I was asked the other day what my reasons to come to the US were, and by my response ("Because of my better half!" :-)), I was asked if I would have come here if it wasn't for him... Why, I had this strong and deprived of all doubts feeling that: yes, I would have, no questions about that! (Had I not met him in France, I would have had to somehow find the way that lead to him anyway, non? :-)). If that is true, we will never find out, as I'm here (and not going anywhere else anytime soon). I also have an equally strong feeling that everything in my life thus far has lined up for me leaving no room for coincidence and for a lot of randomness (as there is some of it, but looking at the past from the perpective of the present, I feel as if there was a reason for it all). Listening to a pretty bad copy of "If you're going to San Francisco" at night with my sister on our first little red boom box (and I swear I could feel the wind blowing through the flowers in my hair right there!), falling in love with the Golden Gate Bridge while looking through the book of the Wonders of the World when I was a little girl, hearing about my teacher's short but happy American experience and the nation's apparent motto of "Keep smiling!" that she shared with us, totally amazed, and that engraved itself into my memory... Those are just a couple of things that I remember, that have surfaced and stayed with me over the years... I fell in love with my first American friends (actually my English teachers) and their mentality, I was fascinated by the power of the culture, politics and the influence that this country can impose on others: "When America sneezes, the entire world takes its temperature" was the saying. It didn't just go by me, all that sank in and drilled a little hole for a long time...
And so there I am. Living and experiencing it for myself. Would I have come here, if it wasn't for him? Maybe not. Maybe I would've conquered France and enjoyed foie gras by the kilo, daily swims in the Med after buttery croissants for breakfast, and French people by the dozens :-) Well, that makes me think that I probably would've found him some other way, some other time, some other place... There might not be this strange thing called destiny, but there are no accidents... Because if something was to happen by accident, why would it at all?
I am here then. I made California my new home, I enjoy French toast, burritos, the ocean cold as heck, and Americans all around me :-) It is more paradisiac than it may seem... It's my new home that I have been looking at with a lens of curiosity, admiration and affection (and a little bit of criticism) for the last few years.
And lastly, "I left my heart in San Francisco" too, so for now I'm stuck -- I ain't going nowhere without it! ;-)