Learn a new language and get a new soul— Czech proverb When Jacques was twelve years old, his mother began speaking to him only in French, his father addressed him only in Greek, and he was sent to an English-speaking day school in Paris. Of course, Jacques* was the same person whether he was discussing physics with his mother in Greek, economics with his father in French, or chatting about James Bond and the latest Die Hard with his friends at The American School of Paris. And yet, his personality seemed to ebb and flow. “I felt probably ruder and more aggressive in Greek, clear and concise in French, and creative and longwinded in English,” he said. “You don’t really feel the difference while you’re doing it, but you do after.”
Save for the bonobos that suck on each other’s tongues for up to ten minutes at a time, there aren’t any animals that kiss. And are we really going to count a tongue-suck as a kiss anyway? Somehow, humans are actually the only species to kiss on the mouth, and the meanings of a kiss are plentiful. A parent might kiss a child goodbye upon dropping him off at school. A kiss might occur at the end of a date as either a polite “thank you, but I won’t be seeing you again” or as an “I like you. Let’s keep this up.” A kiss on the cheek is often a polite greeting. Kisses in longer relationships are a form of maintenance, and a particularly upset person might even demand a kiss upon his derrière.
“Even the poor have something very chic about them.” – Karl Lagerfeld, creative director for Chanel and Fendi, discussing India’s slum-dwelling, “elegant” women After watching Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s kitschy film Amélie and taking in its bright colors and even brighter vision of Paris and love, it’s easy to want to drop everything and find a tiny apartment in Montmartre. There, you could ride around on a one-speed bicycle, work at a charming brasserie, and find love, perhaps even sport a cute lil’ bob like Miss Audrey Tautou (God bless her and that haircut).