• Harriot Grinnell-Moore

Where is Home?

Near Jardin des Tulleries

It’s so strange living out in Paris when I’m probably only living out here for a year. It means for routine appointments like eye tests and contraception it’s far easier to get it done when I visit my family back in the UK. We are so blessed to have free health care in the UK, over here I have to pay €40 a time plus medicine costs (which wouldn’t be such an issue if I had social security… but French red tape is a whole other issue).

Even living in another country, I've stayed loyal to my hairdressers back in England, for one thing I'm scared of having my roots dyed a different shade of blonde by someone else, and for another thing it's a heck of a lot cheaper. However, it does make me feel far less of a local, doing it this way. On the other hand, I still get a rush out of going to the local post office here, chatting to the cashier at Carrefour, or giving someone directions, because it makes me feel like a local. So I guess I'm still in-between a tourist and a local - a tourcal if you will.

It’s also super annoying having my things in two different countries… although all of my stuff wouldn’t fit in my apartment over here! Still, the other day I thought up the perfect outfit for a date only to realise I’d left the perfect black skirt in question back in the UK, nevertheless it gave me the perfect opportunity for a cheeky trip to Galleries Lafayette. Which also meant I didn't have to badger my mum to send me yet another parcel of things I'd left behind.

My family, most of them, are all the way across the channel, most of my friends too. My childhood and my memories lie there too. Fluffy crumpets, Yorkshire puddings, decent tea and Cadbury's marvellous creations are all confined to England too. Yet, when I'm back in England I yearn for a galette complete, fresh baguettes, macaroons, cheap wine and mountains of cheese. I miss my friends and speaking French and all the opportunities on offer.

The strangest part of it all is, when my contract ends I don't know where I'll be. If I get into my preferred university, I'll be in the Netherlands, but if I don't where will I be this time next year? Still in Paris, somewhere else in France? Travelling? Working? Studying somewhere else? Staying with family? I love and hate the uncertainty, it scares me yes, but it offers me so many opportunities too.

I was born in Scotland, raised in Scotland, went to school In England. I am English, Irish too. I've lived and worked in France. I have family from Italy, Belgium, Thailand. I belong in so many places. So where is home? Well, I think it's wherever I am at that moment.

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Contact me: helgm1@gmail.com | The Netherlands

© 2017 by Harriot E.L. Grinnell-Moore

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