France Expat memoirs

Thinking of moving to France or just want a laugh? France Expat memoirs are good for both. Learn from those who have gone before you and have lived through the trials and jubilations of expat life in France. You can learn from their mistakes and enjoy their anecdotes "right from the horse's mouth". Or just commiserate! There are a lot of  English-speaking expats living in France, and many have written memoirs. Doing this is easier than ever now with self-publishing options. The currently trending France Expat memoirs have been around for a long time beginning its upward climb as a genre with the still wonderful A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle published in 1989. French License by Joe Start Another book about adapting to life in France, but this time from the perspective of the Paris suburbs and through the trial of getting a driver's license. In fact the whole book is one long road trip. We are so relieved when after 262 pages, 10 years or mille bornes Joe finally gets his F…
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Explore new territory on your bike, Forest of Senart

Here’s an idea to get out of town, hop on the train with your bike to get out of the city a little ways. Then pedal to another station to ride back to Paris. You can travel with your bike on the SNCF Transilien (suburban) trains on weekdays before 6:30, between 9:30 and 16:30 and after 19:30 and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, for no extra charge! And now that Navigo covers all zones there’s nothing to stop you. To whet your appetite here’s a set of rides along the Seine and in the forest of Senart beginning and ending at RER C/D stations. 3 different lengths make them accessible for all riders. The family - 6 km loop begin/end at Juvisy. Ride along the water’s edge of the «Port aux Cerises» recreation area. Touring - 10 km begin at Evry Val de Seine, end at Juvisy. A ride along the Seine and ponds in the recreation area. Longer - 13 km begin at Evry Val de Seine, end at Montgeron Crosne. Ride between the valleys of the Seine and the Yerres, then in th…
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Hogtied in the Hexagon? Understanding France part 3 of 3

Hogtied in the Hexagon? Understanding France Part 3 Our choice of 15 Books to help better understand France. Part 1 of this article Part 2 of this article First of all what is "hogtied"? To hogtie is an Americanism that goes back to about 1890 literally meaning to tie an animal, in particular a hog, with all four feet together. Figuratively the phrase mean to thwart or hamper. So here is part 3 of our list of 15 books that'll help you feel less bewildered and understand France. What is the Hexagon? The Hexagon is a nickname for France! (due to the mainland's nearly hexagonal shape) La puce à l’oreille: anthologie des expressions populaires avec leur origine Claude Duneton Fistfuls of everyday expressions are analyzed in their social and historical contexts. A marvel of curiosity, this book will teach you a great number of things about popular expressions. Tomber en quenouille, avoir la poisse, la veuve poignet, être un pigeon, rouler une pelle, pas piqué des…
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ABCs of life in France – Q to Z

The ABCs of life in France

In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is for Queen: Or, if you will, king, prin…
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ABCs of life in France – I to P

The ABCs of life in France In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is two-for-the-price-of-one  Intellectuals/Ideas: They really do still ex…
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ABCs of life in France – A to H

The ABCs of life in France In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is for Army: Not only are the French not patriotic, they find patriotism …
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Hogtied in the Hexagon? understand France part 2 of 3

Hogtied in the Hexagon? understand France Part 2 Our choice of 15 Books to help you better understand France. Part 1 of this article Part 3 of this article First of all what is "hogtied"? To hogtie is an Americanism that goes back to about 1890 literally meaning to tie an animal, in particular a hog, with all four feet together. Figuratively the phrase mean to thwart or hamper. So here is part 2 of our list of 15 books that'll help you feel less bewildered and understand France. What is the Hexagon? The Hexagon is a nickname for France! (due to the mainland's nearly hexagonal shape) Memoirs of Hadrian Marguerite Yourcenar Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the Belgian-born French writer Marguerite Yourcenar, the first woman ever elected to the Académie française (1980). It is about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book takes the form of a letter to Hadrian’s cousin and eventual successor «Mark» (Marcus Aurelius). The emperor meditates on militar…
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Remarkable trees in France

France is remarkable in many ways, including in trees. We recently published an article about the remarkable trees in Paris and now below you'll find some for the rest of France. We were out on a bike ride a few kilometers from home the other day and came across a tree planted in 1556! It was huge! And in great shape. The tree is called the Platane de Diane because it was planted by Diane de Poitiers, favorite of Henri II when she received the hunting property at les Clayes. A beautiful plantain tree that has seen not only Diane, but certainly Louis XIV walk beneath during a hunting trip, saw a first chateau built under Henri III, destroyed partially during the Revolution and another chateau built in the 19th century, burned by the Germans as they retreated at the Liberation, the telegraph line running past up on the hill, the writer Tristan Bernard and the artist Edouard Vuillard and who knows how many other famous people and events. All that in the Paris suburbs Les Clayes…
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