70 articles France

Observations about French culture, language, and the author’s daily encounters with the galling Gallics.

Je Me Souviens

Despite now having an extremely busy jammed into the gap that separates my present self from my sabbatical self, France remains with me in powerful, often disconcerting ways. Some days, it washes over my mind in rich colours and textures, like a quilt that’s both exotic and familiar all at once. At other moments, it…

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Transforming Wistfulness

I recently wrote about the regret I feel over France. The eight months we spent there felt wasted to me, because of the cultural whiplash I inflicted upon our daughter; because of the resulting need to homeschool her for half our time in Lille; and because that homeshooling robbed me of the chance to write…

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Transforming Decaf

I blame the palm civets for my current coffee problems. Remember those adorable Indonesian berry-munchers? They choose only the best coffee cherries, snarf them down, and then leave the beans behind in fragrant piles for the weird hairless apes to collect and export. I first tried Kopi Luwak, the “best and/or most expensive coffee in…

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Five Things I Won’t Miss About France (And Five Things I Will)

Won’t Miss: Cigarettes and Perfume Having imported the former from the Americas, and having claimed supremacy over the latter, the French smoke cigarettes and wear perfume like they’re both going out of style – which they absolutely are. I am not particularly scent-sensitive, but I’ve still had many a promenade disrupted by walking unawares into…

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