Here’s a Story About How to Stop Eating Bullshit

Here’s a Story About How to Stop Eating Bullshit

Passports are amazing. In 1998, when I received my first passport, it was as though I had a golden ticket that could take me anywhere. I flipped through the pages, dreaming of all the stamps that would one day fill this little blue-covered book. I was an insecure twenty-something who graduated from high school two years late and had just been fired from my low-paying factory job. People like me didn't travel. People like me only visited far away places in books and movie screens. That's what I believed. So, it was funny that I had a round-trip ticket to London, a packed bag, and a Let's Go! guide to Britain under my arm. Other countries were an intimidating and weird magic. I wanted to experience that. During that adventure, I explored various parts of England and Scotland. I took the Eurostar to Paris. I rode the métro. I made an ass of myself. I talked with strangers, got lost, rained on,...
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Fluent in Fromage

Fluent in Fromage

After exchanging emails, letters and phone calls for 8 months with a French guy I'd met online, it was time to go to Paris to meet him face-to-face; time to look one another in the eye and discover if our long-distance chemistry would hold up in the flesh. I'd been in Paris one other time, 7 years before, but this time was different. This time, I wasn't a tourist. This time, I was on a crazy, international, first-date adventure that would last for 2 weeks. Olivier picked me up at Charles de Gaule airport. We went to his apartment in Montmartre and listened to April in Paris. Because funny enough - it really was April and we were in Paris. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCJRoG6W8yQ He told me he'd planned a road trip for us and that he wanted to introduce me to some of his friends. After talking every day for almost a year, I knew quite a bit about most of his friends already, so I...
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The Unintentional Comedy of French Movie Titles

The Unintentional Comedy of French Movie Titles

It recently occurred to me that I haven't made fun of any French weirdness in quite a while. I mean, it's been like, 2 whole blog posts ago. It's not that I'd stopped noticing, having grown accustomed & become part of the weirdness. Okay, okay... I may have become a wee part of the weirdness, but that doesn't mean I don't take notice of it. One thing that has been a constantly baffling source of amusement here is the French titles for American movies. This isn't something confounding only to Americans, either. There are plenty of savvy French movie goers who understand the absurdity & hilarity of the French titles, but those bizarre titles keep showing up, anyway. It often seems that there is no rhyme or reason to it. After seeing countless movie posters, TV spots & theater signs, there is no discernible pattern to this madness. Believe me, I've tried to make sense of it. I can't do it. Sometimes, they...
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Don’t Call Me a Foodie

Don’t Call Me a Foodie

“You can't just eat good food. You've got to talk about it too. And you've got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.” ― Kurt Vonnegut “Watch a French housewife as she makes her way slowly along the loaded stalls… searching for the peak of ripeness and flavor… What you are seeing is a true artist at work, patiently assembling all the materials of her craft, just as the painter squeezes oil colors onto his palette ready to create a masterpiece.” ― Keith Floyd “Americans are just beginning to regard food the way the French always have. Dinner is not what you do in the evening before something else. Dinner is the evening.” ― Art Buchwald * A while ago, someone read several posts on this blog & said to me, "I really enjoyed reading through all of your food posts. I'm a big foodie, like you." Uh... what? Like me? Me? A foodie? No. I like to eat, sure. I love...
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Anti-Peanut Butterism. Yes. It’s a Thing.

Anti-Peanut Butterism. Yes. It’s a Thing.

“Man can not live by bread alone ... he must have peanut butter.” - Bill Cosby “I mostly eat peanut butter sandwiches. Peanut butter and banana, peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and potato chips, peanut butter and olives, and peanut butter and marshmallow goo. So sue me, I like peanut butter.” - Janet Evanovich “Peanut butter is the paté of childhood.” - Florence Fabricant * I've heard a lot of people say that the French hate Americans. Before I moved to France, a few people asked me, "You sure you want to move there? They hate us in France." After I moved here, a couple of people asked about me when talking with my relatives, or mutual friends. "What's she doing over there? Doesn't she know that French people hate Americans?" I'm happy to tell you that this is complete bullshit. These are the concerns of the gullible, the ignorant & those who have never set foot on European soil. I've been here for 6...
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It’s the Same, But Different

It’s the Same, But Different

About 6 or 7 years ago, before I moved to France, I was back in Colorado, talking to a friend of mine about the pen pals we had when we were in elementary school. Remember those?  Actually writing on paper with a pen, sticking a stamp on it & mailing it to another kid living in some faraway place?  Surely you must have done this at some point, no? Anyway, we were having a laugh about the silly things  we would write.  He told me that his pen pal lived in England, so he was asking questions like, "Do you drive cars to go places in England, or is different?" or, "Do you go to the grocery store to get food, or is it different?" We found this all to be hilarious, finding amusement in the things that kids say & the wacky things that kids get curious about because as adults, we of course know better.  We've seen things & met people...
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