Discovering Jerusalem : a journey to the center of Little France


In his book “Nadja”, French surrealist writer André Breton wrote “a woman is a woman is a woman”. It took me a long time to understand that weird double identity but today, I catch it all. Jerusalem is not Jerusalem is not Jerusalem. My first impression is odd. I wouldn’t expect to go to a supposed-to-be non-francophone country where everybody actually speaks French. Every guy in every corner of every street of the city speaks my language. I was told about American imperialism but forget about that, France, the country of Charlemagne, Napoléon, Sarkozy (one intruder is in the list, guess who?) is the only vivid empire. We are waiting for Natacha, Christophe and Hugues to join us. Sorry Kelly, as I can’t find any French name corresponding to yours, you may not be allowed to cross the borders. Even most surprising is the subtlety of the language, a kind of mix between academic tongue and slang. I can hear some “Yo” or “Wazaaa”, a kind of English reminiscence. I’m happy to hear  exotic languages from time to time, small countries must keep their identities alive. The ugly towers hiding the sky are as grey as these of my neighborhood. Even strikes remind me my so dear country. I didn’t miss them. The famous “baguette” is as good as ours. It changes from American bagel which is not my best memory of iowa City. I still wonder how a civilization – even a small-size one – was able to invent bagels.

My rationalistic mind, heritage of René Descartes and the spirits of “Lumières”, hesitates between skepticism and solipsism: Am I really in Jerusalem?  If not, that would mean an Icelandic volcano is spreading an ash cloud all over Europe. Impossible, uh?



2 Responses to “Discovering Jerusalem : a journey to the center of Little France”

  1. Tracey Says:

    Je rétracte ce que j’ai écrit à NRF! Sort of. Dérouter oui, mais je suis heureuse que les vols de Paris soient immobilisés. The ash has particulates that can do major damage to the planes, and the people inside them if they go down. Better safe than sorry … mieux vaut prévenir que guérir.

  2. tatiana Says:

    your travel doesn’t icelandic volcano isn’t an obstacle for you.

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