Things I learned today

Le premier mai is la fête du travail (labor day) and the only day in France when anyone can sell flowers legally – not just florists. You will see tons of people and places (if they’re open…) selling muguets (lily of the valley) because it’s supposed to bring good luck to whomever you give them to.

Because le lundi de Pentecôte has once again become a jour férié, that means many people are taking an extra long weekend this year between Thursday, May 8 (V-E Day, aka End of WWII in Europe Day) and Monday, May 12. Normally, faire le pont refers to taking a long, 4 day weekend. However, people are now saying faire l’aqueduc to refer to the long, 5 day weekend. How witty.

Apparently the French think it’s weird when pharmacies sell over-the-counter medicine on shelves so that customers can choose their own medicine, rather than behind the counter where customers have to ask for it and the pharmacist just gives them whatever s/he wants. TF1 was reporting on some pharmacies in the UK that sell OTC drugs in front of the counter. ::gasp!:: I wonder if they know that’s how it always is in the US – prescription drugs behind the counter and non-prescription drugs in front of the counter. What’s so bad about that? I always thought it made no sense to keep everything behind the counter, which is especially embêtant for foreigners who can’t explain very well what’s wrong or for anyone in general who’s too embarrassed to explain what’s wrong…

I always knew the word ampoule meant light bulb or blister. David told me that cloque can also mean blister, which I thought was strange since I knew the expression en cloque meant knocked up and at first, I didn’t really understand how they could mean the same thing. But it just refers to the shape of either the blister or the pregnant woman’s belly. Strange, and kinda gross, but it does make sense to me now.

The End Again

Yesterday was my last day as an English assistant for the second year. I’m glad to no longer have to drive nearly an hour to work, but not so happy about no longer having an income. I have a feeling I won’t be able to find another teaching job until September – maybe I’ll even […]

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Adventures in Berlin & Budapest

I’m so exhausted, but I wanted to upload my photos from my week in Berlin & Budapest. Both cities were definitely worth visiting. Berlin was über cheap, but rather sad because of its history (both WWII and the Cold War). Budapest’s architecture was beautiful, but it felt a bit too foreign to me since I […]

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Off to Germany and Hungary

I leave this afternoon for Berlin and Budapest. I won’t be back until late Friday night, and I probably won’t get online much during the week. I’m excited about seeing two new countries but I’m not so excited about flying. If only it weren’t so much cheaper and faster than taking trains. The liquid restrictions […]

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About About.com

There are very few language sites that offer useful, free information to help you actually learn the real language (slang, idioms, informal speech, etc.) About.com’s language sites do include a lot of useful information, but the problem is finding what you want among the bazillion pages and sponsored links that look exactly like the content. […]

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Marathon of the Annecy Lake (including walk on the lake in boat)

The Lake Annecy marathon and half-marathon were this past Sunday, April 13. Obviously I did not run in it (me? run? HA!), but it’s usually a big deal in Annecy every year. I’d like to point out the English version of their website, however, and how badly it was translated. It almost seems like a […]

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Que faire ? / What to do?

Peut-être avez-vous remarqué que je fais un effort pour parler (euh, écrire) plus en français. Maintenant que j’ai le droit de travailler dans ce pays, il faut trouver un boulot. Et pour trouver un boulot, il faut bien parler français ! Cependant, j’ai peur de ne pas réussir. Aux Etats-Unis, j’étais intelligente, brillante, sage… J’ai […]

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Carte Vie Privée et Familiale

So remember that list of documents needed to obtain a vie privée et familiale carte de séjour due to being PACSed for a year? Let’s review and see if it was what I really needed. 1. Copy of passport & visa2. Copy of ID card of French partner Ok, these were fine. Except they also […]

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Qu’avez-vous dans votre assiette ? / What’s on your plate?

Je triais toutes sortes de papiers hier quand j’ai trouvé un sondage de la cantine, Enquête “sur votre assiette.” J’ai trouvé quelques questions sur les habitudes alimentaires tres révélatrices, en ce qui concerne les habitudes françaises. En général, les repas en France sont plus équilibrés: une entrée, un produit laitier, un plat chaud, un dessert, […]

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No jobs for Michigan

Forbes recently ran an article on the best and worst cities for jobs in the US. And surprise, surprise, Michigan cities appear most on the worst list. It’s understandable that New Orleans is currently the worst city for jobs, and it’s probably obvious what #2 and #3 are as well: Detroit and Flint. And how […]

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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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