Just as an aubergiste cultivates aubergines, an alienist treats the alienated or those suffering from alienation. This is not, despite what you might have seen in B movies, a condition wherein a human being is taken over by a horde of (usually) malevolent alien invaders, but simply one of being detached from the realities of life: a loony, or nutcase, in the vernacular.
Forgive me for boring you with this, but it came to mind the other day as I realised that I really have no idea who I am anymore. Despite the years spent over here and the love I have for the place (some bits of it, anyway) and its people (definitely only some of them) France is not my country: the sad fact is that the New Zealand I knew all those years ago has disappeared too. (Probably, as Bryan once remarked, up its own insular arsehole, to have now disappeared from the universe in its own singularity, but that's neither here nor there.)
This is what comes of going away for a couple of years and then letting that stretch out unreasonably: you change imperceptibly whilst expecting everything else to stay the same, and then you wake up one day to discover yourself stateless, rootless, and wondering vaguely whether it's already time for the apéro. I'm probably condemned to spend the rest of my life as an eternal tourist with no attachments, a sort of spiritual Flying Dutchman, only with better accomodation and no risk of sea-sickness.
So I can see I really shall have to do some serious work thinking about what I want to do with the future, which is kind of sad because "work" is one of those words that I rather thought I'd succeeded in banishing from my vocabulary years back. I'll keep you posted.