I’ve done my fair share of traveling and have seen some pretty incredible sites, so it’s always hard to put the “one of my favorites” stamp on a place. The contest just has so many categories!  There’s the It’s Not Where You Are It’s Who You’re With category, the Happy Belly ribbon, the Pretty Princess tiara, […]

300 straight kilometers heading due West. Highway! Not the sidestepping foot traffic of the trottoir, not the squashed human packaging in the dank metro air, no shepherding by a clicking train timetable — but the flight and freedom of a car! The substitution of an m for a k makes average feel like speed and so we  s p e […]

Most people who move abroad, especially to a country whose language they want to learn, make a targeted commitment to focus their friendship attentions on native speakers. It’s a logical language-learning strategy — immersion is without a doubt the best way to improve fluency — and it was certainly mine the first two times I lived abroad. The […]

I’ve never considered myself a feminist. I’ve never considered myself not a feminist. I’ve never really considered feminism at all. My female role models were always just themselves. In hindsight, they seem family-centric before career-driven, but this image of them is assuredly more a product of my relationship with them in the roles of mothers, grandmothers, and aunts […]

Alternate title: The One That Starts Out Grumpy, but Finishes With Cake I may be a minority here, but I don’t find the French rude. Not as a rule, at least. Was someone rude to you in France? Was that person French? Was that person rude because they are French? As Dad always says: yes, yes, […]

Sadness of all sadness: Evernote, my virtual shoebox of curiosities, has closed me out (of its free version, that is). And obviously on my dreadfully small – but perfectly adequate – budget, the upgraded version is out of the question — especially if I intend to keep spoiling myself with café outings, anti-splurging on adorable but […]

Forget Facebook and Snapchat. I’m casting a vote for books as favorite form of social media. There’s just something physical about the relationship between reader and a real-life ink-and-paper book. It starts in the bookstore: after spending hours deliberating, jauntily tilting the spines off the shelves to read the teasers, the stack of books mounting in your […]

Three months in, recently returned from a week home to the States for Christmas, and the verdict is more or less settled: being an au-pair is wretched drudgery of work for monstrous three foot tall bosses. The constant refrain: This is not why I came to Paris. It’s how I came to Paris. And I am […]

Despite loving her, the man collects a string of infidelities. The woman stays with him and when they’re old (and more white than grey), she gets Alzheimer’s and becomes attached to another patient who is later taken away from the nursing home. When his wife’s condition starts to deteriorate without her new confidante, the man […]

A week ago, 80 percent of my conversations incorporated the following question or an eager variant of it: “Are you so excited?” In response, I was just able to hesitantly muster a jerky, figure-8 shaped nod and a stammered “yea…” The truth is, despite having quit a job, applied for a visa, bought a plane ticket, […]