A Taste of Garlic

Just Another American in Paris - Paris

paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceJust Another American in Paris is Anne’s blog about how a typical Washington, DC family (with two policy-oriented jobs, two kids, and two cars) came to Paris for a three-year, which eventually became a four-year tour.

Being a blog about Paris it does, of course, offer many insights into the vexing question of Dog Poop! So, let’s get started with Here’s the Poop and then move on to Parisians and Their Dogs.

I’m not sure that Dog Poop is such an issues in rural Brittany (where I live), perhaps it rains too much for the dogs to go out and thus, all the poop remains indoors?

Of course, there’s more to Paris than Dog Poop.  There are dead people as well!  You can find some if you spend An Afternoon at Père-Lachaise.




But, being the sort of person I am, I just wonder how many of the inhabitants of Père-Lachaise ended up there because they went arse over top after slipping in, what has to be, by now, Paris’s most famous landmark(s)?

Moving swiftly (but keeping a careful eye open) on….

Happily, this blog contains the obligatory post about the 2CV.

Now, here’s an interesting fact.  I’m not too sure how true it is but it was told to me by a Frenchman (he was drunk at the time but that was quite normal for him and I don’t think it detracts at all from the story; it may even add to the local colour?)….

When the 2CV was first put into production, it was found that the bonnet didn’t close properly.  It was discovered that if you gave it a good boot, it would then close properly (or, at least, as properly as anything on a 2CV works!)

Thus, someone was employed (an Algerian, I believe) to give a hefty kick to the bonnet of every 2cv that came off the production line!

Now, as I said, I’m not too sure how true that story is (as it was told to me by a drunken Frenchman) but, even if it isn’t true, it ought to be!

So, back to Anne’s blog and what do we find?

A quick look at the category listing on the sidebar shows that there are 44 posts about French Cuisine, including this one about Fruits de Mer (which happens to be my favourite food of all time) and this one about roasted pigs’ heads (which are, interestingly enough, also my favourite food of all time!)

There are 109 posts about Street Scenes.  My favourite has to be the one about Roller Cops! Or perhaps it’s this one (scroll down to see the interesting parking!) or this one… For the lack of a ….C or even this one about Creative Parking (readers of my blog at www.BretonDiary.com will understand where I’m coming from!)

Anne guides us cearfully through the streets of Paris, requesting that we Watch Your Step and warning us about The Parisians that Everyone Loves to Hate.

With some advice about French Stereotypes we are suitably prepared for this Street Scene.

But then, just to balance things up, Anne shows us how beautiful Paris can be.

Anne does pop over to visit Jolly Old England and has a few things to say about London Town.

But, before long she’s back in Paris where she discusses that other vexing question that is in the minds of many of the intellectual spirits of the Left Bank… Potty Parity.

And, here’s me muttering on about all things Parisian (from a perspective of Just Another American in Paris) and spoiling all your fun.  So, if any of you lost soles out there feel a bit Lost in Translation, pop over to Just Another American in Paris and let Anne sort it all out!

And me?  Well, having scoured this blog in vain for the obligatory Lingerie post (obligatory for a Paris blog, that is; in rural Brittany, our lingerie choices come down to summer long-johns or winter long-johns and we don’t talk about them…. much!), I’ve decided to take a quick look at Girls with Brass.  As Anne says… “You go Girls!”

All the best

paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in France


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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe French Kitchen

A delightful book in which Joanne shares with us ‘her family recipes, passed down through the generations. The French
Kitchen is a tantalising collection of casseroles, soups, roasts, salads, tarts and sweets.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceCholcolat

Joanna Harris creates a rich and vibrant description of a rural French village with all its petty rivalries and traditional, narrow-minded boundaries on thought and behavior.
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Five quarters of the orange’ is a story of a childhood tragedy in wartime France, and the shadows it casts across the later life of the heroine Framboise Dartigen.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceBlackberry Wine

Everyday magic, he called it, the transformation of base matter into the stuff of dreams – Layman’s alchemy.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe French Market

Following the success of The French Kitchen, Joanne Harris and Fran Warde have collaborated once more to write a French cookbook with a difference. This time they have taken their inspiration from the rural markets of Gascony.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceCoastliners

Passionate, stubborn Mado, whose “head is full of rocks” tries to save the livelihoods of the villagers of Les Salants by urging them to work together to save the beach from erosion, both natural and man-made.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceFive Quarters of the Orange

Three sublime audiobooks from the bestselling author, now available together in a specially priced pack. Includes BLACKBERRY WINE, FIVE QUARTERS OF THE ORANGE and the huge bestseller CHOCOLAT. With a gentle touch and an eye for human frailty and strength, these mouth-watering audiobooks will draw you into her enchanting worlds.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceFrench Lessons

Failed rock legend, pickled onion manufacturer, air hostess and euro-entrepreneur George East takes us through another eventful year of his doomed attempts to make a living out of living in rural France.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceFrench Flea Bites

The character of France and the French people has been captured in words beautifully and the hilarious exploits of George his wife Donella, their neighbours and Cato the cat.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceFrench Letters
This is not so much a book as a continuation of the serial story of George and Donella as they carry on with their almost idyllic life in Normandy. It’s at least as funny as the others, but the hanky had to come out again several times.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceFrench Cricket

Once upon a time, former night club bouncer, seamstress and professional bedtester George East and his wife Donella fled to Normandy to escape their creditors and try to live off their wits in a foreign land.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceHome and Dry in France

Buying property in France is fraught with mishaps and misunderstandings. George East’s book brings humour and fun to what happens when people venture forth to a foreign land with more hope than money and humour than language skills.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceFrench Kisses

Those poor people who don’t like George East’s books often dismiss them as fiction. Not so, everything is at least based on real people and real happenings. George admits to a degree of embellishment and often combines several mishaps to produce a spectacular disaster. Such is the nature of his works.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceRene and Me
Told in the inimitable style which has alrea dy won the author an army of followers, Rene & Me is a somet imes hilarious, sometimes moving and always captivating cele bration of human nature, people and, above all, life and living. ‘
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceA Year in the Merde

This very funny book sounds a lot more like the France that I know. Read it and you’ll still want to come here, you’ll just be a lot better prepared for the surprises that France has to offer.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceMerde Happens

Paul West is in deep financial merde. His only way out of debt is to accept a decidedly dodgy job that involves him touring America in a Mini, while pretending to be typically British. Also in the car is Paul’s French girlfriend, Alexa, and his American poet friend, Jake, whose main aim in life is to sleep with a woman from every country in the world.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceMerde Actually

A year after arriving in France, Englishman Paul West is still struggling with some fundamental questions: What is the best way to scare a gendarme? Why are there no health warnings on French nudist beaches? And is it really polite to sleep with your boss’ mistress?
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceDial M for Merde

In this book, you’ll get Paul, Elodie, her dad and some new French girls. All of them are of course hot and all of them adore Paul. Didn’t see that one coming…
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceTalk to the Snail

The only book you’ll need to understand what the French really think, how to get on with them and, and most importantly, how to get the best out of them. With useful sections on: Making sure you get served in a café, Harassing French estate agents, Living with bacteria, Pronouncing French swear-words and much more!
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in France1000 years of Annoying the French

Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? No! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? No! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers.
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This is television actress Carol Drinkwater’s lyrical account of a new life in France; about her house, Appassionata, and the trials and tribulations of acquiring an olive farm, restoring it, farming the olives, overcoming the heartaches of taking on a “new” French family and understanding slowly the workings and lifestyle of a vivacious Provencal community.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe Olive Season

This is an extraordinary and fascinating follow-up to The Olive Farm. The reader is drawn deeply and inexorably in to the world of the author, confronted with her personal struggles and entranced by her pastiche of growth and decay in the world of nature, a metaphor for her life.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe Olive Harvest

Carol and Michel have again returned to Appasionata, the Olive Farm that they have restored, and Carol is eager to continue production of the olives and attain their cerificate for producing Organic Oil.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe Olive Tree

THE OLIVE TREE charts Carol Drinkwater’s colourful and often dangerous journey in search of the routes that olive cultivation has taken over the centuries. Set during a springtime Mediterranean that is evocative and perennial, it is above all a tale of our time.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe Olive Route
A tour de force from Carol Drinkwater in this, the fourth in her Olive series. The joy of this book is in the pen pictures that she creates of the unusual characters that she encounters on her journey.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceThe Illustrated Olive Farm

The photgraphy is wonderful and the book is a great insight in to life with the olives and all that that involves. There are wonderful pictures of the dogs, family, friends, even the dreaded wild boar. Recipes as well.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FrancePetite Anglaise

Petite Anglaise is a memoir by Catherine Sanderson based on her blog of the same name. In 2004 Catherine decided to start up a blog based on her life in Paris.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceTout Sweet
You cannot help but fall in love with the author’s character. She seems like a Bridget Jones let loose in the French countryside, getting into a lot of funny situations with both ex-pat English and French locals like, as she adjusts to a totally different way of life.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceSerge Bastarde Ate My Baguette

John Dummer’s sharply focused descriptions of the landscape, towns and villages, and the weather of the South West of France form a animated background for a series of adventures with an array of characters from some intimidating and belligerent peasants to a sad little old man whose only companionship is a collection of antique dolls.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceMerde!

This book is an excellent source of words and expressions, of varying degrees of vulgarity, that are used all the time by french speakers. I used it often during the first of my two years in France.
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paris  Just Another American in Paris   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceAlmost French

“Almost French” is the story of a woman who goes to France to visit a French lawyer she has only met a couple times before and barely knows. Of course, she gets caught up in the romance of the city and stays on to live there.
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3 Comments

  • By Anne, April 9, 2010 @ 6:37 am

    Keith, thanks for the review. I did not realize the giant hole in my observations of French culture; I’ll get on that lingerie post right away!

  • By Corine, April 10, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

    Keith, I am so excited to bump into your site. I dream of visiting Paris one day and your blog is a candy shop for me.
    I look forward to following along. Thanks for doing a great job :)

  • By Ange, April 11, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    HA! Dog poop is one of the reasons I left Paris!!

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