Archive for February, 2012

A Different Kind of Vegetarian

The French hate trees.  They hate trees in the same way Americans hate cows.  In the US, we think feeding cows their natural food source is for weird people.  Since we have so much corn that we use it to drive cars whether or not it makes sense, we started feeding it to cows.  Sometimes, […]

Where Did All the Religion Go?

(Update: I thought I understood the law I was writing about.  It turns out, I missed many details, like the fact that there are two separate laws, not one.  See comments bellow.) In France, it is forbidden for Muslim women to wear a hijab in public.  This is something that usually shocks Americans.  However, something I […]

Fanfare For The Common Tourist

The Monastery of Mont Saint-Michel is a mind-blowing mass of rock, iron, and concrete piled on an island mountain off the coast of Normandy.  Around it sprawls an enchanted sand plane whose state depends entirely on the gaze of the moon.  At high tide, the mountain is an island surrounded by the English channel and […]

It’s A Privilege to Pee

I first became aware that it was a privilege to pee in Nantes while at H&M.  When I asked where the bathroom was, the girl paused, gave me a look, and indicated the bathroom outside.  With the urgency of a full-bladdered child (and precisely the same problem), I dashed outside to find a kind of […]

Holy Toledo!

I wanted a cool name for this blog, but I couldn’t think of anything. A friend mentioned that “Holy Toledo!” is a saying so I just decided to use that. OK now on to the actual blog. Sorry that I haven’t posted in several weeks. I don’t really have a good excuse other than I […]

It was easier in December

New year’s resolutions are never so well kept as on January 1;  I never take better notes then at the beginning of a semester;  and when I move into a new place, my desk is organized, my cloths put away, and my bed is made (sometimes).  My instillation in France was accordingly miraculous.  In my […]

What My Runny Nose Taught Me About France

I learned something about France today that hadn’t hit me before.  I have been suffering from a cold for about three days, and my host parents asked me right away if I needed to go to the doctor, or the pharmacy.  I was more shocked than I let on.  Doctor?  I’m an American—in my country, […]