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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Having a baby in France

This is the third of a three part series of articles about being Pregnant and having a baby in France

Part 1 Pregnant in France: Healthcare and procedures

Part 2 Having a Baby in Paris: Baby Products Made in France

Part 3 Having a Baby in France: Resources groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

Being a parent is not always easy and it can feel quite lonely if you don't have enough support. It can be even more difficult if you are an English speaker having a baby in France! The support group Message started in 1984 with a few young English-speaking mothers wanting to connect with others for support in raising their children while living away from local customs, traditions and family. In the past 35 years, it has grown into a vibrant and thriving community of parents who continue, year after year, to support one another, share openly, forge new friendships, and build bright futures for families in France. You…

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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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Having a baby in Paris

This is the second of a three part series of articles about being Pregnant in France and having a baby in Paris

Part 1 Pregnant in France: Healthcare and procedures

Part 2 Having a Baby in Paris: Baby Products Made in France

Part 3 Having a Baby in Paris: Resources groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

This first part is about products. All the products mentioned here are made in France. (For more Made in France companies not related to babies we also have a series of articles on FUSAC :https://fusac.fr/category/made-in-france/ )

And the real story of an accidentally French baby

Diapers

– What's more essential than diapers? It comes right after milk! Finding the right diapers can be quite difficult especially as we know so much about the toxicity of some of them and it is extremely worrying. Luc…

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Pregnant in France

This is the first of a three part series of articles about being Pregnant in France and having a baby in Paris

Part 1 Pregnant in France: Healthcare and procedures

Part 2 Having a Baby in Paris: Baby Products Made in France

Part 3 Having a Baby in Paris: Resources groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

If you've just found out your are pregnant in France or thinking about having a baby in the near future, we've compiled for you some practical info on the different steps to follow in France. It can be overwhelming at first so in order to have a peaceful pregnancy, it is best to take one step at a time! 

What should I do after my pregnancy test is positive?

First of all, congratulations! It is the beginning of a beautiful and intense journey! The first thing to do is to go and see a doctor in order to confirm the pregnancy with a blood test. My personal preference is an appointment wi…

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Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

What is Bill & Rosa's Book Room ? 

First of all, for us, a Book Room is a comfortable place to spend some time. Think of it as the reading lounge on the ocean liners of yore. Our maître-mots are

Read, Write, Relax. Buy, Borrow, Donate.

Bill & Rosa's Book Room has several aspects. It is a USED BOOK SHOP and a LENDING LIBRARY. There are many novels of all genres for sale plus non-fiction, biographies, history, some poetry, cookbooks, cats, books on Paris or France, memoirs and children's books. Most books are in English, but also in French and even a few bilingual. Prices start at just 2€.

The lending library has four sections :

The Sylvie and Henry Noullet Library: novels mostly in English Bill and Rosa's Library of the American West includes novels, non-fiction and art books in bo…
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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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