Fourth Fourth

Today is my fourth Fourth of July in France. For my first Fourth, I got on a soapbox. For my second Fourth, I waxed sentimental about who was eating my apple pie. For my third Fourth, I tried to make you laugh. So … what’s on the agenda for my fourth Fourth?

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As American as Apple Pie

Captain America © 2011 Samuel Michael Bell

Yesterday was my second Fourth of July here in France. Expatriates around the world know the feeling: you’re in a place that’s become your home, but on a day like the Fourth, the separation from your homeland feels wider and the differences seem more pronounced. You seek out a way to feel as “American” as you can, no matter how far from America you are. And we all have our ways of doing that …

For example →

Last year, I decided to seek out an historic American bar here in Paris and toast America’s birthday with the drink special of the day: The General Washington. Unfortunately, it didn’t go exactly as I’d planned, and it almost ruined my day. This year, Michel and I decided instead to celebrate by having a picnic on the banks of the Seine with a group of our friends. We asked everyone to bring something quintessentially American or, in the alternative, to come dressed as an “American.” Knowing this particular group of friends and their penchant for dramatic flare, I was sure to have material for my next blogpost. Continue reading As American as Apple Pie

Feeling insulted, bad burgers, and good ice cream: a Parisian Fourth of July

You might have been wondering what became of me after my first Fourth of July in Paris since 1989, since I didn’t post anything the next day. I promise I wasn’t hungover, but I was sick. Somehow I came down with some sort of flu that had me completely debilitated yesterday. Thankfully, I’m over it now, just in time for a little weekend jaunt to London tomorrow night.

So, how did I spend my Fourth? Truthfully, it was a little disappointing … aside from the company, of course.

Continue reading Feeling insulted, bad burgers, and good ice cream: a Parisian Fourth of July

“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.”

Comme aujourd’hui nous sommes le quatre juillet, la fête de l’indépendance américaine, on devrait prendre un moment pour remercier la France pour l’aide que ce pays grand nous a offerte pendant notre révolution : On sait que vous ne l’avez fait que pour embêter les Anglais, mais merci quand même ! En toute sincérité, malgré des désaccords de temps en temps (quelques uns plus sérieux que d’autres, bien sûr), votre aide à cette époque à fait naître les liens d’amitié entre nos deux pays qui ont survécu plus de deux siècles. Qu’ils survivent à jamais ! Continue reading “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.”