Filed under French

Paper-thin Walls

Paper-thin Walls

When I tell people I live in the south of France, I am met by jaws slack with envy and any number of variations on “must be nice” in reply. And to be sure, there are plenty of wonderful things about living here. It is indeed very nice. But I don’t live in the south … Continue reading

The French Flea Market I Almost Missed

The French Flea Market I Almost Missed

I was excited to read that there was a rummage sale in Nice this weekend – actually the French call it a Vide Grenier, which literally means to empty the attic – but whatever you call it, any scenario where people set up tables with mounds of cool, cheap, used, stuff is a dream come true … Continue reading

Five Bakeries in Three Blocks

Five Bakeries in Three Blocks

This lovely little boulangerie has everything from baguettes to fruit-filled tarts, and two little tables out front that catch the afternoon sun. The woman behind the counter is always friendly, and at €1 for an espresso, it’s the best deal in town. I adore this bakery. Their pastries, sandwiches, pizzas and quiches are out of … Continue reading

How to Make Long Distance Work: Move Closer.

How to Make Long Distance Work: Move Closer.

The Englishman and I said our last goodbye over two months ago at the airport in San Francisco.  Fittingly, we said hello again last week at the airport in Nice. The two of us have had countless rendezvous in airports all over the world: from Cairo, to Rome, to Tel Aviv, to London and Portland, … Continue reading

Getting to Know the Neighborhood

Getting to Know the Neighborhood

My neighborhood here in Nice feels like a little microcosm of modern France. From my balcony I can see the ethnic diversity and historical layers that make up the area.  I love the combination of cultures that come together here.  As I try to make this foreign city home, I am in good company with … Continue reading

Facing My Fear… of the Post Office

Facing My Fear… of the Post Office

I am terrified of the post office.  There I said it.  Ridiculous, I know, but its true. Its not that it’s difficult to get to, there is one two blocks from the apartment.  I pass by it most days on my way to the beach or the grocery store or wherever.  But I’m afraid to … Continue reading

…And I’m back. In Nice.

…And I’m back. In Nice.

After 35 hours in transit I made it back to Nice and the city has welcomed me with glorious, bright, warm, sunny weather. Despite all of my traveling, I have yet to figure out how to pack light.   This is a cause of great consternation for the Englishman, who manages to never bring more than … Continue reading

The Adventure Continues

The Adventure Continues

More than four months after touching down in the US, I have finally booked my flight back to France. I have spent nearly as much time back here on the west coast as I have in France in the past months, which strictly speaking was not part of the plan. But it feels good to … Continue reading

Back in the US

Back in the US

It feels like a long time since I’ve set foot on US soil. I have become used to stumbling through the little difficulties of living in a foreign country.  Having to try three different ways of saying something before being understood has become second nature.  I forgot how easy and comfortable it is to be … Continue reading

Wanderlust

Wanderlust

The thing about “living the dream” of quitting my old life and setting sail for greener pastures, is sometimes I still covet life in other places. I love living in Nice.  It’s gorgeous and sunny and I have quickly become used to the slow pace of life in Provence.  But I find it hard to … Continue reading

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