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Vie Française |

Falling in love with a Parisian, Paris, and rue Mouffetard

The place that really stole my heart was rue Mouffetard, in the 5th arrondissement, on which my brother and I strolled with Renée one day, and I remember her telling us about that quaint little street’s history, which goes back to Roman times, when Paris was still Lutèce.

Vie Française |

Aurais-je perdu le Nord? (Fr and Eng)

Ma définition favorite de « perdre le nord » est « être psychologiquement dans l’embarras le plus profond ». Et c’est exactement cette confusion dont mon statut d’expatriée me vaut de faire l’expérience depuis 1975, l’année où je me suis installée aux États-Unis de manière permanente.

Vie Française |

The Burden of One’s Frenchitude

My Frenchness – which I prefer to call, in this context, ‘Frenchitude’ – leads to some weird expectations from me on the part of most of my American acquaintances and friends. Being stereotyped can be a bit annoying and I feel that it is part of my duty to educate American folks about ‘real’ French people.

Vie Française |

Should your doctor see you naked?

Why do you get to wear this ridiculous garment for the entire duration of your examination by your M.D.? Well, because, God forbid, Dr. Feelgood cannot – in any way, shape or form – see you in your full, glorious nakedness.

Escapades |

Ch’ti Pride!

With the release of Dany Boon’s blockbuster movie Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis in 2008, it suddenly became very hip to be from northern France and to be able to understand and speak the ch’ti dialect. For those of you who do not know what a Ch’ti is, this term designates a native of northern France – it is a contraction of the term Ch’timi, coined during WWI by soldiers to designate their peers from northern France, because, in their dialect, the pronouns “toi” and “moi” would become “ti” and “mi”.

Vie Française |

Open or closed door policy?

Americans who invite you into their home for the first time will often, in a grand display of pride of home ownership, give you a tour of their place – of course, once more, this does not always hold true, but it’s a fairly common practice. This happens only very rarely in France. A French person’s home is his or her private space and, as such, it is not to be shown to strangers or friends, unless they are extremely close friends.

Vie Française |

Why I write in English

Born in France in 1952, I became enamored with English as a teenager because of my love for British and American rock music. Yearning to ‘get’ the lyrics of songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and other great rock bands, I played catch up with my English.