Some French things that I may never get used to

Showers. Or lack of. Most apartments have bathtubs with a hand-held showerhead that is not attached to the wall. There is usually no shower bar or curtain. I’m still mystified as to how people take “showers” this way. The hose that connects the showerhead to the faucet is not very long, so it must be impossible to wash your hair unless you kneel or do it upside down. And how do you stop the water from spraying all over the bathroom? How do you not freeze to death? How are you supposed to wash your hair and yourself when one hand is always occupied?

Television. The daily news is on at 8 pm instead of 6 and 11. The “primetime” shows usually don’t begin until 8:50 or later. There seems to be no pattern as to when when the shows start, so that if you want to watch two different shows on two different channels, their times may overlap and you’ll miss part of one. Everything is dubbed, not sub-titled, in French. And France is apparently 3 years in the past because CSI is still in season 4 here.

Grocery stores. Smell like raw fish. No bag boys. Must put a euro in the cart to unlock it. Shortest aisles ever. Whose great idea was it to leave only 5 feet of space for the check-out lanes? Stores are always so packed here (regardless of the time or day) so the line of people waiting continuously extends into the aisles of food, making it impossible to shop in those aisles or even go around the corner of those aisles.

Erratic hours. For example, the library: Closed Monday. 11 am – 5:30 pm Tuesday. 9:30 am – 12:30 pm and 2 – 6 pm Wednesday. 3 – 6:30 pm Thursday. 2 – 6 pm Friday. 10 am – 12:30 pm and 2 – 5 pm Saturday. Closed Sunday. WHY? Whatever happened to open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm? BTW, banks are closed on Mondays and national museums are closed on Tuesdays. I’m sure there’s absolutely no reason for this either.

Late dinners. I’m hungry by 6 pm, please let me eat then. I don’t like waiting until 9 or 10. That’s what time I go to bed.

Récépissé

I am no longer sans-papiers! I finally received the récépissé for renewing my carte de séjour (which expired May 7) this morning. I turned in the paperwork on March 27, and received it on May 24. ::sigh:: However, the récépissé is only valid until August 14, and I don’t think I will be receiving a […]

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Check your facts

I was watching the news on Canal+ this morning, and saw this headline at the bottom of the screen: Etats-Unis: Un adolescent de 15 ans a été tué par balles mercredi dans un collège de Toronto.United States: A 15 year old was shot to death Wednesday at a middle school in Toronto. Did we invade […]

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Appart

Finding an apartment is ridiculously hard in France. David and I have been searching for a few months now and everything is either too expensive, too small or too far away from public transportation. He only has a CDD (short-term work contract) and I’m unemployed. We were approved for Loca-Pass, but some landlords won’t accept […]

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Anniversaire

It’s May 18 here, so I’m officially 25 years old. And awake at 2:30 am thanks to M. Décalage Horaire.

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Going home

I return to France tomorrow. Well, it will be Thursday by the time I get there. I have two suitcases packed to the maximum weight limit (one of those being full of books…) plus a carry-on that might be a little too heavy for me to lift over my head and a “purse” that’s actually […]

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Back in the USA

I’m currently in Michigan. I spent two days in London before flying home. It was fun to be back in that city, but I was a bit lonely. My friend Jess was able to hang out for a little while, so that was nice of her. I’ll upload the pictures when I get back to […]

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Unemployed

I said goodbye to a lot of good friends this past weekend. They’re all returning to their home countries soon. Fortunately not everyone had to go. The lucky EU citizens can stay here as long as they’d like, so my British and Irish friends are still sticking around for the summer. Monday was my very […]

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Coming to an end

David and I finally were able to record an mp3 for the Informal French & Slang page. We’ve only done the first section so far (Informal Ways of Speaking) but we will continue to add more audio files throughout the summer. Today was the last day of work at one of my schools. I did […]

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Votez

Today was the presidential election in France. Well, round one anyway. There are twelve candidates total this time, but only two move on to the next round. (However, if a candidate manages to get over 50% of the vote in round one, s/he becomes president and there is no round two.) Big surprise… Sarkozy (Right) […]

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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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