My French Odyssey

Hooker Eyebrows

After a long day of Bra shopping…I kid you not. I stopped off at the eyebrow place on my way back home. The apartment is about a 7-minute walk from the center of town and this place is on the way. I sat for some time waiting because I didn’t have an appointment so, by […]

From Australia To Morocco With Love

I had been in France for about 5 months when I finally received the date and time for my appointment with the OFII. (The office where they certify your visa application with an interview and medical exam.) I was a bit concerned about the exam.  I had never been overly fond of doctors but the […]

The Adventures of Gus The Raccoon

During the Hell of 2014, I wrote a series of mini adventures about a raccoon I named Gus.  It served as a good distraction from everything going on, a way to lighten what was a very, very dark time in my life.  I figured I would share his story with you. Because I spent the […]

A (French) Car Is Born

After two inspections, another technical certification and some minor modifications to the car itself, Antoine and I took The Hybrid for its final inspection. It was near Paris in a little town called Montlhery. When we passed the gated checkpoint, complete with ID review and name tags, we were instructed to hand in our cell […]

The French Connection

Not long after I arrived, one of the members of the tennis club, Dominique, asked me if I would mind being interviewed for the local magazine, Votre Ville. (I can’t speak to whether this is the norm in every city here in France but in Chartres, they produce two full-color magazines each month) She explained […]

The Illusive Carte Grise

I was a bit of a novelty here. Giggly, unassuming, often loud and always smiling, I think in many ways people weren’t quite certain what to make of me. Given the fact that the French tend to be very somber and morose, (complaining is the national pastime) I was very unorthodox. With Jayne, it was […]

Tennis Club De Chartres

I didn’t learn to play tennis until I was grown. I wanted to find something that would function as exercise without my needing to go to the gym. (I remain solidly in the anti-gym camp.) Since I was prone to walking into random objects and tripping over air, I wasn’t certain I could pull it off. But I turned […]

Le Réveillon

When I look back on my life, whether in a year or twenty, I suspect that the sheer insanity of how certain events unfolded will continue to amaze me.  Sometimes the smallest decision can impact your life in such a profound way as to beg the question of a higher power or at the very least the […]

Handel’s Messiah: Christmas in Versailles

Now that Bandit was settled in and The Hybrid was officially/unofficially on the road, it was time to set my sights elsewhere.  Christmas was right around the corner but aside from Dominique, I still didn’t know anyone in Chartres.  For me, the holidays never held any great sway.  It was always my mother who embraced the holiday spirit.  Amidst the […]

The Little Hybrid That Could

A few days prior to Bandit arriving, another piece of the puzzle fell into place.  After eight weeks at sea, my 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid landed in Le Havre, a small port city in the northwest of France. I had dropped off my car in New Jersey a couple of weeks before I left.  The […]

Bandit’s New Home: An American Quarter Horse In France

Bandit, understandably, got off the trailer a bit wobbly.  He had endured a 4-day trip with an 8-hour drive through Paris traffic.  I was certain he would want to head to his stall and take a nap.  I was wrong.  Arriving at a new barn in completely unfamiliar surroundings had given him a second wind.   So […]

What I Miss About New York

I’m a proud New Yorker living in France and although I have assimilated well into the French lifestyle, there are things that I miss about my city.  On the one hand, you have French fashion, culture and gastronomy worshiped as the gold standard.  On the other hand, you have New York – vibrant, full of life and energy, […]

The Horse That Could Fly

By chance, I had driven past a riding competition at a barn near my Airbnb apartment when I first arrived in Chartres.  It was a beautiful day and I had nothing specifically planned so I parked the car and went ‘inside’. There were people everywhere.  The woman working behind the concession stand walked me over to the […]

Getting Used to the Dark

After the incident with the car, I was a bit anxious in the garage.  Despite Magali’s assurances that it wasn’t the norm, I found myself constantly checking around corners and jumping at imaginary sounds whenever I was down there.  It just didn’t feel safe.  It didn’t help that the garage could easily have doubled as the set of a […]

La Police

I disconnected the fire alarm almost the minute I moved in.  The battery was dying and it was doing that beeping thing and my patience for that screeching noise is less than zero.  So when the house started filling up with smoke, I was actually glad it wasn’t functional.  The last thing I needed was to add […]