All posts tagged: Eiffel Tower

Better Know a Frenchman: Gaspard Monge

Once you’ve wandered through enough cities in France, you begin to notice some similarities beyond cobblestone-lined quarters and fragrant boulangeries. Just as we do in the US, the French name their streets and schools after their most impressive men and women and many of them crop up over and over again. After meeting several of these “grands hommes” all around the country, I realized I didn’t actually know who many of them were or what they contributed to French history that makes them worthy of gracing so many public infrastructures. Know of a cool Frenchman/woman you think should be featured on Better Know a Frenchman? Leave a comment! Gaspard Monge Lived: 1746-1818 Spotted: Lycée Monge and Place Monge were a short walk from my apartment in Chambéry. Place Monge is also a metro stop in Paris, there’s a rue Monge in Lyon, and I’m willing to bet there are more than a few lycées named after him across the rest of France. Important Contributions: Gaspard Monge was a brilliant mathematician and engineer. he pioneered a new branch of geometry called …

Memento Mori, and Anne arrives in France

To all those who were worried that I may have been in a tragic plane accident en route to France….relax, take a deep breath, I AM HERE! Sorry to have kept you all in suspense for so long. As you can imagine, making an international move like this has been extremely time-consuming and stressful, so I haven’t gotten a chance to write about it! But I did had time to make a list of topics I should write about, so get ready for a flurry of posts about my first two weeks en France! I arrived in Paris early in the morning on the 16th and made my way to the hostel in the 15th. It actually was really close to a neighborhood I was pretty familiar with from last summer, and I guess it was that familiarity which told me it would be a great idea to take all 948,592,049 lbs of my luggage with me on the metro. Luckily, some very kind souls helped me up and down the many many stairs, but I still thought my …

I Got a Golden Ticket

Last night I booked my plane tickets!!!! I went back and forth many many times trying to decide where to fly into (Paris? Lyon? Geneva?), when to go (Later? Earlier?) and a million other variables, but I finally took the plunge and purchased my flight! I decided to fly to Paris, and I’ll probably spend a day or two there. As eager as I am to get to Chambéry, I could not resist the opportunity to be back in Paris again, even if only for 24 hours. I’ll probably contact my host family to let them know…it’d be lovely to see them again 🙂 So, ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, I am officially embarking for France on the afternoon of September 15! 45 days!!!


I wanted to take some time today to bust or confirm some popular American stereotypes of the French people. (Disclaimer: this is entirely based on my observations over the past 2 months and certainly does not characterize ALL French people!) Here we go: Yep, they really do smoke ALL THE TIME. Actually, no one I live or work with smokes, but it’s impossible to go to a café, stand at a bus stop, really be anywhere outside without finding either a cloud of smoke or a giant pile of cigarette butts. They really do eat baguettes, cheese and wine for every meal. A tradition I am more than happy to take part in! People actually do say Oh là là! Rather than the sort of coy expression it’s become in the states, it’s used here as the equivalent of “Oy vey” or something along those lines. In fact, the number of là-s you add, usually directly corresponds to the amount of stress you are feeling at that particular moment. As in “Oh là là là là là là là là là là là là!!” Strikes really …

11 Things that Improve Anyone’s Day

When the proprietor of the little fruit and vegetable market across the street you’ve been patronizing recognizes you passing on the street Interactions with store clerks where they don’t automatically respond to you in English When your host mother tells you that you have a very good accent and then proceeds to make fun of the French accents of the English people she knows Successful interactions with co-workers that include more words than “oui, d’accord” Seeing a Molière play in French at the Comédie Française and actually understanding (parts of) it Smirking at all the American tourists looking for the Louvre on a Tuesday Realizing you know a shortcut to get somewhere Figuring out a metro route without looking at the map Surviving any phone conversation, no matter how short When you accurately use a complicated verb tense in casual conversation and you don’t have to think too hard about it When seeing this reminds you of where you are, a fact that still hasn’t ceased to amaze you: