Synthol: Miracle French pharmacy product for bug bites

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

Do mosquitoes feast on you when the weather gets warm? If so, we’re in the same boat.

Over the past couple of months or so, I’ve gotten some of the worst mosquito bites of my life. They swell up, get painful and red, the skin around them gets hard, and then they form a liquid blister that eventually breaks and crusts (the pics below aren’t even the worst ones). Oh, and they itch like mad. This never used to happen, though.

After a visit to the doctor last month and a 10-day course of antibiotics, I was left kind of hopeless as we head into the summer season. I already have a bug net for my bed, but what else could I do? Use Synthol, that’s what. This new-to-me product available at the French pharmacy is a miracle product for bug bites, so if you’re susceptible to all the creepy-crawlies, you’ll want to read on. Maybe it can help you.

Synthol french miracle product for mosquitoes


France-themed Etsy shops worth a look

Written by Diane. Posted in on everything else

france themed etsy shops

You can lose yourself for hours browsing the beautiful listings on Etsy. From home decor to beauty products to jewelry and so much more, Etsy is your one-stop shop for handmade everything. Let me share some of my favorite France-themed Etsy shops. The shops featured in this post are either in France or have products that somehow relate to France. Enjoy!


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!

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