What spurs a mid-career woman to abandon her job, friends and life, for the siren call of France? Wine, food, perhaps charming French men...
In the Asian society, three things are paramount: i) Excel in your studies; ii) Get a good job and career, preferably in a staid professional field (medicine, law, accountancy…); iii) Get married and procreate.
I have met my filial expectations with regards to Paramount items i and, arguably, item ii. The series of jobs I have held are with respectable companies, in utterly respectable roles, and, in placing myself in Singapore, I am masochistically playing the role of worker ant. On Paramount item iii, well, my parents have not been pleased. But I'll save that for another story.
And then, one day, I fall under the spell of France.
Ah, it must be the French glamour and luxury, you say! But no, I am a veritable man in my shopping habits, hunting for that one item whether it be a pair of black trousers, a white shirt or a pair of exercise socks.
Might it be the French culture and language? But no, I find it difficult enough to keep up with the languages already on my plate (English, Malay, a sprinkling of Chinese), and certainly have little inkling of French culture apart from Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther.
Then it must be the food and the wine!