My Life as an English Teacher in France: The Saga Begins

Hey everybody!
I’m back!

I know what you’re thinking: “Where in the world have you been?!” It’s been almost two months since my last post, and some of you certainly started to wonder what had become of me. Well, you can now rest assured that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I haven’t been deported from France, and I haven’t given up on je parle américain. I’ve just been very busy the last few weeks. More French classes? Writing that historical novel? Well, no … I’ve been working … finally … as an English teacher.

Continue reading My Life as an English Teacher in France: The Saga Begins

Advertisements

2013: Year in Review

Well, 2013 is drawing to a close, and je parle américain has had another great year. The blog has now had over 100,000 views (102,413 to be precise), of which over half (51,541) were in 2013. Not bad, huh? The blog’s busiest week ever was the one ending October 6, with 2,270 views, and almost half of those views came on October 1, the blog’s busiest day ever. With 894 views, that was over 5 times my daily average. It seems that most of that traffic was fueled by the entire population of the United Kingdom researching — of all things — the religieuse pastry! I have no idea why that was the case, but I’m certainly not complaining.

1465395_626335644090530_736068661_n

Continue reading 2013: Year in Review

Cream soda, anyone?

Saturday evening, we went to a little Christmas party with friends, which featured a “White Elephant” gift exchange. Just like last year, we each had to bring a gift that cost less than 5€. Michel and I ended up with a set of six “tapas glasses” — which we’re going to use as lowball glasses — and a box of …

<drumroll>

Bottle Caps

IMG_0024

Continue reading Cream soda, anyone?

Back in the Kitchen

In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve now spent four Thanksgivings in France. I think it’s probably the time of year when I feel most like an American expatriate. What I mean by that is that it’s the day when I feel the pangs of homesickness most acutely. Thanksgiving’s not a holiday here, of course, so I get pretty nostalgic watching my Facebook newsfeed fill up with status updates from back home about thankfulness, good food with family and friends, and even travel headaches. Looking back across the Atlantic at what you’re missing can easily give you the blues … which is why expats just have to make Thanksgiving right where they are! To be frank, I haven’t always succeeded on that score. Out of the first three Thanksgivings I spent on French soil, only the first featured a traditional American feast, so it really was high time for me to get back in the kitchen … Continue reading Back in the Kitchen

It’s official!

With this post coming the day after Thanksgiving, you’re probably expecting a run-down of how I spent my fourth Thanksgiving living in France. Alas, this has nothing at all to do with that. We’re actually not celebrating this most American of holidays until tomorrow evening, so you’ll have to wait a few more days for that story. Instead, this article is just an update on a genealogy project of mine. It’s probably not very interesting or exciting to most of you, but it’s a big deal for me:

It’s official — I’m a Huguenot!
(… well, I’m officially the descendant of two of them.) Continue reading It’s official!

Tiny Little Chewy Cakes

They look like bundt cakes, but they’re less than two inches tall. Even so, they pack a wallop of deliciousness. They’re canelés, which have become — hands down … or rather “out” for seconds — my favorite French pastry: pure heaven made from flour, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, vanilla, and sometimes rum. Continue reading Tiny Little Chewy Cakes

Even Americans Want a Taste

For better or for worse, there’s no denying that American fast food has become arguably as popular in France as it is back home. If you live in a city, there’s always a KFC, a Pizza Hut, or a McDonald’s in the neighborhood. What’s interesting from an American perspective is how these places can feel simultaneously so familiar and so foreign. The idea, of course, is to take an American brand and make it appeal to a French consumer, so sometimes you end up with some interesting cross-cultural creations. Some are very clear efforts to transform traditional favorites. Take, for example, the one that even made the news back in the States: Continue reading Even Americans Want a Taste

“This is Street Art” Vol. 4½

Hot on the heels of my last installment of Paris street art, I give you another two dozen intriguing, provocative, and whimsical examples of this most public — and sometimes ephemeral — art form.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words : Street Art, Vol. 4

I haven’t been writing much lately. I’m not sure why that is; simply put, I just haven’t felt very inspired these last few weeks. This too shall pass, of course, and I’ll probably be back with a vengeance, publishing three or four articles a week. In the meantime, since I can’t seem to give you any words to read, how about some pictures to look at? If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is worth about 24 grand. It’s a new collection of street art photos I’ve collected from all over Paris since my installment in June. Continue reading A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words : Street Art, Vol. 4

What breakfast was meant to be.

Image used under the terms of
the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license
© 2006 Virtual Steve

I first encountered muesli in the form of Kellogg’s Müeslix back when I was a teenager, and I finally got to taste the real thing when I first traveled to Germany and Switzerland in 1992. Based on those first experiences, I always thought of muesli as a (relatively) healthy breakfast option. I mean …

whole grains + fruit + nuts = pretty good for you, right?  Continue reading What breakfast was meant to be.