PSA: An Open Letter to My Fellow Expatriates Living in France
I rage wrote this piece a few weeks ago after being inspired by the moral obligation that Americans and British people seem to have when it comes criticizing people, mainly their compatriates; who eat Fast Food or have nostalgia for a food from their own country.
This often starts like “You are living in the culinary capital of the world, why would you eat that shit?” and it baffles me why anyone feels they have the right to judge what people choose to eat.
Are you one of those people that loves to hate McDonalds? Does it bother you when someone craves a Sausage Roll when they could eat a traditional Jambon Beurre? If so, I advise you to stop reading and go make out with a baguette or something.
For everyone else with an open mind, let me know what you think. I’m referring specifically to the judgement here, and all other issues like gentrification aside, (yes, this is a huge problem and it disgusts me when a Sephora replaces a long-standing parisian café, like the one that recently popped up at Place Saint Michel) why does everyone love to hate foreign food when the French themselves enjoy it from time to time?
France has been my adopted home by choice for over 7 years and it does a lot of things right. I love the culture, the history, the way of life. I learned the French language and mannerisms that I originally wasn’t comfortable with (like kissing total strangers) because I respect that I am living in their culture and these social norms are heavily engrained in the way of life here. I proudly know more French history than your average French person and I’ve never turned my nose up at anything without trying it, including the famously stinky andouillette. I even contributed my DNA to make a hybrid American French offspring.
I enjoy my life here and I’m thankful to live in Paris amongst the French, who seem to have accepted my presence..
That being said, FOR FUCKS SAKE, why can I not publicly declare on occasion that I crave a GOD DAMN FLAMING HOT CHEETO without all you other, evidently far more cultured ex-American expats- jumping in to declare how much above nostalgic shit food like Pop Tarts you are now that you live in France?
I would 110% prefer to eat a plat du jour from a French bistro everyday but I don’t have the time or budget for it. Why does it offend you if I eat a Marks and Spencer sandwich on the go instead?
I too love outdoor markets, I buy fresh produce from them frequently, I have a huge respect for France and their love for their “terroir” and the food that comes from it, but get off my fucking nuts if I want to enjoy a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese from time to time!!
I commend you on how well you have assimilated, my fellow Americans, but your head is so far up your wanna be Jane Berkin Frenchified ass that you don’t see how much of a Poor Man’s wanna be Jane Berkin Cliché you are.
I may have a lingering addiction to corn syrup, but that 6€ espresso you drink on the terrace at Les Deux Magots does not make you any more successful to life here than me. At least I’m not pretending to be what I’m not, so why can’t I enjoy the culinary delights of both Betty Crocker and Ladurée?
No one seems to care if I wear a Northface sweater, or that a giant Abercrombie and Fitch occupies a historic hotel particulier on the Champs Elysées; but the second I claim to enjoy McDonalds coffee people want to brand me with a golden letter M?
And can anyone that’s not here in support of Taco Bell kindly move their perfectly Franceland assimilated asses along so the rest of us can harmoniously commiserate on an united front our longing for Cheesy Gordita Crunches and Crunch wrap Supremes?
Oh btw, that Shakespeare and Co book bag is cute AF Expat, and you are so noble to shop there instead of Amazon- but if you really appreciated Paris, you’d be in other amazing book stores like The Abbey Bookshop or San Francisco Book Company
Don’t get me wrong, Shakespeare and Co is picturesque and if waiting in a 18 person line at the entrance to take a picture of yourself sitting on a cum stained couch that some Tumbleweed pulled out on last night just to flip through a soul-less brand new copy of “A Moveable Feast” is your thing, I’ll respect that without shaming you in an attempt to change your mind.