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Sojourn

There and Back Again: Travel Notes

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Archive for June, 2011

Thu
30
Jun '11

Outside the Louvre

  In the Louvre courtyard there are five granite pillars.  The natural inclination is to stand on one to have your picture taken.  It was like watching planes land at a high-traffic   airport.  As soon as one was free, another person took the spot.  

Thu
30
Jun '11

Madam Bouton

Do you recall the Malcom in the Middle episode where Dewey is left home with babysitter Bea Arthur while the rest of the family goes to the water park? Dewey and Bea don’t get along. The turning point comes when Bea sorts her button collection. She catches Dewey chewing on a button. When she asks […]

Sun
26
Jun '11

Sunday Morning Markets

There are many outdoor markets along the rivers in Lyon.   The farmer’s market is on one bank… … opposite the Sunday art market, on the other bank. Nearby was a book market. A few minutes later I passed a stamp collectors’ swap. It was a nice way to people watch and enjoy the weather.

Sun
26
Jun '11

French Keyboards

The French keyboard is similar to the English keyboard, but a few of the most-used keys are in different places.  In order of irritation, those are A, Q, M, and W.  Period, slash, and all the numbers require the shift key. The ‘@’ symbol needs ctrl-alt. I have no idea where the Euro symbol is. […]

Tue
21
Jun '11

La Fête de la Musique

La Fête de la Musique is a nationwide annual music festival, held on June 21.  Every  town in France does something to celebrate, and Vourles was no exception. The town held a two-part concert. The first half showcased local talent, with six or so groups playing two songs each.  This included an outstanding high-speed rendition […]

Mon
20
Jun '11

Touch a Life

My friend Michael asked me what was the most surprising thing I’d seen in Cambodia.   The thing that made the deepest impression on me was to see what  hunger and poverty really looks like.  That’s not surprising – hunger is one of the oldest problems – but it was very humbling. On one particular […]

Mon
20
Jun '11

Ramping Up on French History

Since I’m only hear for a month, I need to learn history quickly. I’ve been enjoying Yale’s online recordings of French History Since 1871.  It’s available through iTunes. HistoryTeachers fills in the gaps for earlier events. This adaptation of a Lady Gaga song is a whirlwind overview of the French Revolution. See if it doesn’t leave […]

Fri
17
Jun '11

Disturbing Ad

Part of a series of ads with oversized anthropomorphic animals.  All of them look… wrong.

Tue
7
Jun '11

Lost Kitten

Sat
4
Jun '11

The Jerry Lewis Question

In French class we spent an hour talking about cultural stereotypes.  Each of us shared stereotypes about our country, and stereotypes our country has of France. I recounted this at dinner with my Famille.  Feeling bold, I asked “Well, what about Jerry Lewis? Is it true he’s really popular here?” Oh yes. Really? Really?? It’s […]