French shopping my way

To encourage my agoraphobia even more (ok, I’m not really agoraphobic, I just hate people and I hate shopping), I ordered LaRedoute and 3Suisses catalogs so I could shop from home. I could just as easily shop from their websites, but I prefer looking through real pages rather than adding even more minutes hours to the exorbitant amount of time I spend online already.

Plus shopping in France is 10,000 times more stressful than shopping in the US. It doesn’t matter what day or what time you go, the stores will be packed with people young and old, which you assumed would be at school or work. But you were wrong. And there will be no salespeople to help you. Ever. This is why I choose to avoid French stores like the plague.

Anyway, both catalogs arrived the same day. Both are ridiculously heavy and include a Chèque-Réduction as well as offers of a Cadeau Gratuit. LaRedoute will give me 20 € off of a purchase of 50 € or more, whereas 3Suisses will give me 11 € off of 20 € or more. 3Suisses wins round one.

And the free gifts? They’re almost exactly the same. Orange and yellow silverware with either table mats and napkins (LaRedoute) or plates (3Suisses). Ooh, 3Suisses wins again because momma needs more plates.

Plus if I order 3 items from 3Suisses, I will get another free gift: un superbe collier STAR ACADEMY. Umm, no thanks. LaRedoute wins for not shoving a crappy “gift” from a crappy show at me.

If anyone wants to order stuff from either place, they have parrainage (invite a friend?) plans. From LaRedoute, you would get un sac week-end et sa pochette, 20% off your entire order, and the catalog for free. From 3Suisses, you would get un sac Ines de la Fressange, 25% off one item and the catalog for free. I would get to choose from 5 or 6 gifts, none of which I really want (luggage, bedding, a wok, a vacuum?), so I’d end up giving it to you anyway. LaRedoute wins the final round.

I guess the score is tied, but either way, I’m never stepping foot in a French clothing store again. Now if only I could do all of my grocery shopping online…

On learning and teaching

I cracked open my French vocabulary books after a much-too-long break from them, and rediscovered why I love learning new words. Vocabulaire expliqué du français; niveau intermédiaire begins with a chapter on prefixes and suffixes, which are mostly the same in English thanks to Latin. But there was one prefix I didn’t know in French: […]

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Buying furniture in France, or why I miss dad’s big blue truck

We had to buy a new sommier (box spring) today because our old one was held up with books. Thank you Harry Potter for not letting our mattress fall to the ground. I’m still amazed at how cheaply-made beds are in France. Thin wood held together with staples, what a genius idea. That wood will […]

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Jealousy times ten thousand

What I am missing in Michigan: My parents’ driveway after 6 inches (15 cm) of snow fell. My beloved car buried under 14 inches (35.5 cm) of snow. Brandy attacking the huge snow pile. That is what winter should be like…. ::sigh::

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Super Duper Tuesday

I had my students vote in a fake primary today. The ballots were just as entertaining as the class. Can you understand the pictures next to the names? I think it’s hilarious. Barack Obama and John McCain were the winners, although no one had heard of any of the Republican candidates and I did get […]

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What do groundhogs and crêpes have in common?

February 2 is Groundhog Day (le jour de la marmotte) in North America; but here in France, it’s la Chandeleur (le jour des crêpes). I forgot to mention that my interview is now up at Expat Interviews. Oh, and the president got married today. Apparently Sarko & Carla only met in November?? That was quick.

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Annecy in winter I tried to pick up my new carte de séjour today. Except the people in Paris had made a mistake and sent an exact copy of the card I already have – visiteur that expires at the end of March. It’s supposed to be travailleur temporaire that expires in May. ::sigh:: By […]

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Observations & Questions

I’m still amazed that students cannot figure out that the American word vacation mean vacances. I know they’ve always been taught the British word holiday, but I thought they’d be able to understand it in context… Apparently I was wrong. What is another way of saying “What else?” All of my students are getting into […]

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What I do

I realized I hadn’t posted about the assistantship in a long time, so here’s a summary of what I’ve been doing at work lately: On Tuesdays, I have all secondes (10th grade), so I try to focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. We’ve done geography of the US, describing people, and American high schools in the […]

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Waiting and planning and waiting

We may be staying in Annecy a little while longer than planned. I had my heart set on Lyon if we were to stay in France since finding a job there would be easier, but we don’t really have a choice. I’m a little sad about not being able to move to Quebec sooner, but […]

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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.


The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

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