Old Peace Corps volunteers recount a story of adaptation to unfamiliar and sometimes unsanitary conditions in Africa: When you first arrive, if you discover a fly in your beer, you call the waiter and demand that he change it. After a few months, if a fly is in your beer, you toss him out and drink the beer. At the one year mark, you wring the fly out before you toss it and drink the beer. Not long after that, you just drink the beer and the fly.
Now, while I didn’t eat that ant in my salad, I ate around it, amused enough to get a picture of it. Living as an expat in a foreign country is a lot like eating around that ant. You ordered the salad and you want the salad, but not necessarily everything that came with it. However if you are adaptable, you can always find the humor in the situation, laughing at it, yourself and just laughing in general.
Now I think I might have offended at least one Francophile, with my seeming irreverence towards French food and the culture in general. While I wouldn’t call myself a Francophile, I do like France, apparently, because I have chosen to live here. I’m just not rabid about it. All in all I’m still an American and as an American, I find some things in France silly, frustrating and hilarious.
I would call myself an American patriot but again, I’m not rabid about it nor starry eyed. The world is vast and there are so many countries with so many things to eat, do and experience, limiting yourself to just one, whether France or the United States, is well, limiting. However, if you choose to do this, I say more power to you. I’m going to eat around the ant