Posted in February 2012

Learning To Be Like The French

Learning To Be Like The French

Living in France is like being in the midst of perpetual French etiquette exam, without ever having seen the textbook. There are so many rules, and social codes here, an entire book could be written about the dos and don’ts of drinking coffee alone. Just like trying to keep track of when to use an … Continue reading

Secret Sushi!

Secret Sushi!

In my quest to discover the places in Nice that the guidebook writers don’t know about, I have been spending a lot of time away from the beach, in the Borriglione neighborhood. Its basically a cute, mostly residential area with some of the best little fresh pasta shops and bakeries I’ve ever come across. But … Continue reading

Humbling Experience

Humbling Experience

The Provencal sun has set on tourist season here in Nice and the student body has thinned at my adorable little language school, tucked in beside the cumquat trees on Rue D’angleterre The over sixties have long since returned to their comfortable retirement, and the visiting university students are probably sound asleep in their French … Continue reading

Learning to Love / Hate the French

Learning to Love / Hate the French

My French classes are slowly working bits and pieces of the language into my brain, lodging a word here and a phrase there. I’ll be at the laundromat waiting for my towels to dry or sitting at a cafe and “now” or “tomorrow” will jump out at me from a stream of someone else’s otherwise … Continue reading

Learning to Be a Student Again

Learning to Be a Student Again

It’s a very odd thing to be a foreigner in an unfamiliar country, especially when one doesn’t speak the language.  Here I am an educated, functioning adult, stripped down to an illiterate clueless, childlike being totally unable to express myself with even a shred of grace or articulation. I have been wandering around Nice, going … Continue reading

Learning to Budget

Learning to Budget

I have been in France for nearly a month now, and the Englishman has gone back to work, so I am on my own for the first time, and the vacation is over. I have vastly overblown my resources in the past few weeks, flitting around Nice and Corsica and Italy as if I am … Continue reading

Settling In

Settling In

I arrived here in Nice on Tuesday and have been spending the past few days getting formally acquainted with the city. I’ve been to this part of France on a few holidays over the years, but the packed restaurants and bars and the stretches of eerily blue water feel a bit different now that I’m … Continue reading

And I’m Off!

And I’m Off!

I keep waiting to really freak out. Waiting for the moment when I lose it. As I was falling asleep the other night my mind started to wander and I started planning what time I needed to wake up for work, and wondering if I had kept anything that would be appropriate to wear to … Continue reading

Panic Sets In

“Worse”.  That’s one way of putting it.  Another thing on my massive to do list, right in between renew passport, open safe deposit box, and paint bathroom, was to schedule as many doctor’s appointments as possible before my health insurance ends along with my job. First up: Dermatologist.  Moles all in good condition, and cancer … Continue reading

Too much stuff

Too much stuff

How do you pack up your life in a month? Where do you start? I hear about people picking up and moving, it all sounds so exhilarating, so quick and clean. Things started out that way.  I made the decision, quit my job, found renters.  The big important things were easy. But what about all … Continue reading

The plan takes shape

The plan takes shape

“For rent: Beautiful 1 bedroom in Foggy Bottom.” I decided to move to The French Riviera on Tuesday June 28th and rented my apartment on Saturday July 2nd. The next call was to my boss: “I’m sorry to bother you on a Saturday, but I’ve decided to move to France.” I heard the words escaping … Continue reading