All posts tagged: Chambéry

10 mars – Top Ten Cities in France, So Far

Yesterday, I enjoyed reading a variety of “list posts” and, as I am lacking in inspiration today, I am following suit. And so, for the 10th of March and the 10th day of the Slice of Life Challenge, I offer you my Top Ten Cities in France, So Far (limited of course by the cities I have visited, which are heavily concentrated in the south-east of the country) 10. Nice Going to Nice at the end of January was probably not the best plan. Its long stretches of pebble beaches were all but empty and the town felt a bit deserted. Next time, I’ll be sure to visit during beach season! 9. Annecy All the guide books will tell you that Annecy is the “Venice of the Alps” because apparently every city that has anything that even remotely resembles a canal is liable to be compared to Venice. This picture perfect town is really stunning, and as a result, also really touristy. 8. Aix-en-Provence Not going to lie… After hearing stories and stories about how amazing this city is from hordes of study abroad …

poo-ku

I couldn’t settle on a topic for today’s post, so I went back to my jar of memories for some inspiration… Found it! If you’ve ever lived in France, then you know this situation, and also how much of a joke the above park sign is. People have these grand illusions of France as a sparkling, wonderful nation of art and culture and cheese, and it can be all of these things. But it’s also covered in dog poop. You think, she must be exaggerating. You think, oh sure there’s always that one person who doesn’t clean up after their pets. But imagine “that one person” is an entire nation of dog owners. I was inspired by this problem to write some haikus, or as I’ve dubbed them, poo-kus. We love the idea Of pink Parisian poodles Sporting blue berets Here’s reality: Those poodles poop and no one Thinks to pick it up Beautiful alleys Medieval cobblestone walks All covered in poop Watch out! she shouted With an unexpected shove My foot just missed it Peals of laughter ring We …

lost and found

This afternoon I finally finished reading Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please – my #SpringBreakRead no.3! She ends the book with a story about forgetting her laptop at a TSA checkpoint, losing with it about 50 or 60 pages of that very book saved on the hard drive. She spent a full day in complete despair until she received and email notifying her that her laptop had been recovered and she could pick it up at the LAX lost and found immediately! I realized I have an almost identical story, though it doesn’t involve losing months of writing or hundreds of dollars… You see, in April of last year I lost my bus pass. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Losing a €20 monthly bus pass doesn’t seem as devastating as losing a computer, Anne!” I know I know. Especially since spring vacation was coming up and I would hardly need to use the bus anyway… But I was still genuinely upset! My pass consisted of an identity card with a horrifying passport-style photo of me, bundled with a …

the gratte-frog

The four of us piled into our Airbnb apartment in Montpellier, France. As my friends began to change into their pajamas and brush their teeth, I examined the bookshelves: A full set of hardback Harry Potter books; several shelves of paperbacks, their titles written upside-down as is the way with French publishers; a small CD collection and an unplugged stereo; three little wooden frogs, decreasing in size. I now know these small wooden figures are called Frog Rasps, or güiros, a type of Latin American percussion instrument. But at the time, I just thought they were funny. Because we are hilarious, Julia and I decided to play a prank on Hannah and Rachel, who were quietly reading in the bed they were sharing in the other room. We waited until it was absolutely. quiet. and then… brrrrrrr-ap! , brrrrrrr-ap! the sound of the mallet stroking the frog’s bumpy back. “What the hell was that?!” we heard from the other side of the curtain that separated the rooms. We had already dissolved into giggles. Because apparently we are 12. …

sensing scents

These days, I have been looking just about everywhere for inspiration : scrolling through my old photos on Flickr, listening in on conversations in the hallways, eating dinner, reflecting on my habits or daily experiences. Today I found it in an old crumpled up bottle of lotion on my dresser. I don’t use it that often anymore because it’s almost completely used up, and I have bigger, newer bottles to try. But I haven’t thrown it away yet because it’s a French brand that isn’t widely available in the US and I can be a little bit of a hoarder when it comes to nostalgic memorabilia. Plus, it’s still got a few good uses left. I originally bought it sometime last February or March to use during travel. The bigger bottles I already had were too cumbersome to pack and not allowed in carry-ons due to their size. This little bottle was not only the perfect portable size, but also multi-purpose: it’s extra light formula was perfect as both a body and face lotion! When I reached for …

two very different lessons

This afternoon, I sat in on a lesson the school counselor was giving to my mom’s class of 3rd graders. They learned to be a “friend to some, kind to all.” They learned how to use “I Messages” when they had conflicts with their friends, and how to respond when their actions accidentally hurt someone. The class played a role playing game where the counselor gave a scenario, and with a partner, they had to play out how they would respond using the I Messages and Responses they had just learned. “I felt upset when you said you didn’t want to play with me. Next time could you please be kinder?” “You were mad when I said I wouldn’t play with you. But it’s because this game only has 4 players. Next time you can switch with someone to get a chance!” One year ago, I was helping the English teacher at my French school lead a very different kind of role playing game. This class of CM2, or 5th graders, was also learning about conflicts …