I used to like it here

From French lessons 11/19/09 4:12 AM

I wonder how ex-pats do it. Real ones, I mean, who can scurry off to glamorous foreign countries and spend days writing or creating art and reading good books. Do they actually exist? Do they all have trust funds? Or cushy jobs with the State department? Either way, the idea is intoxicating.

I've been thinking about this of course, because I just came back from France, where I went for a few weeks of language classes and travel. I stayed mostly in the south in Aix en Provence, and don't think I've seen too many places in my life that were more beautiful.

And just as I'd hoped, I learned a bit of French, got lost on many confusing rues, drew in cafes while sipping wee cups of coffee, saw magnificent ancient towns, and had thoughtful conversations over three hour dinners with the clever Anglophones I met in my class. In all, the perfect vacation. And now it's back to real life, with its morning jogs and long commutes, and all of the day to day annoyances that aren't nearly as much fun when they're experienced in your homeland, and not a foreign country.