She taught me how to wash rice.
We were about 14 and 16, standing in the kitchen of a friend’s grandparents. It was in the middle of high school and we had to prepare food for a special school event. So, with a small group of friends, we had gathered in this kitchen to make our contribution: I can’t remember the dish, but it naturally included rice. Where I grew up, everybody eats rice, everyday, with almost every meal. The rice cooker is a staple in every home, and probably one of the first things every exiled Reunionese student buys when they arrive in their new country. I know it was the first kitchen appliance I worried about when I landed in cold and unfamiliar Paris, at age 18.