Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why go abroad for a year?

Nothing influenced my life more than my first experience abroad in 2008. In case you need more encouragement to take the plunge, here are a few pros and cons…

UCL Year Abroad Work Placements blog

travel

A year away from your degree is a long time taken out of your academic studies in the UK. When thinking about the pros and cons, consider the following;

 

PROS

  • Increased employability through an enhanced CV
  • Improve your foreign language skills
  • Add an enjoyable and valuable work experience to your CV
  • Work experience helps you to discover how much you like that line of work
  • Add to your contacts list and increase your ‘network-ability’
  • Make new friends & travel
  • Self-discovery and broadening your mind
  • First-hand experience of a new culture

 

CONS
  • Costs – supported by Erasmus grant? Student loan? Personal loan? Savings? Earnings?
  • Culture shock
  • Absence of your usual support network
Just about every person I have met has said they enjoyed their year abroad. If you have any concerns you would like to discuss with UCL Careers, give us a call on 020 7866 3600.

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Where art thou, Romeo?

Verona - City viewed from Veronetta district 1. (Photo by Fleur Kinson)This summer, ladies and gentlemen, I will be spending in the lovely land of the feuding Capulets and the Montagues, one of the gems of Northern Italy – Verona.  I’ve never been to Italy before, so I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to live there, with an Italian family as an au pair.  Well, more like a live-in English as a Second Language teacher in order to provide a full immersion experience for two Italian children and give them structured English classes every morning during the week.  During my afternoons and weekends, I hope to get to experience my first taste of Italian life, Italian culture, and maybe a few classes in a language school.  Hopefully I’ll meet some nice Italians!  I’ve been learning Italian on Duolingo.com, and while it’s foreign and new, a lot of it reminds me of French.  Oh, to speak Italian and French, the two most beautiful and romantic languages I know!  If I really exert myself over the next few months and during my two-month stay in Italy, I might become officially trilingual… And nothing could be better for my career as an ESL teacher than teaching for 20 hours a week over eight weeks, getting to work with two children and see them improve with their English.  I feel so incredibly lucky!

In addition to my bright ray of sunshine, I’ve also been getting a little bit more work recently.  One more job offer, a total of four hours of English tutoring this week.  One more phone call interview with a rival tutoring company who also wants to offer me clients through their intermediary.  And perhaps even an opportunity to get some real professional translation experience freelancing with a company based in the U.S.  And soon, so very soon, I’ll be on February break!  Time to start churning out some 30 pages of my Harry Potter Master’s thesis and start prepping for my June teaching exam…

Categories: Italy, Working in France | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reboot

It’s amazing what a good hard run can do for your self-esteem.  It’s been a long time since I’ve gone for a run, and boy do I regret not getting back into the swing of things sooner.  Of course, I think the main reason I ventured outside of my bubble of an apartment is because the sun was beckoning me outdoors, the beautiful sunshine I hadn’t seen in what felt like weeks.  It came out twice this weekend, accompanied by a delicious warm feeling that makes running a breeze.  Now my legs are rather sore, but it’s the kind of soreness that feels oh so good.

Last week I hit the pause button to reflect, to wait for a sign.  I attended a mere ten hours of class and I mostly wallowed in my laziness.  Motivation is something that must come from inside, and it’s been my driving force for the past six years or so.  I am used to waiting, but not the kind of passive waiting that accompanies helplessness and lack of autonomy.  I’m a doer, not a “let’s wait and see how things will turn out” kind of person.  Living in France, living below my usual standard of living, has taught me a lot.  To quote the old adage, every cloud has a silver lining.  And today it was a shimmering brilliance of sunshine.

Another sunny spot on the horizon is the upcoming summer.  I’ve been filling out applications to become an au pair, partly to have more experience working with kids (it’s been tough to find babysitting jobs in France with no network of parents already established) and also teaching English as a foreign language to children.  My once a week gig is fun, but I’d love to have the opportunity to see dramatic improvement over a period of two months.  I’ve just started applying, but who knows… Maybe I’ll be spending the summer in Italy, or on the French Riviera or in Alsace or Bavaria.  Nothing like the summer holidays to keep you motivated.

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Doubts

Once in a while, we all have doubts.  Where do we go with our lives? Am I pursuing the right career? Am I making the right choices?  And let me tell you, as a foreigner in France in a relationship with another foreigner of a nationality clearly not welcome here, I am no stranger to doubt.  Never before did I feel as if my life was a game of cards, a role of the dice to see which way the numbers would fall.  I worked so hard to be with the person I love, to return to France… would it be considered abandoning my dream, succumbing to failure if I were to change course?  Find another solution? Postpone my Expat life?

I’m not saying I’m preparing to do anything radical right now.  But the wheels have been turning in my head and I’m trying to sort things out.  Things may sort themselves out.  Sometimes you aren’t so much led to a conclusion as pushed there.  And we’ll still see where the numbers fall.  I’m not a poker player.  I’m going to rely on God for that one.

P1150282

Photo credits: Philine W.

Categories: Expats | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

What is French about France?

  • The shops all close at 7 pm, with the exception of Carrefour Market (8:30 pm) and Carrefour City (10:30 pm). At least in my city.
  • The city is dead on Sundays—I’m not even half sure where everyone goes.

“Almost every shop is closed on Sundays as well, so don’t plan a visit to a city you’ve always dreamed of seeing on the day of rest, because they do rest. It’s the law. Only shops that sell food are legally allowed to remain open in France, although countless boutiques do flaunt the regulations. I wouldn’t count on it, though. If you are visiting during a Sunday, and will need anything at all from a store, I highly recommend buying it Saturday.”  Hours in France.

  • Students flock in mass to the train station on Fridays, in order to pass the weekend at home. It’s very hard to hang out with French students on the weekend unless they live in your city, so it’s nice to know other foreigners.
  • Nearly every meal is served in a minimum of three courses—appetizer, main course, and cheese/fruit/dessert.
  • New Year’s Eve is rarely spent at a bar but at a private party at a friend’s home.
  • Presents are exchanged and gifts opened on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.
  • All the holidays revolve around food.
  • The country stops working in the month of August—don’t expect to get anything done yourself.
  • Sometimes it takes asking ten different individuals in order to find anything out, and sometimes even then you haven’t the faintest idea.
  • When first attending a French university, prepare to spend an entire day going to various buildings of the university in order to “register” as a student. And be prepared to not know what classes are offered, with which professor, at what time, and in what building, until often the day of, and the same goes for exams. Don’t expect to be notified if a teacher is absent. Try to have at least one well-informed friend in every class. Or get to know at least one faculty member. Don’t even attempt to have the grading system explained to you unless you need to “retake” your exams.
  • You must always watch your register of language (including tutoiement and vouvoiement), depending on who you are talking to—emails included.
  • Always say “Bonjour” upon entering a room, restaurant, or store, and always leave with “Merci, au revoir” or “Bonne journée, au revoir”—a “s’il vous plaît” when ordering something is nice but not required.
  • Carambars and crêpes and more cheeses and fine wines than you can count on two hands. And pastries, and desserts, and baguettes, and…
  • Tintin and Lucky Luke (Belgian) and Titeuf (Swiss) and Astérix and Obélix and (until recently) Gerard Depardieu and Johnny Hallyday and Audrey Tautou and Marillon Cotillard and Édith Piaf, Les Enfants du ParadisLes Intouchables, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain, Émile Zola, Gustave Flaubert, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Honoré de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas, Jules Verne, Marcel Proust, Stendhal, Molière, Corneille, George Sand, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, …
  • Don’t expect to get anything administrative-related accomplished before 9:30 am or after 4:00 pm. As a general rule, never expect someone to be in his or her office before 9:00 am.
  • The numerous Catch-22’s in France. Case in point: to get university housing, you need a French bank account, but to open a French bank account, you need housing.
  • Emails are seldom returned in a timely manner—the French take the separation of work and leisure very seriously, which extends to evenings, weekends (Sunday especially) and vacation days (notably winter and summer break)
  • French shops and attractions tend to be open in the mornings until noon, and many (if not most) close up to three hours for lunch. They typically reopen 2:30 or 3 pm. If you time it wrong, you could arrive at a museum just in time to wait for three grueling hours.
  • In those hours, the restaurants and cafés come alive. If you don’t catch lunch at lunchtime, you could go hungry for several hours (especially in smaller towns or even medium-sized cities). The French dinnertime is typically late, around 8 pm.
  • The French tend to go out to eat less often than Americans, especially in the evenings or on the weekends, which is primetime for most U.S. dinners out. On the other hand, most restaurants in the city center, especially near businesses, are packed at lunch hours, as the locals take advantage of the “plat du jour” and their two-hour lunch breaks.
  • The French love their system of concours, national government-entry exams for admission into élite schools and the various types of fonctionnaire (civil servant) jobs. There is a whole “prépa” culture that prepares for the Grandes Écoles such as the École Normale Supérieure and the École Polytechnique. Most government bigwigs and Parisian highbrows issue from these schools.
  • To get a job in France, they expect you to have a degree for everything—a degree to prove your competency at a foreign language (CLES 2), your ability to use basic computer skills (C2i2e), your general first aid (PSC1), your ability to work with children (BAFA) or adults (BAFD), to work in a professional field (CAP), to work in commerce or management (BTS), to become a teacher (CAPES or l’Aggrégation), to work in a technical field (DUT), etc. Not to mention your standard undergraduate (L1-L2-L3) or Masters (M1-M2) or Doctorate degrees.
  • The French love acronyms and other jargon known as “sigles”.
  • Almost everyone smokes in France. And I am not exaggerating. I must be the only person half the time not to take a “pause cigarette” in order to “fumer une clope” and I am often asked on the street, “vous avez du feu?” Luckily for non-smokers, smoking is pretty much banned in all enclosed areas, such as bars or restaurants.
  • The French like to drink, but there isn’t quite the same “binge culture” that you find in the United States, as a result of the absence of “campus” fraternities or sororities or other such rites of initiation that involve young people and heavy drinking. Drinking is allowed since age sixteen, and most French have had a glass of wine on occasion with their meal from a much earlier age.  The French highly prize their wines and enjoy beer and hard alcohol. There is a local alcohol culture that accompanies each region of the country, with corresponding stereotypes.
  • Dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere, especially in cafés. Therefore, be forewarned about what naturally accompanies dogs—doggy doo on the sidewalks.
  • In older cities when it rains, the sewage literally stinks.
  • Older apartments often have terrible ventilation and rarely have elevators. You are lucky if your heating is fully functioning. Living conditions are much more cramped, even for those who can afford good housing. Not everyone is a homeowner and few people are blessed with a front or back yard or a patch of grass if they live in a city.
  • You typically have to pay to go to the bathroom, unless you are a paying customer at a restaurant.  Even McDonalds isn’t a “freebie.”
  • Unless you are born French or in a French-speaking country, you will never speak perfect French. Whether by your accent or an out of context use of vocabulary, you will give yourself away. And once they discover you’re an American, they will proceed to talk to you about Obama (adored) or Bush (despised) or about American politics in general. Try to brush up your vocabulary for such situations (explaining the Electoral College is hard enough in English).
  • You don’t need to tip as it is already included in the bill—although many places take advantage of tourist ignorance. And whatever price listed on the price tag is how much you will actually have to pay—there’s no hidden “sales tax” that magically appears at the counter, it’s already been factored in advance and is the same around the entire country.
  • You basically pay half your salary in taxes, BUT parents don’t have to pay for preschool, worry about health insurance, or save for college.
  • Sex is absolutely not taboo—from high school age onwards, most people are expected to be having sex and talking about having sex, and even parents are fully aware of their adolescent children’s having sex—as a result, the pill is widespread and used.
  • Fewer French are getting married than ever before, and cohabitation is commonplace, especially once you are out of school (most French students live at home with their parents, as university campuses lack quality housing and a “campus” environment)—as a result, most marriages I see at the town hall across from my street are of the Arab-French population, amongst each other.
  • Almost all French children, at least those fortunate enough to get accepted, go to state-run day cares called “la crèche”: not only are these appreciated, but women often go back to work within months of giving birth and are not viewed as “bad mothers.”
  • You are never ever forgiven for getting fat. Having a baby is not an excuse, but rather, should be extra motivation to get back in shape to regain your sex appeal. No matter what age.
  • Both men and women dress well. While the “jock” look is still acceptable, most jogging pants or sweatshirts are worn only to and from athletic activity. Both genders spend a lot of money on clothes and are expected to look good at all times. Slovenly dressing is looked down upon, as if you are lacking self-esteem. There is no college culture that permits wearing pyjamas or sweatpants to class. Students can and do often dress as if going to a job interview every day of class. The French, to a lesser degree than the Swiss but all the same, frequently “repeat” outfits two or three days in a row, provided it is still clean and doesn’t smell.
  • The French take their laïcité (separation of Church and State) incredibly seriously—all talk or manifestation of one’s religion in a public setting, such as school, is absolutely forbidden, with the most extreme case being the prohibition of all religious articles in a public school including the Cross, the Jewish kippa/yarmulke and the Muslim head scarf.
  • For some reason, the French are the second worst at foreign languages in Europe, coming just ahead of England in the most recent study. I blame the strange emphases of school-run foreign language programs, but this also relates to national pride for speaking good French and a ferocious protection and support of their language abroad. And perhaps a “laissez-faire” attitude about the English language, after rivaling with England for the last several centuries as a cultural power in the region.
  • To graduate high school you have to pass the baccalauréat, which involves an exam in each subject, among which figure several oral exams. Like most grades in France, the results of those who pass are posted for all to see, often on a national level. In university, professors commonly email the entire class’s grades in one go, and you often only have one grade per class, which is usually a final exam or project. Hence the common occurrence of “make-up” exams or “redoing” your year. Each year is considered a separate degree to be earned independently of other years.
  • Make sure you are making eye contact with a driver when crossing the street at a diagonal-slashed cross walk.
  • The cross walk lights in France are both little men—the red one with his hands on his hips means “don’t cross” and the green man who appears to be walking means “cross.” In all cases look left then right then left and cross if no car appears to be hurtling at you.
  • It’s really hard to get your driver’s license in France. You have to be at least 18, go through a six-month program of driver’s ed, and pass a rigorous exam. After three failed attempts you have to repass driver’s ed. As a result, many people, especially youths, use public transportation or walk.
  • The French love to protest and go on strike. Within a month’s period, I’ve already witnessed two protests down the center of my city. Strikes of any form of transportation are incredibly annoying and likely to happen 1) at a moment’s notice or 2) on a major holiday. Be forewarned.
  • Getting a coffee at one of fifteen local cafés is more than just a social ritual—it’s a way of living.
  • La préfecture is the innermost circle of hell.  L’OFII is not far behind.

A fellow American Expat in Amiens wanted me to add this comment:

“I have one to add: dinner, even when just pizza at a friend’s house, is preceded by “l’apéro.” this is not optional. Buy peanuts or chips, and an alcoholic beverage of some kind on hand. You may think you have planned a dinner party, but even at thanksgiving, you will be asked “what about l’apéro?” (Check out Fliss’s blog here)

Categories: Daily Life, Expats, France | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

Want to become a French Doctoral student?

Recently a friend of a friend contacted me about how to apply for a doctorate in France, and I asked my professors at my university for a bit of an explanation.  For those who are interested in applying for an undergraduate or master’s degree in France coming from a non-European company, please read my article How to Move to France to see how to go about applying via the CampusFrance website.  For those interested in pursuing his or her PhD in France, read on.

Apparently, applying for a Doctorate is slightly more complicated in that you need to find a “directeur de recherche” right off the bat in order to even get accepted into a program.  One of my professors emailed me back in French a few tidbits of advice, especially concerning whether or not you can do a doctoral thesis “in English” or not.  Here’s a copy of the email:

“Bonsoir Colleen,

Pour vous répondre rapidement: si votre amie veut s’inscrire en doctorat/3e cycle dans une université française, elle a deux possibilités. Elle peut s’inscrire en anglais et rédiger une thèse de civilisation britannique ou américaine en lui donnant une orientation “Histoire des idées” ou “Histoire de l’art”. Il se peut dans ce cas qu’elle ait à suivre un/des séminaire/s en anglais. Chaque faculté a son Ecole Doctorale, et chaque Ecole Doctorale a son programme (ici, par exemple, les séminaires sont interdisciplinaires, comme il y a peu de doctorants, et se font en français). Mais elle ne pourra pas conserver son sujet [nota bone “mon amie” veut faire un doctorat en histoire de l’art].

Ou elle peut s’inscrire en Histoire de l’art et consacrer sa thèse à l’avant-garde parisienne, mais il est assez probable qu’elle aura à suivre des séminaires en français.

Dans un cas comme dans l’autre, elle devra rédiger l’intégralité de sa thèse (environ 500 pages) en français, sauf si elle opte pour une co-direction (un directeur en France, l’autre dans une université anglophone). Dans ce cas, il est possible de rédiger la thèse en anglais, mais si celle-ci est inscrite en France, la soutenance se passera en français.

Dites-lui de chercher “Ecole Doctorale” sur les sites des universités: elle s’y repérera sans doute plus facilement. Chaque faculté a une Ecole Doctorale qui gère l’ensemble des doctorants/3e cycles selon les champs de spécialité (Lettres et Langues, Sciences Humaines, Sciences, Droit, etc.)

Cordialement,

X”

If you have any more questions regarding studying in France, as an undergraduate or graduate, don’t hesitate to ask.  I’ve learned a lot in the past five months and am potentially considering pursuing a doctorate here down the line.
Categories: Education | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Crêpe-making Holiday? When in France

As most of the world is aware, France has a very healthy relationship with food, with its complex network of traditions and cultural practices tied up with special meals and desserts.  Each month has a corresponding holiday around food:  in January, it’s la galette des rois for Epiphany, in February you have both la Chandeleur and le Saint-Valentin, and this continues all the way into December, with the bûche de Noël among numerous other holiday traditions such as vin chauddes marrons, and the famous foie gras and canard or lapin for the New Year’s Eve Réveillon.

Yesterday while the United States was busy deciding whether or not the official groundhog had seen his shadow, France was busy celebrating la Chandeleur, a complex holiday that is tied to both the Catholic holiday of Candelmas, which celebrates the presentation of Jesus to the Temple as well as the purification of the Virgin Mary forty days after giving birth (a custom women still practice in Islam), as well as the Roman holiday of light, festa candelorum, which is the origin of the French name, from the French word for long tapered candles, des chandelles.  It also has its roots in Northern and Western European holidays celebrating the lengethening of the days.  Today the holiday is mostly remembered as a time to get together with friends and make crêpes, one of France’s most popular food exports.  It’s a seasonal, religious, and cultural/food-related holiday all in one. Summer, light, and crêpes!

crepes-chandeleur

Surprisingly enough, there is more in common between the very secular American Groundhog’s Day and la Chandeleur in France than simply sharing the same date:

“In France, Candlemas is celebrated with crêpes, which must be eaten only after eight p.m. If the cook can flip a crêpe while holding a coin in the other hand, the family is assured of prosperity throughout the coming year. The French though have a completely reversed view of the weather prospects. They say: “Quand la Chandeleur est claire, l’hiver est par derriere; Chandeleur couverte quarante jours de perte,” a rhyme that means, more or less: “If February 2nd is clear, no more winter to fear; if the Chandeleur is overcast, forty days winter to last.” But then again they also say: “Soleil de la Chandeleur, annonce hiver et malheur” which is “A sunny Candlemas will bring winter and misfortune”. Other traditions include “Si point ne veut de blé charbonneux mange des crêpes à la Chandeleur” which is “if you do not at all wish the wheat to blacken eat crêpes at Candlemas”, and “Celui qui la rapporte chez lui allumée. Pour sûr ne mourra pas dans l’année” which is “whoever arrives home (from church) with it (the candle) lit for sure will not die that year”.” Wikipedia

Luckily for us, the weather in Amiens was absolutely dismal.  It was dark, the sky a slate gray that makes me think more a muddy puddle than a Van Gogh-esque Starry Night, and it was spewing at various intervals cold snow-rain that melted upon touching the ground.  I’m sure hoping that our winter will be a short one, for I’m longing for the mild temperatures of spring and summer in Northern France, and the rare sun sightings in the past few months leave one longing for the gentle kiss of sunshine against your forehead.  I’m looking forward to relaxing in le Parc Saint-Pierre and having picnics and soccer matches and pétanque tournaments to pass the time.

I have been fortunate enough to share many French traditions with friends here in France, many of which I hadn’t celebrated the first time I lived in Amiens two years ago.  The benefit of knowing the locals is the possibility to share in their traditions.  This year, I had two delicious Kings’ cakes for Epiphany, another religiously-based holiday that is also celebrated in New Orleans in the United States and elsewhere in the world.  Unlike the very sweet and colorful New Orleans style Kings’ Cake, the French galette des rois is made of almond-paste frangipane and pastry, with a little fève (originally, a broad bean) figurine buried beneath layers of cake and which many collect.  Tradition has it that the youngest person has to crawl under the table and “decide” who gets what piece of cake as it is sliced in equal portions for family members or friends.  As I was the youngest among my group of friends, I stuck my head under the table.  Whoever has the slice of cake concealing the fève, which in New Orleans is a little figure of a naked baby (originally representing the baby Jesus), is crowned “king” or “queen” for the day, wears a paper crown, and, most importantly, escapes dishes duty for the rest of the day.  I also got to sample a homemade galette des rois with the four French girls I teach, although unfortunately the fève was hidden in one of the remaining slices.

“The cake traditionnally celebrating Epiphany in France and Quebec is sold in most bakeries during the month of January. Two versions exist: in northern France and Quebec the cake called galette des rois (which can be either circular or rectangular) consists of flaky puff pastry layers with a dense center of frangipane. In southern France – Occitania, Roussillon, Provence,Catalan where it´s called tortell – the cake called gâteau des rois or royaume, is a torus-shaped brioche with candied fruits and sugar, similar in its shape and colours to a crown. This later version is also common to Spain and very similar to New-Orleans king cake.

Tradition holds that the cake is “to draw the kings” to the Epiphany. A figurine, la fève, which can represent anything from a car to a cartoon character, is hidden in the cake and the person who finds the trinket in their slice becomes king for the day and will have to offer the next cake. Originally, la fève was literally a broad bean (fève), but it was replaced in 1870 by a variety of figurines out of porcelain or—more recently—plastic. These figurines have become popular collectibles and can often be bought separately. Individual bakeries may offer a specialized line of fèves depicting diverse themes from great works of art to classic movie stars and popular cartoon characters. The cakes are usually sold in special bags, some of which can be used to heat the cake in a microwave without ruining the crispness of the cake. A paper crown is included with the cake to crown the “king” who finds the fève in their piece of cake. To ensure a random distribution of the cake shares, it is traditional for the youngest person to place themselves under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of the service.

Formerly, one divided the cake in as many shares as guests, plus one. The latter, called “the share of God,” “share of the Virgin Mary,” or “share of the poor” was intended for the first poor person to arrive at the home.” Wikipedia

I recently also had the opportunity to attend the birthday party of one of my closest French friends here in Amiens.  The small and intimate gathering was delightful, from the many delicious cold samplings of “finger food”, from delicate quail eggs to bread slices slathered with various spreads, a “savory” caky bread, and little chocolate muffins at the end of the meal.  We played a game that was perhaps as literary and nerdy as our group, which is called À la manière de (In the manner of), which takes a line from the work of a famous French author and stops mid-sentence, allowing those playing along to “propose” a sentence “in the manner of” the famous author. The goal is to sound convincingly enough like the author that when the person whose turn it is reads all the different sentences anonymously, including the “real” sentence the author wrote, everyone will be convinced that your invented sentence is the literary text.

For those of you who read French, here is a sampling of the “sentence endings” I wrote down, with a few “real” sentences that I read aloud at my turn.  Let’s see if you can guess the French author who inspired them :)

  • “…ma femme se rende compte que je veux coucher avec un homme.
  • … je vous tue.
  • … une affaire compliquée et pénible,
  • … tu me saoules.
  • … on a dû tomber du ciel,
  • …quelconque.
  • …périmé
  • … j’ai tout ce que j’ai désiré.”

My own Chandeleur party was incredible, as I get to spend it at a close friend’s house with all the other members of my locavore group.  We spent at least four hours playing a board game called “Zombicide”, which is a hilarious cooperative game in which you try to “shoot the zombies” and race against the zombie invasion while following one of ten different scenarios.

Zombicide

Zombicide

Oh, and the crêpes.  In the 24 hours that we spent together, I probably ate more crêpes than I have in an entire year. Curry-flavored crêpes with leeks and onions and goat cheese and tome de cidre cheese and sweet crêpes flavored with orange blossoms and stuffed with Nutella and Jonagold apples or spread with homemade jam.

crêpe-sucrée1286364614

Categories: Amiens, Daily Life, Food, France, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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