All dressed up and nowhere to go… Parisian edition.

We got all dressed up for dinner – a dinner we were late for – at a place that wasn’t where we thought it was – that wasn’t where we were – that closed at a different time, anyway. The only holiday picture with all four members of my family in it… and aren’t we cute? I’m not sure what decade we think we’re in. We were staying in this house (in Paris – family friends) that had this formal sitting room. And we sort of just had to – the room made us! (Sit down and pose, that is.) Oh well. At least we got a picture?
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personal essay travel

Mon frère habitera à Paris. Or, Expatriating with grace.

My brother has a "phobia" of looking like a foreigner. (He told me so himself.)

Now, I can almost understand. I hate looking like a tourist. I get self-conscious with my accent echoing in my own ears and all the wrong currencies falling out of my pockets.  I feel single-handedly responsible for over-turning all the stereotypes about loud Americans. I refuse to patronise international chains and I've been known to duck into a doorway to surreptitiously peer at the directions that I've discretely scrawled on my hand. I don't carry a guide-book in public. (Actually, I don't carry one at all.)

My brother takes "not standing out" to an entirely new level. He takes my simile and turns it into a metaphor. He is dignity and assimilation.

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