The Chameleon

Anna Cook - Beyond the Bottomline
3 min readDec 17, 2022

I met the ultimate language fluency chameleon in the creator of OPAL — I had the enormous good fortune to study under, and be trained by, the man himself… Listening to him, watching him, his culture, his attitude, his movement, I swear he is an American, then a Brazilian, then a Frenchman… I am so confused!

OK so I’m English, VERY English even, (well Irish/English cross with a bit of Scottish thrown in, and a few drops of Spanish blood several centuries ago), although ancestors such as Captain Cook have given me a complete and utter addiction to travel, discovery, exploring, languages, cultures… You get the idea?

Most people consider me an eccentric, adventurous nomad with a great passion for country hopping… They are absolutely right!

This is what leads to my total fascination and all-consuming passion for OPAL! I met the ultimate chameleon in the creator of OPAL — I had the enormous good fortune to study under, and be trained by, the man himself…

Fact: He is a man

Fact: He is French

Fact: I totally swear he is American

Fact: I totally swear he is Brazilian

Fact: I am not schizophrenic!

I knew he was French before I met him. I knew because I had read about him, because another French guy told me, because his name is French. I met him in English, well American… Bearing in mind I have lived in the States, I have worked for American companies, I have many American friends — I KNOW AMERICANS — I know the way they talk, the way they think, the way they move…. HE IS AMERICAN!

It so confused me that I was convinced he must just have a French name, or that one of his parents was American, or he was born and grew up in the States.

Then he spoke to me in French, same thing… HE IS FRENCH! I live in France, I went to University in France, I work here, my OH is Breton, all my friends are French, I understand their culture, mentality, language, way of life.

Then he spoke to me in Portuguese, same thing — HE IS BRAZILIAN…

By now, I was absolutely speechless (a very rare occurrence for me!)… I have never seen someone so easily and totally integrate another person, culture, mentality and life as Yves!

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Anna Cook - Beyond the Bottomline

International Executive and Wellness Coach · Podcast Presenter · Author · Writing mostly about holistic success · Career + Wellness together... www.annacook.uk