Americans in France
Jeff Steiner is an American living in France. What else is new? There are thousands of us here and we’re all over the place — in Paris, in Provence, on the Riviera, and like Jeff, even in the small town of La Roche sur Foron near Geneva.
And like a lot of us struggling to survive the cultural challenges of life in France, Jeff started a Web site many years ago known as “Americans in France” — a resource for people that would like to live or travel in France.
It’s to the point, and well taken. Like “Parler Paris” and “Parler Nice,” Jeff’s “raison d’être” is to “give you the ‘straight’ info, not through rose colored glasses, and then you can decide if France is right for you or not.” In contrast, Jeff is a guy who prefers the countryside to urban life like myself.
Jeff asked me to participate in a Podcast this morning — an interview that was recorded and then will air on his site and on iTunes. In advance of the interview, he sent a list of fascinating questions with which to prepare, although he was sure to only touch on a few to arrive at 20 minutes of audio. Some were easy to answer; others more thought- provoking. Here are just a few:
When did you first come to France?
Is France/Paris as you thought it would be?
What’s it like running a business in France?
Suggestions for those setting up a business?
Cultural Differences between US and France?
Did you ever have culture shock?
What are your thoughts about learning French?
What are some good things about France?
What are some bad things about France?
Is there anything you miss from the US?
Is there anything you miss from France when you’re in the US?
What do you enjoy most about living in France?
What do you find most frustrating?
Suggestions for those thinking of moving to France?
For those of you living in France, how would you answer them?
For those of you thinking about living in France, how do you
think Expats would answer them?
This is my 19th year in Paris — the longest I’ve lived anywhere. While New Orleans is my home town, Paris is home. As I explained to Jeff in the interview, I will never be “French,” and jokingly said, “and I don’t want to be,” but no doubt, I will always be “Parisienne.” Paris simply gets under your skin — or at least it did mine — the moment stepping foot on its cobblestones in 1979.
When I started going to Nice and thinking about having a “pied-à-terre” on the Côte d’Azur, it was worrisome that there would be a feeling of guilt like ‘taking a lover’ and ‘cheating’ on a spouse. Then, thinking more like a polychronic Parisian than a monochronic American, I realized I could have it all without having to trade one for another. Yes, I can ‘have my cake and eat it, too! (More details about chronemics.)
The Podcast will air later this week, so be sure to check back at Americans in France or wait until we publish the direct link in the next “Nouvellettre®.”
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris & Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
P.S. West Village New York City studio apartment (with a perfect view of the Empire State Building) is available for vacation rental all of April for as little as $180/night, $1150/week, $3,200/month. Located in the heart of the coolest ‘hood’ in the city. “It’s super cozy, clean and comfortable.” A 50% deposit reserves your stay. See the apartment at West Village Studio. For your reservations requests, email: [email protected].
P.P.S. Don’t miss the House Hunters International episode “Sizing Up the Parisian Suburbs” on March 9 at 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. E/P. “As a job opportunity brings them to Paris, will Rich and Rachel find enough space for their soon to be family of four? Find out when House Hunters International peruses the villages surrounding Paris.”
P.P.P.S. Mark your calendar for next Tuesday, March 12th when David Burke, author of “Writers in Paris: Literary Lives in the City of Light” talks about Bad Boys and Bad Girls of Literature in Paris at Parler Paris Après Midi — 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. It’s free and it’s fun! Visit Parler Paris Après Midi for more information.