is why it seems easy to get back into the way things were, but you end up having “re-entry culture shock,” because your life abroad isn’t separate, is it?
Despite kind of a sad bus ride to the airport, though, it was a good weekend. I got to be the guide for my family, showing them how to navigate metros and disobey the rules of pedestrian crosswalks. We went to the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Eiffle tower, but we left much to be discovered and experienced. Thankfully, they had at least one good typical French meal, which I was happy about (selfishly, because I got to eat some delicious French cuisine; selflessly, because they “weren’t impressed with France” when I got there, and that changed [yay!]).
We also had a beautiful Lebanese dinner on our last night, after it was recommended from a friend my mom made when the woman recognized that my mom was Lebanese and struck up a conversation. The highlight for me, of course, was dessert. Mom and Mama Dee (my grandmother) got baklava, which we’ve had plenty of back home (though it was the best I’ve tasted). I tried a dessert I hadn’t tried before, something called katayef, and it was so good!
Since I was in Paris with MD, we also did some shopping. I don’t love to shop, but I do love clothes, and how can you not go shopping in Paris? The people have such great style – it’s hard to not get motivated to clean up a bit. After a snack (cheese!) near the opera house, we went shopping at Galeries Lafayette. MD found some really cute Stuart Weitzman shoes (and for someone with tiny feet, she appreciates that he makes them in her size – 4½). A lot of girls in Paris are wearing blazers with sundresses, and it’s super cute. And paired with a pair of not-too-high peep toes: adorable. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a summery blazer that I liked, but I did see some Cole Haan peep toes that I love. I also saw some really cute summer clutches from Cole Haan. I didn’t buy any then… but I might order some from Bluefly or something. Last but not least, Mom got some really cute Michael Kors t-shirts for the cruise (did I mention that they are currently sailing down the Rhone?). Speaking of Michael Kors: I really love his belted summer dresses and skinny jeans. Man, I forgot: I do actually like shopping.