It’s official, now. We are leaving Paris soon. The expatriate adventure will come to an end but, just like Howard Koch in Casablanca, ‘We will always have Paris’, and just like Sabrina, Paris has become my hometown.
As I heard the news I have got to admit tears filled my eyes and I started travelling the city with tons of nostalgia, even though it was still months away. It is here where we have become stable, where we have conquered our own Everest, where we have made it work.
Now, we are to go back and re-learn many things. Yes, we will be nearer to those who have been far away and who, may or may not had a chance or the necessary will to come visit us. But we have all changed, so we will actually get to meet each other once again.
Cartons will again be made, and things will be either given away or sold. It’s time to dust everything we put away when we came to the City of Lights to become Parisians and start a new cycle, for our French episode is coming to an end. As I write these lines, my thoughts are interrupted by all the memories we made, by all the friends we were lucky enough to meet, and who hopefully will continue to share moments with, and even get the chance to show them a bit of the place where we grew up in and which we had called home until we came to this enchanting city.
I dare to call it enchanting because it has completely transformed me. Someone once told me –and I may have already written it somewhere in here. A true Parisian is not he who is born in Paris, but he who transforms himself in Paris. I have come to stop thinking that La Bamba, Bésame Mucho, and La Vie en Rose played by the accordionist on the metro is romantic, that black is the perfect color to wear when the sun leaves Paris and installs itself in Nice and Barcelona, and that good food can be found everywhere, that it’s a matter of finding good quality ingredients from the ‘terroir’.
It’s been quite an adventure in all aspects of life. I have learned a lot, so much that I see myself in front of the mirror and I am amazed of what has been achieved. I am amazed of how individuals have become what the French call ‘une famille recomposée’, and although we are still working on that, I think we are on the right track. As a working girl, I always thought homemakers didn’t do anything but drink coffee and go out shopping. Yet, I have found that, at least in this country, there is a lot going on for a homemaker, since residential help is a luxury in these latitudes, for example. Anyhow, before the end of 2015 I will be back in the land of piñatas and mole poblano starting a new chapter as well as a whole bunch of projects.
In the meantime, there’s still a lot to do here… and we’re running out of time.