A Taste of Garlic

Arriving soon…. The New Wave! (Part 1)

general  Arriving soon.... The New Wave! (Part 1)   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceLadies and Gentlemen (and that Montpellier lot!)….

It’s come to my attention that it’s that time of the year…

When otherwise normal and sensible young Americans (and Brits and Aussies too!)…

Pack their bags to move to France for a year…

To teach little froggies how to speak English (or, American or Aussie?)


Over the years we’ve had some famous (or, infamous?) English Assistants who’ve somehow grown roots and stayed….

One of whom is Shannon from a little bit chaunoise.

And, of course, there’s Andromeda at The Adventures of an American Blonde in France who started here as an assistant (in Metz) four years ago, and…

The infamous Sam at Totally Frenched Out who sorted of started off as an assistant even longer ago!

Then there’s Milkjam who came over in 2003!

And is now a real froggie!

And who can forget Amber at Travelling Amber?

Indeed, who could forget Amber?

And lastly (for the moment, anyway), there’s Crystal at Crystal Goes To Europe.

And every year we patiently wait for the new intake in the hope that they will learn from those who’ve gone before them and…

Get up to lots of fun…

Forget to go home and…

Blog all about it (with all the gory details!)

general  Arriving soon.... The New Wave! (Part 1)   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceStrasbourg

1). I Fly a Starship is iflyastarship’s blog and, as far as I can tell, iflyastarship is British, has already spent a year over here as an Assistant, is now about to start studying for her Masters degree in Strasbourg and shares a flat with (and hopefully isn’t getting too corrupted by) Shannon who lives at a little bit chaunoise (of five minute visit to Belgium fame!)

Now, I may have got some of that wrong (as I have been told that iflyastarship has also lived in Ireland) but….

It won’t be the first time I’ve got something wrong and, anyway…

I Fly a Starship looks like an interesting blog!

Watch out Strasbourg!

2). Actually having spent a year in Strasbourg and coming back for another one is…

Laura who talks about herself at My French Life.

Laura is a Texan which, I rather suspect, will mean that we should expect to find her wearing Doll’s Jeans on her fingers but…

If we excuse her that…

I think that we might find that this becomes quite a nice little blog.

I do have to say just one thing, Laura…

Seven blog posts in the last 10 months is really about 70 blog posts too few!

You should take a leaf out of your fellow Texan Blog Mistresses in France (her and her) and try to blog a bit more!

Your readers will love you for it!

general  Arriving soon.... The New Wave! (Part 1)   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceLille

3). Haley is a Texan (although we shouldn’t let that upset us too much?) who is moving to Lille any day now to start work as an Assistant and who is blogging about it all at Haley in France.

Now, I’m not sure if Haley is goig to stay true to her cultural roots and start drinking beer out of a jam jar or feeding her children dog food but…

We can only hope!

Welcome to France Haley and…

Make sure that those other Texans in France (they’re mainly way down south) don’t corrupt you (too much?)

4). Clare has been in France for a year (based in Lyon) and has been blogging (although, only slightly!) at Yours Sincerely: The French Chapter.

Clare is now about to start teaching at the Academy of Lille.

Now, I believe that Clare is of Australian extraction and I’m always going on about how we need more Australian girlies over here in France (as opposed to milling around Earls Court in London) and I do believe that she has already met that Au Pair Extraordinaire – Laura who delighted us with tales of losing the children entrusted to her care at the wonderful The Au Pair Project.

So, all in all, I have high hopes for Clare’s blog (if only she’d blog a bit more?)

general  Arriving soon.... The New Wave! (Part 1)   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceNantes

5). Arriving soon in Nantes is Jenny who blogs at Teaching English En France.

There’s not much more that I can say about Jenny other than she seems to like Footie (that’s Soccer for those of you of an American persuasion) and supports the Portland Timbers but I’m seriously hoping that she’ll soon see the error of her ways and do the decent thing…

And start wearing the yellow and green of Les Nantais!

6). Also arriving in Nantes any day soon….

Nicole blogs at La Petite Voyageuse Adventureuse and looks very happy and excited to be coming over although…

She doesn’t say whether she likes (or even understands) footie/soccer!

Welcome to France, Nicole – you’ll find that we’re politer, more friendly and altogether more civilised – us lot in Le Grand Ouest!

And would you believe this is just the start?

I’ve got a list of new arrivals as long as your arm!

And I’ll try to introduce them, a few at a time, over the next few days!

If you know of anyone coming over here to be an Assistant in France, and you think that they might want to be included on the list..

Give me a call – the email address is somewhere at the top of the page!

All the best

general  Arriving soon.... The New Wave! (Part 1)   because we all love reading blogs about life in France


  • By Amber, August 31, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    Who could forget, indeed! Thanks for the head’s up, Keith. Laura (every day life Laura) and I had a drink in your honor the other night for uniting us via your blog (and now we are best friends) so i’ll have to look up these new girlies and see if we can’t haze them.. I mean.. welcome them.. to the land of the Ch’tis 🙂

  • By Keith Eckstein, August 31, 2011 @ 9:24 am


    You mean you’ve been leading the lovely Laura astray?

    Do her parents know?

    Not too sure if welcoming the new intake to the land of the Ch’tis would be a polite thing to do but…

    If would be nice if we all tracked down anyone from our part of the world (back home) or who is moving to our part of the world (over) and made an effort to say hello.

    I suppose all the bars and restaurant will be full of Assistants for the foreseeable future; all doing Assistanty type things?

    I can hardly wait!

    All the best


  • By Caroline, August 31, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    Coming for a bit and finding an excuse to stay is obviously the cool thing to do. I came for a 6-month French course, and just celebrated my 5-year-frenchie anniversary last month. Go figure !

  • By Little Me, August 31, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    I came here as an au pair, then got a job teaching English, then never left… I think there are a lot of us out here.

  • By Keith Eckstein, August 31, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    Little Me

    I would suggest, from careful and intense study of the matter over the last couple of years, that…

    Au Pairs in France are EVEN WORSE than Assistants!

    Loads of stories to tell!

    Of course, the best of them do stay (just like the best of the Assistants!)

    Personally, I came over on a day trip, lost my passport and the rest, as they say…

    Is history!

    All the best


  • By Keith Eckstein, August 31, 2011 @ 11:37 am


    And the strange thing is, even a lot of the Assistants, Students and Au Pairs that come over and then go back home – end up coming back again!

    All the best


    P.S. Happy 5 year anniversary!

  • By Jacqui, August 31, 2011 @ 11:59 am

    It is the invasion, a stealth attack on the French gene pool – don’t tell them though! http://web.me.com/tournesol_bp/The_French_Village_Diaries/Blog/Entries/2011/3/19_The_Invasion.html

  • By Keith Eckstein, August 31, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Yes Jacqui

    You’re absolutely right!

    Mind you, they did the same to us back in 1066 and then, after that, pretty much every King of England was French (thus, all the nobs were French as well) until the 18th century?, so we’re only getting our own back!

    All the best


  • By Little Me, August 31, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    Yeah lots of stories. I was au pair to a high up political family under the Jospin givernment. It was very… interesting. DSK was minister at the time.

  • By Jacqui, August 31, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

    Aha! Revenge what a great idea!

  • By Gwan, August 31, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    *Even* some New Zealanders! Coming up for 2 years here (this time around). 🙂

  • By Keith Eckstein, August 31, 2011 @ 8:52 pm


    Yes, I know you’ve been around for ages and ages but…

    You keep darting off here, there and everywhere, don’t you?

    Even time I think.., “Isn’t it time to review that Gwanel Sandiego person?” I look round and find you in Prague or Moscow or some place like that!

    Anyway, I can’t think of many other Kiwis over here that are blogging about it?

    Of course, there’s Ange at Signed by Ange – she’s fairly mad but in a nice sort of way.

    And then there’s Mary at l’antipodeuse – actually quite refreshingly normal?

    And, who could forget Susie at Desperate Anglo Housewives? Batty as a fruitcake and twice as much fun!

    And you, of course.

    I don’t know where all the other Kiwis are?

    Earls Court?

    Backpacking round Basingstoke?

    Who knows?

    Anyway, I’ll get round to reviewing you as soon as I can; provided that you stay put for a little while!

    Thanks for popping in – don’t leave it so long next time!

    All the best


  • By Gwan, September 1, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Hi Keith,

    I don’t always comment but I have found some great blogs through you so thanks 🙂

    And yes, there are far too many Kiwis and Aussies in London, snore… I have spent a bit of time there, but only to regroup on the course of my travels!

    Talking of which, don’t worry, after the bombshell of a couple of months ago that my flatmate had been stealing from me and not paying the rent for a *year* (drama!) and the stress of subsequently having to find a new flat, I will be staying put for the foreseeable future, at least until the shine comes off all the new Ikea furniture I had to buy!

    Thanks for the kiwi recommendations!


  • By i fly a star ship, September 1, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    Howdy Keith! Thanks for the mention, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my trials, tribulations and pointless rants as much as I enjoy venting them all out 😀

    It was sad to leave Shannon behind…but here’s a bit of juicy gossip for you: the girl replacing me is another blogger you have mentioned (ohhh the suspense, eh?)

    Great website you’ve got here, love it, some good reading material. Thanks for keep it going!

    P.S.: Yes, your sleuthing work is correct, I am British but grew up in different countries…the last of which was Ireland, wich is where the ‘rents currently reside

  • By Keith Eckstein, September 1, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    Well, Gwan

    If you do stay in one place long enough I’ll review you as soon as I think the roots have taken!

    Yes, I’ve been following your accommodation drama – don’t worry, I’m sure that sort of thing happens to normal people too!

    All the best


    P.S. Regards the Too Many Kiwis and Aussies in London bit…

    I once mistakenly went to a bar called Church somewhere near Camden one Sunday lunchtime.

    I was only looking for a quiet place to sit and pray!

    I was so shocked I had to go back there the following week (and the week after that!)

  • By Keith Eckstein, September 1, 2011 @ 11:22 am


    So, is Shannon some sort of Foster-Auntie for all the young and innocent Assistants who end up in her part of France?

    Did she teach you how to drink gin?

    I like lots of Juicy Gossip here at Garlic!

    And, I’ve just realised that I haven’t reviewed a little bit chaunoise yet – any good gossip about Shannon that you can share?

    Don’t worry, you can tell me all the Juicy Bits and I won’t say a word – promise!

    All the best


    P.S. You recent 5 minute trip to Belgium; was it as exciting as it sounded?

    And what did you do with all that time you spent there?

  • By Gwan, September 1, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Ah, just when I think it’s only my mum who reads it!

  • By MilkJam, September 4, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    Thanks Keith for making me feel like the old fart that I am! lol

    My 8th anniversary is coming up in a couple days – crazy! I can’t believe I’ve been here for that long.

  • By i fly a star ship, September 4, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

    Keith – shannon is indeed something of a mad foster aunt (minus the cats). In fact, I think she deserves some sort of award for helping assistants out so much, because she really does throw herself into it. As for the gossip…aha! She might not have taught me to drink gin (I’m a ‘teach yourself’ kinda girl – and anyway, I’d imagine you would be better placed for that. I imagine you are something of a gin connoisseur? Or…no. I picture you more with a good bourbon), however she taught me to love ‘sloppy joes’ and yellow mustard. She has, withheld the cheese in a spray can though, much to my disappointment.

    As for Belgium…personally, I was on a cheap tobacco and rolling papers spree. Shannon came along for the ride and a pit stop at Lidl. Definitely one of our more thrilling escapades! 😀

  • By Keith Eckstein, September 6, 2011 @ 4:19 am


    I’m coming up for my 9th anniversary in November and let me tell you….

    It’s the 8th that is the killer!

    Everything starts drooping and descending after that!

    Almost overnight!

    All the best


    P.S. I’m thinking about starting an “Old Farts in France Association”?

  • By Keith Eckstein, September 6, 2011 @ 4:22 am


    What is a Sloppy Joe?

    All the best


    P.S. Find Bourbon a bit too sweet – I like Calvados and Ricard and can also drink malt whiskey but… not really a gin sort of person either?

    P.P.S. I think that Shannon needs some cats!

  • By Shannon, September 7, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    Hi Keith,

    Thanks for the mention! Hannah pointed me over your way.

    A Sloppy Joe is a sandwich made with minced meat fried up in Sloppy Joe spices and tomato paste (I believe American tomato paste is called something else in British English) and served on a hamburger bun.

    As for the cat thing, I’m more partial to dogs myself. If I see even a semi cute dog, I have a tendency to screech “Aww! Puppy!”. You can ask Hannah.


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