As 2008 Ends…

I’ve got 2009 already planned as the Year of Travel. The second semester begins January 19 and finishes at the end of April. We’re going to the Dominican Republic during spring break for my brother’s wedding. I’ve got a few exams – maybe two days? – to proctor in May & June, but in the meantime, I’ll be visiting Milan, Lisbon, and all the southern cities of France with Michelle, my roommate from Flint whom I haven’t seen since early 2006.

I’m also going to Istanbul to see Martha (she of Freiburg fame), probably at the beginning of June. Then in July, we’re going to Quebec City, Montreal, Michigan, Virginia and Washington D.C. for my sister’s wedding. August will be my month to recuperate before going back to work mid-September. I haven’t decide yet where we’ll spend Christmas. I’d love to go back to Michigan, but it all depends on how much I can save over the year.

Since I’ve always been really good at saving money, I believe I have enough saved already for these trips. And luckily, travelling in Europe can be so amazingly cheap. A roundtrip ticket to Lisbon from Geneva is only 60 €. I can fly to another country for SIXTY EUROS. That’s how much we just paid for an electric fondue pot. And I hope the TSA really does end or at least amend the ridiculous liquid ban in 2009 so that flying won’t be such a pain (especially for those of us who only take carry-on). It’s usually cheaper to fly in Europe rather than take the train, but at least there’s no liquid ban on trains!

And to help me get through the long flights across the ocean, I decided to buy myself a Sony Reader with my Christmas money and gift cards. I didn’t have to pay very much for it, and it will allow me to be an even better light packer with my personal rule of carry-on only (except when going to Michigan of course, so I can bring back more goodies to France.)

And now I’m looking on to 2010. Unfortunately, it will bring the end of my job in September, but I also hope it brings us one step closer to immigrating to Quebec. I still have so many places to see in Europe before we leave for good though. Strasbourg, Munich, Prague, Krakow, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik, Athens, Edinburgh, Belfast, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Tallin… and I can’t forget Lille, the D-Day Beaches, and Mont St. Michel in Northern France…

Living in Europe certainly has its perks when it comes to travel. I don’t want to regret missing out on all of these places because we never know what will happen or where life will take us. Maybe we will move to North America within 2 years, maybe not. Either way, I want to take advantage of what I can do now in case it becomes impossible in the future. I’m not going to put things off any longer. I need to start living for today instead of next month or next year. Anyway, that’s my attitude going into 2009!

Decide Already! Yes or No? France or Quebec?

Je n’arrive pas à décider si je veux faire un deuxième Master. J’ai obtenu mon Master en linguistique et enseignement de l’anglais langue étrangère aux Etats-Unis en 2007, ce qui m’a permis de trouver du travail en France (comme assistante et lectrice). Pourtant, je ne suis pas sûre de vouloir enseigner l’anglais à l’avenir. J’aimerais […]

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A Few Ways to Say It

Joyeux Noël ! Buon Natale! Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten! Zalig kerstfeest! God Jul!

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I want a Michigan Christmas with Michigan snow…

Sung by Brian d’Arcy James, who’s from Saginaw and who’s currently starring as Shrek on Broadway.

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Petite Cabane à Sucre de Québec… à Annecy

David & I finally made it to the Marché de Noël at the Imperial Hotel in Annecy. Today was actually the very last day for it, so nothing like waiting to the last minute… I mostly just wanted to visit the Quebecois stands because I had been to the marché before and it’s usually swarmed […]

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Snow + Tractor + Dog = Fun

It’s a good thing I wasn’t flying home this weekend… Even Brandy wasn’t liking all the snow… But Dad and John Deere came to the rescue… And made her a mountain to play on. You have no idea how much I wish I could play on that snow pile with her!

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Vacation time!

Classes are finished and grading is done! Vive les vacances!

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Christmas Vocabulary in French

Even Canaille gets into the Christmas spirit! Ok, he hated wearing the hat, but he still wants everyone to learn some French words for Christmas. You can listen to David reading the list:       Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël ! angel l’ange (m) bell la cloche / la clochette bow le nœud bulb la […]

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English Ad Slogans in Non-Anglophone Countries

This Spiegel article is about German of course, but just replace “Germany” and “German” with “France” and “French” and the outcome is the same. How Germans Really See English Ad Slogans: English is all the rage in Germany — the height of fashion, except that many people don’t understand it. Consumer groups would like to […]

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Thank You Mommy & Daddy

We received our Christmas packages from my parents! The only thing I really wanted was books from Amazon.com, but for some odd reason, they were shipped from New Zealand instead of the US. If you’re bad at geography, just know that New Zealand is as far away from France as you can possibly get on […]

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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 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 a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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