Thursday, June 7, 2012

Family and Food

These two components are what made up my trip to Lyon last week, and I loved it! 

Visits with extended family are always a little hectic, a little chaotic, but ultimately you come away feeling happy and more connected to your roots. At least in my experience. Knowing where my roots are [without trying to sound cliche] is something I struggle with. The question 'where are you from?' genuinely speeds up my heart rate and makes me do a little internal groan. It's like, people want a one-word answer, not to hear my whole life story. And then they hear my accent and assume I'm all American so when I tell them I'm French too they think I mean, like, one 64th French from my ancestors, not actual French. Then I somehow end up feeling pretentious for specifying that it's actually a dual nationality, so I sometimes avoid the situation altogether. And it's not right for me to be avoiding my heritage. I love being American [sometimes] and French and it's important for me to get reacquainted with that side of things. My last trip here was 3 years ago!!

So, basically, that was a nice, long-winded way of saying: 'look at all the pictures I took in France!'


* Eating so much food I almost exploded [I will proudly tell anyone that Lyon is said to be the food capital of France, and well, France is kind of the food capital of the world, so...]
* Wandering through the historic neighborhood of St. Jean, its cathedral, little restaurants and shops, overlooking the city
* Enjoying the delicious sunny days on my grandpa's balcony with a magazine
* Catching up with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. over apero [extremely popular pre-dinner drinks]
* Chocolate shopping in the fancy boutique my grandma once worked at
* Baking [this was my mom] and devouring said baked goods [this was me]

And my personal favorite:
 * Going to the Friday morning market with my grandpa and watching him "flirt" with the little old ladies, as follows:

Old Lady: "Ooh well, that's a lot of bananas isn't it?!"
Grandpa: "Well, you know, I have my family visiting!"
Old Lady: "Oh lucky you! Isn't that nice?"
Grandpa [ever the charmer]: "Indeed! They're visiting all the way from Germany! Have a lovely day mademoiselle [the word used for young women, like 'miss', even though this new friend was clearly in her 80's]"

 My heart pretty much melted witnessing this. :)



Adrienne said...

Oh, Jenny. Your lovely pictures are making me miss Europe. And this is a big deal, because I was so exasperated with living in Germany (bad landlords) by the time that we left, I have not really been able to remember it all that fondly. Until these pictures. Maybe we'll go back for another tour someday...

I can see how your dual heritage can leave you feeling like you're straddling the fence between two cultures, but in my un-asked-for opinion, you should just call yourself what you are: a French American. Er, wait--is that the right term? You get what I mean, though. It isn't at all pretentious to be what you are. (Pretension would be claiming to be French when your DNA hasn't seen France in 4 generations.) Besides, all you have to do is rattle off some of your lovely, flawless French and any doubters will doubt no longer.

So...all of that is to say, I liked your post. :)

Kelly's Korner said...

Nice pics! Loved the story about your grandpa flirting with the old lady!

Anonymous said...

Interesting stories and nice pictures! The sun was shining for you, thats greatt! =) Anya

pearlswirl said...

Thanks everyone! :) :)

Jennifer said...

My friends husband is blacker than black and told her he is 1/2 american Indian. Talk about a person not knowing his heritage! And not thinking before he spoke... My friend shot him down so quick I almost peed my pants! She said for you to be half, either your mother or father have to be full Indian. I've seen your BLACK parents dumbass! maybe you had to be there but I almost died laughing.
Love the photos! This place looks all kinds of lovely:)

Jennifer said...

p.s. he really was trying to tell her he was half Indian. Not a little bit or a 1/4. I think he thought she (or me) wouldn't realize what a half meant.

Anonymous said...

So loverly. You are a master-writer :)
And don't forget that what you really mean is that by being French and American, you somehow must be Canadian! Much love. (Your anonymous French mumsy) :}

Darla Dear said...

Aww, your grandpa sounds like the cutest old man ever!

I hope I'll be able to visit Lyon while I'm in Paris!

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