I spent the most meaning part of my life in France. My family moved to Paris in 1999, I was four years old.
I grew up in the 16th arrondissement. Paris is divided into districts called ‘les arrondissement’. The 16th arrondissement is located ten minutes away from the Tour de Eiffel.
French soon became my first language, as I attended local French schools. I learned French and English almost simultaneously. At home I spoke English, but after I left the apartment I only spoke French. Still to this day I consider French to be my first language.
While I sought to assimilate into parisian society, I noticed that the French are charmingly arrogant, and I did my best to replicate their hauté attitudes. Part of integrating into any country you must observe how the locals live and act around one another. The French are elegant in their presentation, eat the best food, remain in healthy shape, don’t work to the fullest capacity, are charming but extremely vain, and enjoy the simple pleasures.
Living abroad shaped my identity more than anything else I’ve experienced, it taught me to be understanding and accepting of other perspectives when making a decision. The memories I have of France have a deep and profound influence on my identity.