Cultural Differences: Screens

So screens on windows just don’t exist in France. For someone who has an irrational fear of bugs that sting, this is a big problem. I don’t like to keep the windows open even when it’s warm outside because I hate how many bugs get in the apartment, and also because I’m afraid the cat […]

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What I did on my 26th birthday

On Sunday, I went to bed at 2 am. Got up at 5:30 am. Took Jessica to the airport in Geneva (David drove). Came home and went back to bed. Got up again at 11 am. Headed to the medieval festival in Andilly with David and Lucy. Watched 1) the French beat the English during […]

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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 […]

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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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Another I hate France day.

No internet for 36 hours chez nous!!! At least we figured out the problem is the ADSL line and not the Freebox. Unfortunately, the helpful customer service people at Free claim they can’t send a technician until NEXT WEDNESDAY. If France Telecom can’t fix it before then, I will be without internet for a while. […]

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Bon PACSiversaire

Happy one year PACSiversary to us! Jij bent mijn hartendief.

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La langue française me rend folle.

Sometimes there are certain aspects of the French language that drive me crazy. Verbs of movement is one example. French does not use adverbs of motion the same way that English does, so it is not possible to translate literally “He ran across the street” into French. Sure, you can say il a couru for […]

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Freedom of speech, anyone?

I’m annoyed by this. France bans naming teachers on school-rating website PARIS (AFP) — A French court on Monday ordered a website that allows pupils to rate their schools to stop naming teachers, after the country’s educational establishment denounced it as “public lynching”. The website, www.note2be.com, which opened late January based on similar sites that […]

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Random news about France…

Gastronomy: Sarko declared French food the best in the world and wants it recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Umm, how does food qualify as a place? And is anyone else really sick of people saying French food is better than all other food? How snobby can you get? Anyway, if you register on […]

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That crazy Sarkozy!

Sarko insulted a random man at the Salon de l’Agriculture yesterday because the man told Sarko not to touch him. Politely translated, the exchange went something like this: Man: Don’t touch me.Sarko: Then get lost.Man: You disgust me.Sarko: Get lost, poor jerk! (Sarkozy actually said casse-toi and pauvre con, which can be much more rudely […]

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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 January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. 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 the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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