Being foreign: The others | The Economist

An American child psychologist, Alison Gopnik, when reaching for an analogy to illuminate the world as experienced by a baby, compared it to Paris as experienced for the first time by an adult American: a pageant of novelty, colour, excitement. Reverse the analogy and you see that living in a foreign country can evoke many of the emotions of childhood: novelty, surprise, anxiety, relief, powerlessness, frustration, irresponsibility. It may be this sense of a return to childhood, consciously or not, that gives the pleasure of foreignness its edge of embarrassment.

Being foreign: The others | The Economist