Tag Archives: allergies

Happy accident or trainwreck?

20 Apr

forbidden fruits - bread, cheese, wine


Ok, here we go – thoughts on my meanderings and people I meet in Paris.  I’ll probably talk a lot about food, too.

I am in Paris for at least the summer and am here, as the title suggests, by accident.  This isn’t an Eat Pray Love sort of journey.  I was really happy where I was.  However, when someone offers you 6 months in Paris (my husband took a job here and wanted a partner in crime), if you can, you take it.

Besides the disappointments in temporarily leaving my happy life back in Scotland, there are several other aspects to this adventure that make accidents more likely. 

First, there is my ambivalence towards Paris.  I’ve been, it’s a nice place, but there are so many other places to see.  When the trip was first mentioned Paris felt a bit ‘old world’, a bit like well-covered territory, almost cliché. Everybody either loves Paris or dislikes the French … or a mixture of both.  Rio, Mumbai, Shanghai – these are places you can write home about.  Paris – haven’t all of the stories been told/heard before?

My next hurdle is a communication problem. I don’t speak French.  I had a good old American school stab at learning Spanish and later, in situ, learning Japanese. Based on these experiences I can say with quite a bit of authority that I am not a linguist.

Finally, and possibly the most accident-inducing aspect of my time here is food related. Imagine telling a French person that you don’t eat bread, cheese, butter or drink wine.  I do eat meat and, by some chemical miracle, can drink champagne, but I am allergic to gluten, dairy products, fish/seafood and wine.  I don’t go into anaphylactic shock if any of these substances come my way, but I am pretty uncomfortable until they clear my system. Wish me luck and send toilet paper.

Anyway, will my time here be a happy accident or a trainwreck? Let’s see.