leave it to julia

“dort and i grew restless on those days of driving and driving and eating and driving and eating at the biggest-best restaurants and sleeping at the biggest-best hotels. to hell with it! it seemed like we’d never really been anywhere or done anything… in fact, I didn’t like traveling first class at all. Yes, it was nice to have a bathroom in the hotel and fine service at breakfast, and i’d probably never visit those grand hotels again, but none of it seemed foreign enough to me. it was all so pleasantly bland that it felt as if i were back on the ss america. i don’t like it when everyone speaks perfect english; i’d much rather struggle with my phrase book”

– julia child from my life in france

i’m  realizing something about myself. after 21 years of living, i’m just now understanding how easily i become fixated on things. i become a woman obsessed- “passionate” maybe? my latest love has been this book i picked up at the library a few weeks ago, my life in france, by julia child. now, let me just say that my only prior experience with julia child was in that sub-par movie julie and julia where meryl streep runs around shrieking and amy adams throws tantrums on her kitchen floor when her beef bourguignon takes a turn for the worst. i’ve never actually seen the whole movie. either i couldn’t handle the shriek, or it made me so hungry i had to turn it off and get a snack.

anyway, the other day i picked up this book at the library on a whim, and while i am only maybe a third of the way through, it just keeps striking chords with me! this woman is made of pure genius! we would have been great friends. to put this quote in context, this scene finds julia and her sister, dort, traveling around france and italy with their father, who is purely taking the trip in order to enjoy the finer, more comfortable, and more touristy things about europe. obviously, julia doesn’t feel the same. this passage from her book really rings true to me- especially as i am preparing to take on europe for a second time. how i love the sticky situations, the quick decisions, and shady hostels- the places only locals reside, and where native tongues flow. for me, happiness is found in culture, and culture is found in coming to understand how people live by being vulnerable and open to all things new and uncomfortable….all of which i am anxiously anticipating participating in again in three weeks.

and might i add that this book has prompted me to get my feet a little wet in the french language? coffee break french podcasts are quickly becoming my best friends as i try to muddle through vocabulary and accents that are completely foreign to me. bonsoir je m’apelle alyssa! je suis tres bien! j’ai deux soeurs et un frere. and that’s about all i know. plus, this post is far too long, and learning french is definitely a post for another day.

happy tues! bon mardi!  (i totally made that up)

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