Foire de Savoie

Last night David & I went to the Foire de Savoie, mostly because one of their main exhibits was Tahiti et ses îles and I’m still really interested in seeing French Polynesia one day. Everyone was dressed in traditional Polynesian outfits and they were selling flowers, oils, jewelry, clothes and vacations to Tahiti. They even had a tattoo artist giving (removable) ink tattoos of Polynesian symbols.

tiki statue

In the other six buildings, most of the vendors were selling things for the home like couches, kitchens, pools, sheds, etc. which is great if you have a house but a bit depressing if you don’t. There were a few stands selling other things like Italian or Basque food as well as some activities such as fake palm tree-climbing and ziplining, but these were only for children. The only thing we ended up buying was some candy called chouchou – peanuts covered in crunchy caramel. If we had a yard, I would have loved to buy this:

I am glad we went – we entered a drawing to win a 10 day vacation to Tahiti so keeps your doigts croisés for us – but we had a bit of a scare on the way. It was really crowded because it was Friday night, and some roads were closed so the traffic was awful. We had just crossed some railroad tracks and stopped because of the red light further ahead. I noticed the car behind us actually stopped on the tracks instead of waiting to make sure there was enough room to cross the tracks before advancing like you are supposed to do. I made a comment about how that driver was an idiot because you never know when a train will come along and sure enough, the bells rang to signal that a train was coming. Lucky for him, the traffic started moving right away and he was able to get off the tracks without about 2 seconds to spare. I didn’t even see the train because it was going so fast that by the time I turned my head around to look, it had already passed. Just thinking about that car on the tracks made my stomach upset for the next half hour though.

Hazardous Effects of Dubbing

Ok, maybe not hazardous, but the effects sure are annoying. France dubs almost all foreign TV shows and movies into French instead of leaving the original spoken language and adding subtitles. I absolutely hate it because the lips don’t match the words, the voices don’t match the actors, and it’s really distracting when the French […]

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La Maison de Jean-Jacques Rousseau dans les Charmettes

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, of Social Contract fame, lived in a house in the Charmettes, just outside of Chambéry, from 1735-1742. He kept a garden and vineyard there while he spent the rest of his time writing. It is open to the public for free and there is also a temporary exposition until December 31 titled “Je […]

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Zee French Appartement

Even though we moved into this apartment back in May, we are still not finished acquiring all the furniture we want/need. The last piece of the puzzle is a clic-clac for the living room. We do have a small couch, but it’s too uncomfortable and impossible to sleep on.  We were supposed to receive the […]

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Ready for my Rentrée

School starts in 11 days and I’m so excited! I love my job and being on vacation for nearly 5 months was getting a little old. I can’t wait to get back in the computer room and audio labs and play with the technology teach students English. Everything will be so much easier this year […]

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Is your French better than a reality show contestant’s?

Meet Vanessa. She’s on a reality show in France called Secret Story. If the fact that she’s on a reality show doesn’t already tell you she’s a moron, her 53 grammar mistakes in 27 seconds will. (Ok, she didn’t make quite that many mistakes, but come on! I speak French better than her!!)

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New friend, French wedding and football match

I met up with the lovely Cynthia on Friday and chatted with her for a few hours about being an American expat in Chambéry. It’s always nice to talk to someone who is going through the exact same thing and has the same thoughts about our old and new countries. Check out her blog for […]

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Language Learning Quotes

To get back into full language learning mode, here are some quotes from scholarly journals and books to keep in mind. Citations are on the bibliography page. 1) why textbooks will not teach you to speak a language…. “Textbooks often present forms that are not commonly used, and most non-natives acquiring a language in a […]

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Parc des Bauges : Le Petit Canada

We took a little drive up the mountains into the Parc des Bauges this afternoon. There are several different areas of the park, but we decided to go to Savoie Grand Revard – mostly because it’s pretty close to Chambéry and offers a great view of Lac du Bourget, but also because it’s called le […]

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La Rentrée is coming! La Rentrée is coming!

It’s the last weekend of summer here in France. Kids go back to school this Wednesday and I couldn’t be happier. Hopefully there will be fewer loud scooters on the street after midnight. And I can go shopping without being surrounded by a bazillion annoying, bratty kids. La rentrée means more than just back to […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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