66 articles France

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

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…


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…


Transforming Escape

Escape. I’m in a Death-Star-black reclining chair, surrounded by sharp objects, medical paraphernalia, and images of flowers and skulls. A multicoloured giantess is leaning over my naked torso, pressing her clattering needle gun against my flesh to inject me repeatedly with ink. I came here – to a half-sunken city of forbidden pleasures – entirely…


Transforming Therapy

I have never shied away from therapy. Psychology ought to be universally available and free from stigma. While therapy requires patience, I’ve always found it valuable in helping me to make decisions, and cultivate habits, that benefit me and mine. But it also bears remembering that, like all other branches of medicine, psychology comes with…


Transforming Homeschooling

In preparation for the final exam, let’s review: our nuclear family took flight to France for a sabbatical that was meant to last ten months – September to June, the same length as one year of public schooling.  The school calendar shaped a lot of our plans: French students get four two-week holidays, spread out…