Last Saturday around midday, Kathryn and I were at the zoo here in Montpellier, and we found ourselves looking at the giraffes next to a French couple and their young children. I overheard the father saying to his children, “Les girafes sont beaux!” As soon as the words finished leaving his mouth, the mother corrected … Continue reading If you’ve ever struggled with the gender of French nouns, take heart!
A couple years ago, I wrote a lengthy blog post challenging my family, friends, and followers to seek out reputable foreign news sources in languages other than English. After yesterday’s circus in Washington, I think it’s more important than ever to repeat my challenge, especially since I haven’t seen any English-language coverage of the spectacle … Continue reading Foreign sources, redux
Those of you with good memories may remember the post I wrote years ago describing how Kathryn mocked me for using the word ouais. Number of times I heard Kathryn use the word ouais today: Six.
Kathryn and I arrived a few minutes early our first day of classes. This is the view from the patio where many of us gather during the morning breaks. The street below the patio is Rue St. Guilhem, a busy shopping area with limited access to motor vehicles. Guilhem is the word for William in … Continue reading First day of class at French school in Montpellier
It turns out that Angelina, the venerable tea room on rue de Rivoli in Paris, has an outpost at the Palace of Versailles. Kathryn and I found ourselves there earlier today, enjoying a snack of chocolat chaud africain before finishing our tour of the museum. We were in the tea room all alone — more on why we were alone in a future post — and we had just ordered. As usual, Kathryn let me do the ordering. I think she likes to hear me speak French, even though my French sucks.
Here’s a list of things you probably don’t know about me. It’s in no particular order.
I discovered today that the French expression for World Youth Day is les Journées mondial de la jeunesse, which is abbreviated JMJ. That’s pretty cool.
I was walking across the Place de la Comédie, and I noticed a sign that there were blood collections going on. I hadn’t given blood since I was seventeen years old, and I hadn’t actually tried since September 11 last year, when I was turned away because of the crowds. I wasn’t in a particular hurry, so I figured I could kill an hour or so giving a pint.
New day, new place. I’m once again passing time on a train, this time bound for Cologne via Hagen. I had a fun day in Kassel. My friend met me at the train station, and after we dropped my bags off at her place, we saw the city’s beautiful green spaces on foot, including a … Continue reading German women, French language, Chinese food
Many of you know I lived in Montpellier, France, for about a year. I loved being there, and I had a great experience studying there. From time to time, I’m asked to provide a reference to prospective students of the school where I studied, and I’m always happy to do so. Last summer, a young woman called me out of the blue, and we spent a half-hour or so on the phone talking about Montpellier.
We woke up around 10:00 a.m., refreshed and entirely hungry. After showering and dressing, we walked down the avenue MacMahon, looking for breakfast. We came across a pleasant open air market and seized the opportunity for a picnic. A bakery supplied the croissants, a small grocery supplied the fruit juice and water, some pushcart vendors … Continue reading Balmy afternoon at the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris