I’m not big on traveling. Or trying new things. Or going out. But I can appreciate Baldwin’s French adventure. Being dropped into a foreign land where you don’t speak the language? Believe it or not, I know more about that then you think. I’m about to drop a personal shitstorm on you, if you don’t mind:
I know, you’re thinking: Duh doy! But my current human wasn’t always my human. I’m originally from sweet, simple New Jersey, and now I live deep in the heart of artisanal, freaky as fuck Brooklyn. Talk about culture shock. Baldwin’s memoir is basically a series of culture shock-related vignettes. It’s jarring, being in a place where everything looks familiar but the customs are the complete opposite. The feeling of alienation eventually gets to Baldwin, despite how adept he becomes at French and baguette eating. It was refreshing to read about Paris in this tone. Finally, no Moveable Feast ass-kissing. (Though, there is some of that in the beginning.) Being an ex-pat isn’t always glamorous. In fact, it’s usually exhausting. I’m still not a fan of Brooklyn, and guess what? I don’t ever have to be. You may have the undying love of Walt Whitman and Jay-Z, but you’ll never get mine, muthafuckas.
Previous : Clementine and RZA are "humble warriors"