Bonne Année! Happy New Year!
Colin and I just spent a wonderful few days ringing in the new year with friends in Spain. It was a multicultural celebration—we brought our favorite French champagne, another pair of French friends brought traditional Provençal desserts, our Belgian friends brought chocolate, and our Catalan friends introduced us to the tradition of eating 12 grapes with the 12 strokes of midnight for good luck. (They also introduced us to the Catalan tradition of caga tió, in which children feed an anthropomorphic log in the days leading up to Christmas in hopes that it will poop out presents.)
It was the best way to celebrate 2019. It’s hard for me to think about what this year has in store because I can’t imagine not being in Paris; I can’t bear to think about leaving. It was a nice distraction to be surrounded by friends, particularly friends who have lived abroad and understand the emotions that come with that. As one friend put it, the curse of living abroad is the realization that you will never again feel fully at home anywhere, because everywhere you go will be missing something that you loved from another culture. There is so much we will miss about France. 2018 was a truly exceptional year, and I am giving major side-eye to 2019.
You’d better believe I ate those 12 grapes faster than I’ve eaten anything before, because I felt like I could use a little good luck for 2019. The holiday is definitely bittersweet this year.