Somewhere in the cobbled town of Saumur with a view of the Château and a band of faceless strangers, I wailed for rice. It was my first day as a Filipina immigrant in France. My French partner, who was just as tired from our long flight and jam-packed train ride, asked me what was wrong. Between sobs, I could only say I needed rice. I was bent down, crying and hugging my knees, because the black hole in my stomach felt twice as big with each breath. I cried because I was in an unfamiliar land that smelled only of baguette and pain au chocolat. I cried because seven thousand miles now separated me from my homeland. I cried because inside my luggage was a one-liter rice cooker that my dad had carefully packed for me, because we both...

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