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A funny good neighbor policy

Written by Diane. Posted in on everything else

A funny good neighbor policy

My friends and family know all about my neighbor woes in France. In case you’re new here, my neighbors pretty much keep to themselves. In fact, the people right next door moved without evening mentioning it. We found out when the movers asked us to move our car at 7 a.m. so the truck would have space to load up in front of our house. I’ve also mentioned that when we moved into our house 3 years ago, I went next door to a family with kids to introduce myself and brought some homemade cupcakes for them. The mother looked horrified as if I had a plate of bloody cow brains. We’ve never said more than a bonjour to each other since. So long story short, I haven’t had much luck in getting to know my neighbors. I’m not looking to be best friends with everyone in a 2-mile radius, but I think there’s value in knowing people’s names and being friendly.

OK, now that you know the neighbor situation, you’ll understand why I found this “good neighbor” policy so funny. You see, a family member was searching for an apartment to rent in South Florida and came across a very interesting link on one property management’s website. Not only would something worded like that never work in France, but it even left me scratching my head!

Let’s read it together!

American vs. French: How we write numbers

Written by Diane. Posted in on everything else, on life in France

American vs. French- How we write numbers

Over the weekend, I asked Tom to mail a letter I had sitting on the table. He was on his way out with Dagny and grabbed the letter, giving it a quick glance before putting it in his pocket.

“Is that a 6?” he asked after glancing at the first digit of the postal code I had written.

“Uh yea, of course it’s a 6. What else would it be?” I replied.

“OK, and that 2nd digit, that’s a 2 right?” he continued.

At this point, I got up to take another look at my envelope thinking maybe the ink smeared or he was messing with me. But nope, it was my perfectly legible (to me) penmanship. Clearly a 6 and 2. And he was seriously asking me to clarify what I’d written.

He wasn’t entirely sure. He was pretty sure but had to check just in case.

Tom and I often have this number conversation when either one of us writes something down that contains a number. His 4’s confuse me. I always make sure his 1’s aren’t 7’s. He doesn’t like my loops. His number 9 looks like a lowercase g.

Read on for more about how the French write numbers!

Reflecting on 5 years in France

Written by Diane. Posted in France, on life in France

reflecting on 5 years in france as an expatsmaller

Time is a magical thing. Sometimes it feels like life is creeping by at a snail’s pace and other times it whizzes by and you can barely catch your breath. Time can help to put things in perspective, mark different periods of our lives, and maybe best of all it allows us to heal, grow and reflect. This past winter marked 5 years in France, and wow, I can’t it’s been half a decade already.

Truth be told, this post has been in my drafts folder for months. I kept starting it and then deleting what I’d written not sure what I should say or how I should say it. It’s difficult to condense 5 years of your life into a blog post and to accurately convey what the experience has been like. Anyway, I’m going to try.

It’s a long one clocking in at over 3,500 words, so pour yourself a beverage and settle in, OK?

Enjoy. Maybe you can relate.

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