This episode is entitled "Strange Pilgrims" and shares its name with a series of short stories by Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I've carried it with me as a reminder of the joys and sorrows of being a Latin-American foreigner in Europe.
There's one story that always stuck with me:
A young newlywed couple travels to Paris for their honeymoon. The young bride has suffered a small injury on her finger that won't stop bleeding, so when they finally do arrive in the city of lights she is admitted to intensive care. The problem is, visits are only allowed once a week. So he has to wait 6 days before he can see her. He spends those days holed up in his hotel room, afraid and alone. He doesn't speak French, and cannot ask questions or defend himself when the doctors send him away. He is far from his home, his family and all of the privilege that comes with being able to speak your mind.
This is year three for me in Paris. As a Colombian-American, I've lived the hyphenated experience like one of Marquez's strange pilgrims. Living as neither one nor the other entirely, with both joy at the surprises the city has to offer, and sadness that comes with missing home.
And so, for this final episode of season 1, I wanted to feature some projects that highlight some of the best, and worst parts about making the move to live somewhere new.
This episode features:
David Carillo, Mexican-American and creator of the Intermediate-French web series and the podcast Mijes Away and June Chua, journalist and host of the podcast, Empire of Dreams (coproduced with Maria Ponce).
Like me, David and June found comfort in telling their stories of leaving and coming home.
Curious? Have a listen.