One of the first lessons I learned on my way to becoming une vrai Parisian was to never, ever be on time. I should backtrack and say: One should never to be on time when invited for dinner party. The hosts, who called with my first invitation to a soirée about a week after I arrived in Paris, said “Come at 8pm…But you know, in…

Continue reading...

(Note: Some of this information was updated in October 2013. Plans and policies are all subject to change and revision by the various providers. Some updates are at the end of the post.) If you’re traveling to, and within France, many folks like to stay in touch with home, or want to be able to make and receive phone calls and get messages. So why…

Continue reading...

My first experience with eating seaweed was when my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Barnett, brought in a big bag of gnarled dried Japanese seaweed, presumably to familiarize us with foods from other cultures. Few of us kids growing up in sheltered New England would touch the stuff, although I took a little taste, but didn’t share her enthusiasm for the sea-scented tangle of salty greens. So…

Continue reading...

Here’s a listing of a few notable hotels in Paris that you might want to investigate if you’re planning to come for a visit. I’ve been traveling to Paris for many years before moving here, and some of the hotels listed I’ve stayed in, while others have been recommended by guests and friends. There’s a pretty good selection, including one located on the top of…

Continue reading...

“Did you see how hot it was? It was so sticky-icky!” Dear Madame France: Thank you so much for allowing me to live in your wonderful country. I love tasting everything I can, learning more about your rich history and curious customs, and even though I can’t conjugate the verbs in the plus-que-parfait-de l’indicative (come to think of it, all those verbs are so darn…

Continue reading...

So far, this week… …I ran over a not-quite-yet-dead pigeon by accident with my shopping cart. …My mobile phone died. …My ATM card expired. The bank told me to wait for the replacement card. Which was sent in May. …My credit card was cancelled, which I learned while at the cashier with a overloaded cart at BHV. There were thirty people behind me. And they…

Continue reading...

When I told Luc-Santiago from Vert d’Absinthe here in Paris that I didn’t like anise very much (or, stupid me, how long have I lived in Paris? I should have said, “I don’t appreciate anise very much.”), I wished I had my camera cocked-and-ready, as the look on his face was priceless. While I appreciate the culture and mystique of Absinthe and its cousin pastis,…

Continue reading...

Please take a quick second to answer this question. I’d like to find out how my readers are visiting the site: (Poll is now closed. Thanks for your responses!)

Continue reading...

I’ve been wondering lately why I live here. Winter is freezing cold. You can barely go stay outside for more than a few minutes without the icy blasts (which sound good now) sending you back indoors, to get under the covers, snuggly with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Then we have spring. Which this year lasted 4 days. Then summer comes, and Paris melts…

Continue reading...