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 make me so incredibly angry (LIQUIDS CANNOT BLOW UP A PLANE!) and I hate the way flight attendants treat passengers. Granted, I would hate being a flight attendant and having to cater to random people all day long, but still…

I will have to fly again in January or February of 2009 when my brother gets married in the US, but I’m hoping to not fly anymore this year. At least I know in June we’ll be driving to southern Germany so I can co-present at a Writing Center conference in Freiburg and then head over to Munich and Neuschwanstein Castle. We’re also planning another road trip to Provence in July, to my beloved département de Vaucluse, but also to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Montpellier and Carcassonne. Thank goodness David has family in the south so we have a free place to stay!

My other travel plans include Rennes & Mont St. Michel in Brittany and the American Cemetery in Normandy. I figure 6 hours on a train isn’t too bad. Plus I’m still dying to see Prague and Dubrovnik. Not sure how I’d like spending 13 or 16 hours on trains though… Ooh, unless I could do Frankfurt & Dresden before Prague and Venice, Ljubljana, and Zagreb before Dubrovnik… Ahh, must find job and save money first!!!

But really, what’s the point of living in Europe if you’re not going to visit all these cool places that are so close? I know we won’t live here forever, so I’m trying to see as much as possible before it’s too late.

A vendredi soir !

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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On teaching English in French lycées

I have officially completed my second year as a teaching assistant! And I got my car back Thursday night, so I could drive it to work and back one last time. I finished my last few hours by having the students play Apples to Apples, Scattergories and doing a mock speed dating session. Over the […]

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Y en. (Not a French donkey.)

I hate y and en. These little words have caused so much confusion for me in French. The basic rules are: 1) y replaces a prepositional phrase (except those beginning with de). It translates as “there” or “it” and sometimes it is not translated into English. On va à Boston demain. We’re going to Boston […]

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April (snow) showers

I keep telling everybody that the weather in Annecy is gorgeous in April. “Don’t worry, last year it was sunny and 70.” “You won’t need warm clothes or an umbrella.” Ummm. This is what it looked like yesterday: Today it’s raining, but it still feels just as cold. And the forecast for the next 5 […]

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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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