Alice Kaplan on her love of France:

Why do people want to adopt another culture? Because there’s something in their own they don’t like, that doesn’t name them.

French still calls out to me in the most primitive way. If I’m in a crowded room and there are two people speaking French all the way on the other side of the room, I’ll hear, loud as day, as though a friend were calling my name. My ears prick up. I become all ears, hearing every word, notic­ing the words I don’t know or haven’t heard for a while and remembering when I last heard them. I’ll eavesdrop shame­lessly, my attention now completely on that conversation, as if I belong in it; I’ll start trying to figure out how to get in on it.

 French Lessons: A Memoir