Travel Writing Expat Ephemera

The weather, everyone being busy and my being chained to my computer working on getting the fantastic WhyGo France site up to snuff means I don’t have stupendous, fascinating or exciting things to tell you. But get ready – you’re getting an update anyway. Welcome to my week.

The last chair in Marco’s house broke, so we borrowed some from the eternally shirtless neighbor. We are planning on getting new chairs this weekend.

We had dinner at Luca and Alfio’s the other night – a warm, dry evening – so we ate on the roof and talked about everything until the wee hours. We’ve decided that I’m going to run for Prime Minister of Italy on a platform of free WiFi for all, and my slogan will be: ITALIA CANTERA’! which is a play on my last name; when said with the emphasis on the final syllable, it means, ITALY WILL SING! Now I need to find lots of bunting.

Lidl, a German-based supermarket with stores here in Italy, sells many different kinds of sausages and cured meats, as you can imagine. One of them is called Nuremberg sausages, and they taste JUST LIKE AMERICAN BREAKFAST SAUSAGES. Love.

I read this week that people are teaching their babies sign language in order to allow them to communicate better before becoming verbal. Whoever is doing this, please stop it. Let them be babies for five minutes. If you can’t figure out that your kid pooped her diaper or wants more Cheerios, give her to someone else to raise.

I’m anxiously awaiting word on a potential Internet project that would be so awesome, I’m not sure if I could stand working on it because I’d have to get up every 15 minutes and do a jig.

Every Thursday night (my time; it’s from 3.30-5PM EST) there is this thing on Twitter called Travelers’ Night In, where travel addicts, writers and professionals all get together on Twitter and answer 10 questions per week on a given theme. If you’re Twitter inclined and you want to follow along, simply search for #TNI in the Twitter search window, and the whole conversation comes up. If you want to participate, add #TNI to your tweets and they show up in the stream. It’s chaotic, but really fun.

I was surprised earlier this week after a rainstorm to open the shutters and find the smell of the sea. It was like the nature version of a Facebook poke: HI REMEMBER ME? WE GREW UP TOGETHER, BUT I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN A WHILE. COME AND VISIT SOMETIME! XOXO, THE SEA

There was a kid, probably not older than 18, who recently visited Italy and France for the first time with a group from his school. Everything seemed new to him, and he remarked often on the differences between these countries and his home – the cars were smaller, the bread was fresher, the architecture was the oldest he’d ever seen.

When he returned home, he wrote about his experience. He wrote well, and made no grammatical or typographical errors. If it were a school essay, he’d have gotten an A+ on it.

But, as it turns out, he did not write it for school. This essay of astounding naivete and unabashed innocence appeared IN A MAJOR NEWSPAPER IN CANADA.

For a small amount of time last week, when I started to get down to writing original content for WhyGo France, I felt nervous about my ability to write well. And then I read that article. And I started to write and write and write, and I haven’t stopped since.

I’m particular proud of my well-blended combination of disdain and encouragement in this piece, What to Wear in France in the Summer.


12 thoughts on “Travel Writing Expat Ephemera

    • Thanks! I went a little general for it, because you see the “fashions” more in summer, when people aren’t as covered up.

  1. My mother i Ireland is a big fan of Lidl. They must be the Walmart of Europe.
    I love that your fashion tips include men. I need all the help I can get. I assume the tips will work equally well in Rome.

    • Yes, Lidl and Aldi are two German store chains that are set to conquer Europe. LOL That being said, Carrefour just took over our GS supermarket here in Rome, and I heard the Gap is opening in Milan soon – so it looks like globalization has taken over!

  2. great article on what to wear in France this summer!

    Would you mind posting the link to the article about the Canadian student who visited France & Italy? I searched under Globe & Mail but that must not be it….

    • I sent it to your email address. I don’t want to rail on the kid; it’s the newspaper’s fault.

  3. I loved the article on what to wear in France. It really can be applied to all countries- even here at home!

    Hilarious and perfect!!!

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