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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Henriette Lazaridis

You are amazing! If I knew any Greek I would say that way, but since I don't, CONGRATULATIONS 👏

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I really loved this post. I cannot relate to being an expat yearning for my true home country, but I can relate to running a marathon through a place where each mile evokes memories and a feeling of belonging mixed with nostalgia, triggered by scents as well as sights. Congratulations on your strong finish.

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Thank you! I’m sure that coming into a very familiar part of the city helped fuel that finish.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Henriette Lazaridis

Yes Henriette, that’s exactly how I feel when I’m in Greece and then back in the US again. I totally get the mindset when I’m there and when I’m back here, for a long time afterwards, I find myself thinking in Greek and replying in Greek to bilingual friends whom I know to be more comfortable with English and yet my tongue races ahead and replies in Greek much to their surprise, and mine! Love this essay. It’s nice to know other people like ourselves :-)

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And I’m so interested and glad to hear that that unconscious sliding into Greek happens to you too!

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Yes, all of this! When I return to Paris, it's the sounds that are the most comforting, the most I-am-home-y although I haven't lived there since 1991. The voice and cadence of the announcer at the Charles de Gaulle airport. The tap-tap of heels echoing in quiet streets on Sunday mornings. The click and groan of heavy, green doors leading to courtyards. The creak and clack of shutters being pushed open. And I've been told my voice is different in French. I do feel like a different Anjali in French.

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Someone told me my face changed and that, watching a video interview of me even without sound on, she could tell I was speaking Greek because I looked different!

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Ah yes. Playing "guess the language" on the subway, where you can't hear what people are saying but you guess what language they are speaking based on their facial expressions and how their lips are moving, was a family game when I was a kid. I still like to do that. Sometimes I can narrow down at least to the region, even if I can't identify the actual language.

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When I was a kid, it was shoes, not facial expressions. I could tell you the nationality of a tourist in Greece from a glance at their shoes. The world's differences have been ironed out a bit now, so it's not as easy to distinguish. But back then? Piece of cake.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Henriette Lazaridis

Amazing congratulations

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deletedNov 14, 2023Liked by Henriette Lazaridis
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That is so poignant, Anne. It must almost be worse because the language is "the same" but not.

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