Oct 312009

(asked by Sarah from New York) I’m a huge follower of the French “Ligue 1” and French National Soccer team. But, I’m constantly perplexed by the French fans. They boo their team from the minute they walk onto the field. I’ve gathered from your previous posts that the French people in general like to complain… But how do they expect them to win when they don’t receive any support from their fans? And, how can they be angry when their [Read the rest]

Oct 202009

(asked by Rachel from Buffalo, NY) Dear Sir, I’m going to France this fall to study French and live with a French family. I was thinking about getting the family something to say, ‘thanks for letting me live with you’, but I have no idea of what kind of gift would be appropriate. I want to let them know that I’m grateful, but don’t want to get something weird or out of place. Any thoughts? Thanks. Wow, I haven’t been [Read the rest]

Oct 132009

(asked by Meghan B. from somewhere) Can you explain the bourgeoisie? Every time I read/hear about it, it seems to have a negative connotation but I’m not sure what exactly makes someone bourgeoisie or not. I don’t know if I should be flattered or annoyed by this question? Flattered because of the trust that person puts into my knowledge. Annoyed because that person is obviously not aware of the existence of dictionaries, encyclopedias and of course Wikipedia (let’s not mention [Read the rest]

Oct 112009

(asked by anonymous from somewhere) What is the general attitude towards religion and spirituality in France — especially among young people in their 20s - 30s? I get the impression that French people tend to think of religion in a pretty traditional and simplistic way (à la traditional organized religion) and have a pretty negative reaction to it. Is this true, or is it just the people I know? To answer briefly, the general attitude towards religion and spirituality in [Read the rest]

Oct 042009

(asked by someone from the US) I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about friendships with the opposite sex in France, especially in terms of how guys and girls show affection (both physically and verbally) towards each other. Of course, I realize it is difficult to generalize, but would still be interested to know of any stark contrasts you have noticed when comparing this particular aspect of American and French culture. Can I talk about it? I’m [Read the rest]

Oct 022009

(asked by anonymous from somewhere) Any advice on how to live in France and work without being an illegal immigrant? It’s a pretty straightforward question (the e-mail was actually much longer but didn’t contain anything else relevant to this site).So straightforward that the person asking the question could have found the answer with some research. Oh well, I’ll do it then as it’s a very interesting and somewhat important question. I’m even surprised I was not asked this question earlier [Read the rest]