Monthly Archives: July 2019

Turn the other cheek

Ruby red lips in a shop window

When you move to another country there’s a whole lot more to learn that just the language. Under the general heading of “culture” you might find food and dining habits, daily routines, and social interactions, for example. In that latter category we discovered something that initially was totally foreign to us: a kiss on the cheek (more like an air kiss while touching cheeks in most cases ) when meeting up with friends. I still laugh when I remember a comment from French teacher Géraldine who said that the one way to scare the heck out of a French person is to hug them. Bill and I probably terrified a bunch of people here before we learned the fine art of the bisou and now there’s even a website to help.

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Bill’s badge of bravery

Soprano’s sold out concert poster from the city’s website

What do a French rap singer, Bill, and a 10-year-old have in common? If that were a 10-year-old Scotch I would start to understand but in this case she’s our neighbor whom we’ll call El. She likes music of all kinds, and even plays the violin, but is passionate about one French rap artist named Soprano. Knowing this, her ever hopeful parents bought 2 tickets to last Wednesday’s concert months ago anticipating that they would have plenty of time to find an adult to accompany their daughter but time was running out. We were over at their house for a glass of wine and the topic of Carcassonne’s annual month-long international music festival came up with a note that Soprano would be there. I remember an American TV series with that name (sort of) but I didn’t see how it could be turned into a musical stage show. El quickly jumped in to explain who the singer was and how her parents were looking for a chaperone. I could not believe the next words that I heard in the room, “I’ll go”, and they didn’t come from me. Read the rest of this entry

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in 3 days

One of the remaining water wheels in town

There’s a TV show that we watch here called Affaire Conclue (roughly, Done Deal) that’s kind of like the program Antiques Roadshow, but with a twist. Members of the public bring objects from their home to the studio in Paris where an auctioneer provides a bit of history about the item and then sets a value that she/he thinks it would bring if put under the hammer. The bonus is that in the next room a panel of collectors, flea market stall holders, and decorators is waiting to bid on what has come in that day and with cash in hand hopefully take their bounty home. They filmed an extended 2-hour version of the show in a town in Provence nicknamed “Capital of antiques and flea markets” that’s only a train ride away for us, so we were off for a long weekend in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Read the rest of this entry

Colors of summer

Art Deco former city hall of Carcassonne

We are just into summer and the colors couldn’t be brighter in Carcassonne. Last year for this sunny season the city introduced a rainbow of umbrellas suspended over the pedestrian shopping street and those have returned. Not only does it provide a colorful splash but also some welcome shade from that beautiful and sometimes intense southern France sunshine. Joining these parapluies this year are sails, equally vivid, and hanging above the main driving thoroughfare in the lower city. The good news for those of us without a car is that many of the streets have become pedestrian-only for a portion of each day during this outdoor season so we can admire the artwork overhead without having to dodge vehicles. Read the rest of this entry

A new life in Lille

Tales of a Brit who moved to northern France

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

wcs

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

Chez Loulou

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

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An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures