What cuisine comes to mind when you hear France? French fries? French toast? French Pressed Coffee? Surprisingly, none of those originated in France. Instead, native dishes include escargot, crepes, and macaroons. Read more
Posts from the ‘France’ Category
I have come to the obvious conclusion, that Americans and Parisians have more points of difference than points of parity. Points of Parity is a marketing term my teacher here uses to make a similarities and differences chart. Since I am more than half way finished with my program, I figured I have spent enough time immersed in this culture to figure out at least ten reasons why I stick out like an American more than a Texas fan at an A&M game. So here it goes: Read more
Over the past week, I’ve discovered that Americans walk a distinct line between being visitors to Paris and residents who call the city home for a considerable span of time. When you simply stop in for a week or so, your days are filled with all the highlights: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Moulin Rouge. The camera stays glued to your side as you unashamedly snap picture after picture, embracing every second of the cheesiness and clichés as you hustle around every end of the city with a tour guide. With each passing moment, your time dwindles a little more as you determinedly savor every second from a Galleries Lafayette shopping splurge to a Nutella crepe each afternoon. After all, you can’t do extensive damage to your bank account or waistline in only a couple days! Read more
I have officially landed in Paris! In efforts to fight jet lag, we set our bags down in our home-stay and hit the streets. Our host mother is quintessentially French, and the house is an entirely vertical building with a different room on each floor or landing. I lugged my duffel to the top of the third floor and was awestruck; next to my bed is a window that opens to the Paris skyline. I donned my trench coat, and grabbed my pocket map of the metro system, and my roommates and I headed toward the opera. For our first stop in the city, we emerged from the subway system and heard live music playing from the steps of the Opera house. It was a sight to see, and I instantly forgot all about my exhaustion and the fact that it was 2:00am back in Texas. We then meandered through Paris until we were sleep walking through the Tuileries, and decided to call it a day. Everything was made from scratch at our first dinner with our new “house mom” from the cous cous to the pear tart. Overall it was a good start to the summer. I think I’m going to get used to the Parisian lifestyle, except the language barrier may be a little challenging. Read more
I came to Paris with the intention of diving head first into the culture through adventure and exploration. As I discovered the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, I quickly realized my streamline dive into a society rich with history was turning into a cannonball into tourist traps. Many of these highly frequented destinations are well worth a visit despite the hoards of travelers, but how do you find the French nooks and crannies jam packed with snapshots of authentic culture? A great approach is in one of the markets scattered throughout the city. If you have limited time there are a few you should be sure to not miss. Read more
I’m from Chicago, a big city defined by wind, hotdogs, and the Bulls. Certain big city rules, like public transportation and safety, translate to my new home in Paris, but the differences between the two are far more evident. In Paris, no one says bless you post sneeze. Perhaps it’s the product of a culture more secular than my Midwest upbringing. Dogs don’t have leashes, nor do their owners carry doggy bags. Unless you ask for your check at a restaurant you’ll be there until closing time. The most notable difference is in the people, specifically their effortlessly natural affinity for fashion. If the everyday styling of the locals is the daily corner bakery croissant, Paris Fashion Week serves as the five course meal that leaves you inspired and entirely satiated. Read more
The most popular book about screenwriting is called Save the Cat. The title refers to the theory that in order to get a movie audience to care about the main character, and thus the movie, you have the main character do something “nice.” In other words, you have them “save a cat.” Unfortunately, this is a misunderstanding of how audience empathy actually works; audiences are much more likely to empathize with a character when they see them messing up or being down on their luck, because it makes them feel more relatable. With that being said, here are my top three blunders from my first weeks in Paris, in what is certainly not a desperate attempt to get you, dear reader, to empathize me more.
I've been in France for almost two months now, so I’m starting to get used to “le rhythme Français,” but there are some definite differences that have taken getting used to.
The word has been looming over me like a storm cloud, a sheer cliff, or any other doom-infused image you can think of.
I had planned to under pack for this trip. I had hoped to travel light and be worry free as I began this once in a lifetime adventure to Paris. Initially this was a simple enough goal. I compiled every black, white, and beige piece of clothing in my closet, the essential toiletries, a few converters, and I was set. I was calm, cool, and collected right up until the night before my scheduled departure.