A Passion for Complication

A slightly adapted excerpt from Demystifying the French: How to Love Them and Make them Love You, published by Winged Words Publishing, 2019. Copyright Janet Hulstrand, all rights reserved.

It’s best, whenever possible, to give the merchant exact change when buying something in France. “I do not know why, but I do know that French people really, really, really want you to give them exact change if you possibly can. They just do,” I tell my students.

This can lead to a confusing situation for Anglophones, because the word for “change” in French is monnaie. So if a French person looks at the money you have given them and says “Vous n’avez pas de monnaie?” you might understandably be confused. After all, haven’t you just given them monnaie?

But no, you see, you have not. You have given them argent, which means, literally “silver,” and is the word used for money. Or you have given them espèce, which means “cash”: but you have not given…

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Planète Gascogne by Perry Taylor

If you are headed to south west France for your summer vacation or if you've already been smitten by the area or if you appreciate rural France you'll get a kick out of the drawings by Perry Taylor - as he interprets life in Gascony through a whimsical British lens.

Perry Taylor was born in Oxford, England. He was a graphic designer and art director at design studios and advertising agencies in London and Amsterdam for 25 years. He now lives with his wife and chickens in the Hautes-Pyrénées, at the edge of the Gers. The tender and amusing observations of this renowned ‘Anglo-Gascon’ artist, capture the spirit of South West France in his warm and witty drawings, that always contain mischievous details of the locals, their lifestyle, culture, heritage and sports. Drawn in Indian ink and watercolor, his pen strokes provoke smiles from the French, who recognize themselves, as well as the international visitors who have discovered this special part of …

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Interview: authors of 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

FUSAC: You two created 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, a very popular book that grew out of Shari’s article on the same subject. You have since received, read, listened to, overheard, gathered “becoming French” examples from countless non-native Francophiles, including residents of France, would-be residents, tourists, language teachers, students wishing never to leave, culture mavens and many people who have battled it out with each other in our comments section as to who has racked up more Becoming French badges of honor. But wait! What about YOU? You’ve both been here since the 1980s. It’s Turn the Tables Time! What are several ways that YOU know YOU’ve “become French”? (Or not?)

HAVE NOT BECOME...

Shari Leslie Segall: They say that one’s “formative years” end at the age of two--that after merely twenty-four short months on this earthly orb, you already are who you’re gonna be. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that, since my father …

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All about the FUSAC brand

All about the FUSAC brand The FUSAC brand began with a magazine containing classified ads and advertisements in 1988. In 1998 we created our first website. Today FUSAC's classified ads are all online and we continue to serve the English-speaking communities (Americans, Brits, Canadians, Irish, Australians, New Zealanders, and many other nationalities who speak English as a second language) of Paris and the surrounding area. In 25 years FUSAC produced and distributed 523 issues of the magazine for over 20 million copies. Since 2013 all the classified ads are online. 40,000 readers come to our website each month and many more receive the monthly newsletter. We also publish the annual magazine LOOFE (Light and Lively Observations on France Extraordinaire).  FUSAC is well-known for ads offering employment, childcare and housing. In addition, the FUSAC site contains ads and articles for all aspects of the English-speaking community: music, dance, theatre, courses in English and Fre…
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Interview with Nancy Ing Duclos from Inspirelle

Interview with the founder of Inspirelle : Nancy Ing Duclos first came to France in 1988 to learn French in the hopes of obtaining a foreign post for her budding TV news career. When fate intervened, she quickly dropped out of her immersion classes to learn French the best way—from  her new Parisian boyfriend. She then stunned her Canadian family in Toronto by quitting her job as a reporter/producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to move to Paris. Today, Nancy lives in the French capital with her dashing photographer husband and son, and works actively as a freelance news producer for major television networks. She continues to be fascinated by French attitudes and lifestyle, and never to turn down a new challenge, is learning new skills in the digital world with the creation of  www.INSPIRELLE.com, an online lifestyle magazine for women living in and traveling to France.   When, where and how did you find your first FUSAC? Who hasn’t heard of FUSAC? I…
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Interview with Lisa Vanden Bos of FUSAC

by Janet Skeslien-Charles

When you come to Paris and you want a job, an apartment, or a date, the best place to look is FUSAC, which is available in print and online. After living in Paris for over ten years (and no longer in need of a job, apartment or date), I still pick up FUSAC every month to check out the gorgeous photos and book reviews. I feel very lucky to interview Lisa Vanden Bos, one of the founders of the magazine. Like me, she spends time in Paris and Montana. Here, we talk about the challenges and rewards of working in France.

JSK: What brought you to Paris? What keeps you here?

Lisa Vanden Bos: Like so many I was a student then returned and stayed for love… my not-yet-husband John had set up here, he was starting a business on a wing and a prayer or more literally a bicycle and friend’s computer, an idea he named FUSAC (France-USA Contacts originally). I s…

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