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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