French ladies: how my sister and I stopped fighting by becoming foreign women

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Two West Coasters overcome their sibling rivalry — in a town of hippies, yippies and Beatniks — by channeling Continental ladies of leisure.

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Awkward greetings: the intercultural social dance

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Trying to assimilate to the greeting norms of another culture leaves us bumping heads and stepping on toes.

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Downdrafts and uplifts: far-flung reality clashes with idealized dreams

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An Irishwoman weighs the dream of life versus the reality, versus the dream of making it happen nonetheless.

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Travel as way of life: when traveling nature finds its full expression

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Travel used to be a special occasion. Then I became an expat and a global business traveler — the full expression of my traveler nature?

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The twinge of heritage: ghostly urges of a post-immigration life

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After four generations of immigration, a New World woman finds the mysteries of extended lineage often crop up as synchronicity, quirks of taste, wanderlust.

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Thanksgiving with Mary Jane: spirit of the season(ing)

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When you’re a teenager there are a million places you’d rather be than at a family gathering. However when I was fifteen, Thanksgiving with my relatives was the best turkey day I’ve ever celebrated. My anti-establishment father put marijuana in the stuffing. What’s your countercultural recipe for family harmony?

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Cultural jet lag: the effect of occupying multiple personas

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“Iranian by birth, French by citizenship and American by residence” is how my grandfather encapsulated 10-year old me. What does that make my daughter?

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Food communion: finding lost rituals

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A global nomad now back in the USA misses the special status of food.

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Sink or swim: facing the surprise depths of cultural immersion

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Easy answers to complex cultural questions can’t prepare an American for her submersive role as member of a Kurdish tribe by marriage.

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