Thursday, January 9, 2014

In the Asylum

       I find it hard to choose things to talk about in this specific blog without making something too personal. In later blogs, I might just break down and allow you guys inside my secret daydreams and fictional world. (Yes, I do pretend to be different characters of my favorite movies and novels...nothing's wrong with that!) Back to the post...

I am in the Asylum... the domicile for the 'unsettled' minds.

        I did my first 'official' student grocery shopping in the streets of La Defense in Paris - the business district of Paris and the Business Heart of entire Europe, but more of that later. 
       Walking through the aisles of the Monoprix, I came to the realization that knowing English isn't as useful here as it is in places like North or Central America. Buying my daily survival necessities became a struggle. But pictures help. And so does basic Spanish since most French words are deratives. (and Vice Versa)

      One picture I could not find in those infinite rows of manufactured edible treasures was feijão. In a less exotic Brazilian accent, it really means beans. I could not find beans anywhere. Now, please take a moment to breathe this all in. My blog is about beans. What is Cindy thinking? Cindy is thinking about the mere fact that in the City of Lights, the City where most romantics dream of, writers crave of, and adventure devils reek of- I could not find either cooked nor uncooked beans. 

Let me use a favorite anecdote as antidote for this other anecdote ;) 

     A few days after arriving in Paris, I finished reading "What She Left Behind" which, in short, is a novel of time travel and its interconnection of hearts and lives between two women in different time. But more importantly, about a girl named Clara- who is forcibly taken to an Asylum by her atrocious father who thought she had become irrational or "crazy" after falling in love with an Italian of the lower class. Chained to a time where women were merely thoughtless objects and incapable of reason, she struggled to keep herself sane. Everyday she tried to convince others that she was fine and needed to be released. Her days became years and she tried to remind herself of her daughter and of Bruno to keep herself from losing touch with reality.

Bruno is my beans. Oh dear Bruno!

     You see, she needed that memory to stay alive and sane- Just as Rose kept the memory of Jack alive to let the love live on. 
Beans at home means that mom found the easiest dinner escape. It means that dad wants a typical "spanish'' din din. 
     Beans in Paris means a replica of family warmness, a short-lived time travel experience that connects you to the time you were at home maybe wondering why you didn't order take-out. Beans in Paris means that I want to keep a sole piece of who I am with me.

     Don't get me wrong. The culinary institution of life has always been my favorite getaway. I am a sucker for trying new and exotic cuisines- if I can't even pronounce it, then I'm trying it. But I still am on the hunt for beans. 

I am still in search for my Bruno because it brings me back to the reality that this is not a dream, you see. Feijãos pull me back to my home - a place of grounded assurance and familiarity, where everything will be okay. Sometimes all a girl wants is to eat some of that beans.