Back when I went to American University (for a semester), I took an advanced translation course in spanish. My professor was a gringo who had lived in Panama, and at the end of the semester, I told him I was going to study and live in Argentina (that was the plan back then).
He told me something very curious… don't lose your language. I laughed, it actually sounded kind of cool.
It's a slow and scary process. You wake up one day and realize you think more in a foreign language than your own. There are words in that foreign language that describe much better how you feel or think than a maternal tongue.
I often find myself talking with my mom on the phone and trying to awkwardly translate a word from spanish to english because I have no idea how to express myself anymore. When local friends ask me how to say something in english, it's embarrassing that I can't remember.
I'm a cross-cultural mix of idioms, mainly spanish ones. I dream in spanish. I eat in spanish. I process in spanish.
I eat in mediterranean, Indian, Mexican too.
Food is the best language of all.
Mediterranean couscous and lentil salad
Adapted from Gourmet
Serves about 6 as a main dish salad
1 cup lentils, brown or green
3 TBSP white-wine vinegar
1 ¼ cups water
1 cup couscous (quick-cooking, medium grain)
½ tsp salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed and mashed to a paste with ¼ tsp salt
½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ lb feta, crumbled
Add lentils to a small saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Simmer until tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a bowl. Stir in 1 TBSP vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool completely, stirring occasionally.
In another small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir in 1 TBSP olive oil and let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl make the dressing by whisking together the garlic paste, remaining 2 TBSP of vinegar, remaining 3 TBSP olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. When the couscous and lentils are cooled to room temperature, stir lentils into couscous along with the dressing. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours. Just before serving, stir in the chopped mint, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled feta. Enjoy cold.