Filed under Launguage

Attention Les Gazelles

Attention Les Gazelles

In the blink of an eye, my two years in France have come and gone. Nice and I have had a classic romance: I was infatuated with the light and the color when I arrived and then reality set in and I had to work hard to learn the language and ingratiate myself in order … Continue reading

My French teacher thinks I’m a prude

My French teacher thinks I’m a prude

Madame Perruque was on fire this week. We were continuing our critiques of magazine ads and Juliet, an impossibly tall, thin, Cuban woman  – who looked like she had just breezed off the pages of Cosmopolitan herself – made her way to the front of the class. Her choice was a steamy, full page ad … Continue reading

What does an American wolf say?

What does an American wolf say?

I’m part way through my second semester of French classes and truth be told, I’m in over my head. Things have accelerated quickly and I have the distinct feeling that the students folded into the chairs around me understand a lot more than I do. I like being in school though and I figure even … Continue reading

Step away from the door

Step away from the door

It’s taken me more time than it should have to get to where I am with my French.  I am still struggling with the basics, but I am finally starting to be able to have simple conversations with people.  And my newly minted French voice is opening all kinds of doors for me both figuratively … Continue reading

The last day for flip-flops in Nice.

The last day for flip-flops in Nice.

After my discouraging first day at school, things have been looking up considerably.  I am loving my class so far and miraculously I feel like my French is finally starting to improve. I never did find the elusive “U” bus but I managed to find the 22, which works just as well. I started off … Continue reading

Top Travel Tip: French flea markets

Top Travel Tip: French flea markets

Top Travel Tip: treasure hunting in the côte d’azur The French Riviera is famous for its sultry, hot summers but Autumn here is spectacular too – especially if you love second hand shopping. Fall is vide grenier season in Provence, when the area becomes a treasure hunter’s paradise. The phrase vide grenier translates to clearing … Continue reading

The mysterious curse of room 235b

The mysterious curse of room 235b

I felt optimistic as I climbed the steep hill leading up to campus for my first day of school. I am attending the Corlone campus – one “e” away from being Nice’s mob school- which houses the languages department of Nice University. The Faculty of Lettres, or le fac as it is called, consists of … Continue reading

A rolling stone

A rolling stone

It has been just over one year since I decided I’d had enough of Washington, DC and set off on this adventure.  Since then I have been to seven countries and countless cities.  I have traveled by plane, train, subway, boat, motor scooter, bike, car, bus, and on foot.  I’ve lounged poolside, hiked up volcanoes, … Continue reading

Zipping up the suitcase again

Zipping up the suitcase again

No matter how long a visit, I have with the Englishman, I never seem to realize it will come to and end, until its time to say goodbye. This time we had a full month in each other’s company. Something of a record for the past few years. We certainly crammed a lot into the … Continue reading

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

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

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

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

Welcome to Palestine

Welcome to Palestine

If adapting to life in France takes learning a new set of rules, spending time in the Palestinian Territories is a lesson in patience. The West Bank, where the Palestinian town of Ramallah lies, has been occupied by Israel since 1967.  To get in or out of the city, you have to go through military … 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