X is for Xenophile: A-to-Z Challenge

I had to pick an X, and none of them thrilled me.  My final choices were X-Acto (I could tell you of roommates who lost fingers making models at USC School of Architecture) or xoanon, which is a primitive wooden image of a deity.  I settled on Xenophile:

xenophile |ˈzenəˌfīl, ˈzē-|  noun:
an individual who is attracted to foreign peoples, manners, or cultures.

So here I go, raw writing on xenophile, seeing where it takes me:

I am alternately attracted and repulsed by foreign cultures.  I grew up in a family that traveled by car, up and down the coast, and into the mountains to visit my grandparents at their ranch.  No one but my great aunt traveled out of the country, and she went to exotic places as a representative for the USA studying education in Russia, Germany, and the orient.  She always sent me something real from the places she went, not a touristy thang.

800px-Gare_de_Lyon_(nojhan)I was single, had a bit of money to burn, and had just started my own business at 25 when a girlfriend coming out of a relationship said, “Let’s go to Europe for Christmas.”  It was a whim, and I expected to be gone for two weeks.  We started in London (which I could miss, as I hated the food, and when traveling it is all about the food) to get our grounding but I really was not happy — though I loved the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate.  We took a train and boat and then another train on Christmas Eve into Paris.  It was surreal, and we got no sleep,  crammed into each compartment with strangers holding goats and chickens and baskets of meat and breads.  When we arrived at the Gare De Lyon I felt I had come home.  I was entranced.  I turned to my girlfriend and said, “I’m not going home.”

800px-2192437358_51c98ca4b0_b_Gare_de_LyonI wrote back giving up the lucrative contract I had just been awarded, and let another friend who needed a place to stay have my apartment.  I told my boyfriend that he needed to move on.  I did not do touristy things except the art museums, but instead wandered the streets of Paris, eating at tiny cafes every soft cheese and warm bread concoction offered, talking to people and reading books I traded with other English-speaking people.  I fell in love with Picasso and Monet all over again.  I don’t know where I went because I didn’t document it, just wandered.  It was the first time in my life I had ever had no plans, no place to be, and no deadline.  The French people were delightful, and tolerated my tries at their language. I stayed for several months, traveling by train to the French coast (Mont Saint Michelle) and Nice in January, then back.  I landed a job as a nanny to a film producer who wanted his daughter to speak English.  That didn’t work out; I was bored.  Finally I came home, but the experience changed my life.  I did not want to practice architecture anymore and gradually developed a plan to move on to a different life.



I am now agreeing to the  Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or, visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms.  My images/blog posts can be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites.
Pictures of France from Wikipedia!

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in autobiography, journal, memory, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to X is for Xenophile: A-to-Z Challenge

  1. Sammy D. says:

    This was wonderful. I’ve had two “I’m not going home” trips – one in Cayman Islands where I did stay longer, and … Paris (!) where I couldn’t stay, but can put myself there in my imagination, and that’s ok!

  2. authorcrystalcollier says:

    That’s a life style I totally could have adopted, if I hadn’t gotten married and started a family. My hubby and I have aspirations to live in India one day, and perhaps several other unique and very different locations. I’m fascinated by other people’s cultures.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  3. susanissima says:

    Hi ZKW! Love this post! Really got my wanderlust juices flowing. Where we live in the PNW is a dulcet culture of poets and painters, and yet I do get twitchy when I’m in one place too long. I’ve lived in Germany, Italy and Mexico, traveled to a zillion other places outside of the US of A, and loved each one. By the way, the best food in London is East Indian. It’s like nirvana if you dig that cuisine. In a couple of days we’re heading to Alaska for a month, and I can’t wait to gaze through woods of paper birch and swat mosquitoes large as hummingbirds.

  4. X was a hard letter! Never heard of the word xenophile before. Now I have another word to add to my vocabulary : )

Love to hear from you....

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.