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Something that has fascinated me for years is that when one culture interprets something from another culture they always interpret it a completely different way from the way the original culture interprets it.

For instance while in China I saw sushi made with mayonnaise and a fairly large piece of salmon wrapping the roll instead of nori — it was Cantonese sushi. I did eat sushi while I was in China though not that kind, but I don’t recommend it until you are there long enough you don’t care if you get sick anymore.

I was reminded of this yesterday as I was home sick an going over some library books and magazines I had lying around. The library book was The French-Inspired Home, with French General by Kaari Meng and the magazine was Marie Claire Maison (I am learning French for work and perhaps vacations in Paris — I should be able to write off French magazines on my taxes). What really interested me was the contrast between the two visions of the world.

Here is a snippet of one of the pictures from The French Inspired Home:

meng

Here are a couple from Marie Claire Maison:

maison-1

maison-2

They are both lovely, but it is apparent to me which of these places is in California. I think my natural taste runs to the American version, but I love to think of myself living in the French version with its elegant spareness.

I also live with foreboding that I will always need to move somewhere smaller and need to fit all my stuff in there. Right now I live in the main floor of a house with approximately 800 square feet (or about 87 square metres) without a closet for the vacuum, so moving somewhere smaller is not inconsequential. Actually, I think our place is fairly large — I moved here from a studio that was really small (and beige which is worse).

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