More on Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas

Even though I should be writing my paper for graduate school, I’m hooked on reading Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas. I really appreciate how she describes her feelings of isolation and the hard work that goes along with adapting to a new country.  I’ve lived in various countries such as the UK, Spain and Korea and I’ve visited others like Japan and Thailand. I can relate to her descriptions of feeling both exhilaration and exhaustion from trying to assimilate. I will say,  it helps be smitten with the country and culture you’re adjusting to because despite your love for a place, you’ll probably  still experience the struggles. Even when I was happily eating jamon serrano and dancing the night away in Spain or yelling swee-ma sen to the waiter while I enjoyed drinking and eating with my Japanese friends in the heart of Tokyo, I too felt the strain of adapting. Even though I experienced such excitement and joy that will burn in my memory forever, I also experienced the difficulties. But the difficulties are where the real rewards lay in my opinion.  It stretches you. It changes how you perceive things, your concept of right and wrong, good and bad. And it helps you see your own country and culture in a new light.

The sentiment in this passage from Paris my Sweet is one that  I think anyone who has spent extended time abroad can relate to:

But after a couple of months  away from home, my confidence was taking a beating in the face of so many changes and challenges. It was a salty-sweet malange of excitement and dread. Bliss and dismay. Giddiness and loneliness. I had already gotten myself right back up from the ground after flying over the handlebars of a Velib’ one time, but  on a Saturday  afternoon, after having fallen down a flight of stairs of a boutique, horribly embarrassing  myself, butchering my Knee and, worst of all ruining my brand new Robert Clergerie talons hauts, I limped home, my confidence shattered along with tough-girl facade.


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