70 articles France Page 2 / 7

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

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…


Transforming Quadrupel

Tonight, it’s Le Capsule, a 50-brilliant-beers-on-tap bar, the sort which I’ll never find back home. S gave me the evening off because I keep having miniature panic attacks, and I really ought to be soul-searching, trying to divine the root cause of my anxiety. Instead, I’m getting blitzed on Le Trappe Quadrupel, a beer so…


Transforming Mutants

In Lille, we have The Last Bar Before the End of the World – undoubtedly a play on Douglas Adams’s The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, because everything about it screams “esoteric geek,” from the glassed-in collection of animé figurines to the cocktail names (“Sith,” “Triforce,” and of course “Pangalactic Gargleblaster”) to the…


Transforming Maps

One of my childhood haunts was Edmonton’s Woodcroft Library, a bright, open A-frame building with a mezzanine full of kids’ books and cushions. I liked how the chapter books had icons suggesting their genres – skull for horror, spyglass for mystery, atom for sci-fi. The spines of the adults’ books were less evocative, yet somehow…