A Taste of Expat Life

Always wondered what it’s like to be an expat? Stop wondering! I tell all, from what it’s like to date a Frenchman to day-to-day trials and tribulations of existing in France.

marche républicaine
The Republican march at Place de la République, Paris, post-Charlie Hebdo.

‘Tu’ or ‘Vous’? Break the Rules on Their Use at Your Own Peril (WSJ)
The informal and formal ‘you’ in the French language allow boundaries to be set–and friendships to grow.

Why the French Love to Complain (BBC)
In France, a complaint is an appropriate and frequent conversation starter – but the appropriateness of when, to whom and about what to complain is a delicate art.

The Word that Encapsulates Frenchness (BBC)
The flâneur may well be uniquely Parisian.

The Power of ‘Bonjour’ (WSJ)
I quickly learned upon arriving in France that saying bonjour meant far more than ‘hello.’

Paris Je T’Aime: A Love Letter to Notre Dame (Fodor’s)
I reflect on Notre Dame’s historical and cultural importance in the wake of the devastating fire.

Why the French Don’t Show Excitement (BBC)
Not only is ‘Je suis excité’ not the appropriate way to convey excitement in French, but there seems to be no real way to express it at all.

How to Fall in Love in Franglais (WSJ)
Dating a French person proved far more different than I ever could have imagined.

Revolt, Resistance, Renewal: A History of Paris in the Wake of Charlie Hebdo (Epicure & Culture)
“I’m not French, not Parisian, and likely never will be. France isn’t in my blood, but it’s in my spleen, my heart, my liver, and all those other organs the French like to attribute with properties they may or may not have. En gros, I’m a fan. And this is my story, my history, of Paris.”

Benoit’s Master Plan: Fatten Up the Foreigner (Glimpse)
“His first words are a decree: “I will sit next to Emily.”

Travel Narrative

Travel a bit further afield with my travel narrative.

Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach, Normandy

Why I Waited 8 Years to Visit the Normandy Beaches (Epicure and Culture)
“One of my favorite stories of my parents’ courtship or early marriage – I can never remember which, just that I didn’t yet exist – is them visiting Normandy. My father, in a fit of exuberance that seems much like the man that I know now in a way that stories about our parents before we existed don’t always, dashed up a hill to get a better view of a beautiful sight… only to run headlong into a barbed wire fence.”

What It’s Like to Build and Operate a Tiny Bookshop (Atlas Obscura)
Jean-Jacques Megel Nuber’s dream of bringing books to remote villages became a reality when he converted a tiny house into a bookshop.

Rock and Roll and Revolution in Prague (Travel Thru History)
“What do rock and roll music and the fall of the Iron Curtain have in common? In Prague, the answer is quite a bit.”

A Journey Through Prehistoric France (Travel Thru History)
“History, as it’s studied in school, can be a tough concept to wrap your head around.”

Red wine grapes in the Languedoc-Roussillon

A Small Languedoc Wine Area’s Lovely Tamed Chaos (Travel Belles)
“Fitou is a wine area that has been unfairly neglected for quite some time by international and French wine connoisseurs; the local rosé is even branded as Méconnu, unknown. When I mention my love of Fitou back home in Paris, I often get a raised eyebrow or mocking smile in return, but I know what I like, and I like it here.”

Finding a Piece of Home in Dol-de-Bretagne, France (Travel Belles)
“I was 14 the last time home was really, truly home, or rather, the last time it was my only home. Reactions to the statement, “I left home at 14,” no matter how well it’s phrased, always seem to leap straight to stories resembling The Boxcar Children, but it was nothing like that; I just caught the travel bug early.”

Montségur (Border Hopping)
“It’s the only thing they couldn’t steal from us,” Fabrice says. It’s as though we can see the wind itself, beneath the mist that looms above and around us. “Faith was the Cathar treasure.”