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Any ex-pats on the boards?
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fannie



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all!

Born in Winston Salem N.C.
Raised in Portland OR
parents move to NJ
College in Philadelphia
Study abroad in Paris
parent move to Atlanta
Law school in DC
living in Paris for the last year and a half (and liking the idea of living in one place for once!)

Alisa's post couldn't be more true...

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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another ex-pat - from New Zealand, recently moved to France, to a suburb 10 minutes north of Paris. I agree with Alisa on most points except about not finding good food/restaurants outside of France. So far - and it has only been 4 months so I'm not talking from so much experience - but I have found that to get good restaurant food you really have to pay far, far more than you would for the equivalent quality in NZ - and yes, the quality of restaurant cooking & produce is very high down-under.
Previously I've spent 4 years in Japan, which was wonderful and an amazingly different experience to living in France. I wonder if the more you move around, the more countries you end up missing when you're not there?
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villacollinette



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Antibes, France

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another ex-pat here -- American, living in France for the last ten years, before that Japan for four (also). Am delighted to have found a site with recipes where I can actually count on being able to find the ingredients -- so many of the American ones call for things I can't get here. But I must say, though I miss some of the convenience of living in America, in general, I wouldn't trade it. Antibes is on the French Riviera and just plain hard to beat . . .
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natalie



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 9
Location: CT, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: A sheila in Yankee Land Reply with quote

I'm an Aussie (from outside of Sydney near the Blue Mountains), I went to Montreal, Canada on a student exchange, and several years later moved to Connecticut, USA.
That was 5 years and almost 4 months ago.
I felt like a fish out of water for a while.
Now I love it here, and I love my life here, but I really miss Australia, especially at this time of year.
(To complicate future plans, my boyfriend is British and also lives in the USA now...but who KNOWS where we'll end up!)

I miss fish'n'chips on the beach under the scorching sun.
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Villacollinette - funny to hear of another person who's also done time in Japan & now France. I keep seeing similarities between the cultures - I'm not sure if this is just because they're the only other 2 countries I know about, and both are old world compared to young NZ.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the story with all of these transplants now living with the Frogs in France and in Paris? Wink I'd think there must be some good food or something to creat such a remarkable migration.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape, not again!!
Don't you remember your Bible ( Old testament!) ?. Frogs are the second from the 10 plagues brought by Moses upon the stubborn Pharaons who didn't "let my people go". Our french friends just love to eat frog legs- usually fried or with garlic and butter sauce . It's not a sin, isn't it?

No more war, more delicious fried frog legs!
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bluedog



Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Simona! What a lovely, eloquent way to call a spade!
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villacollinette



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Antibes, France

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bekbeka, I do see some similarities, especially in the way both places people seem to be so casual about living completely surrounded by buildings, monuments, etc that are all older than my own country. However, I visited France when I was sixteen and was struck by how different it was from America -- everything seemed so foreign. When I left Japan, I came straight to France and was again struck -- this time by how it seemed so much more like America -- so Western compared to Japan. The strangest thing for me was the fact that people couldn't tell just at a glance that I was a foreigner. I was so used to be identified on sight as a Gaijin that when people would walk up to me and speak to me in French (I didn't speak the language when I arrived) I would get so flustered and surprised. After four years in Japan, and studying the language for the whole time, I still had the experience that when I spoke to someone in Japanese they were as astonished as if a potted plant had started chatting with them. Funny how now I blend in so much more easily.
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean - I get that feeling when people ask me for directions, when I feel it should be obvious just by looking at me that this isn't my country, as it was in Japan. I do get a kick though when I am able to help, especially French tourists!
For me, there seems to be something about the 2 cultures and relationships between people and traditions. Both, on the face of it having a 'modern' (i.e. Western) facade, but there being so much more going on beneath the surface. But, as I think I said, this could just be the contrast between a new world country and two old world countries. Apparently there's been a book written about this in French.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bekbeka and villacollinette, it was interesting to read about your "migratory" experiences. But there is something I don't understand: I gather that both of you are not Japanese , so obviously , of course in Japan you would be immediately identified as Gaijin., I don't know what you look like, I don't even know your gender, but I gather from your post that you are not looking any different from french ordinary people, so why should anybody think you are strangers in France?
I'm not french either, and nobody ever though I'm a stranger ( before I opened my mouth of course) in most European countries. What actually amuses me more, is that we, Israelis, identifiy each others immediately,even before speaking: something in the clothes we wear which looks familiar, something in the way of walking, body language, etc.
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Tongue in Cheek Antiques



Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 5
Location: South of France

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

small town girl from Northern California
met Frenchman while dancing in San Francisco
I spoke three words of French and he spoke a few more in English.
Love and yes and moved to France
Paris first, now in the South of France
18 years and two teenagers later..
still saying yes to life and love!
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simona - I just saw your question - a little late, I'm sorry.

I know it sounds a little strange but for me anyway, that feeling of 'sticking out' as a foreigner comes from my time in Japan, my first foreign experience. Four years spent in a country where I was instantly recognisable as not-Japanese (Western-European female to give me more of an identity) and this basic fact programmed how people reacted to me. Especially for the language, people were very patient with my poor Japanese because they assumed that I couldn't speak it (this later became annoying when my Japanese became pretty good - but that's a different story!). Whereas foreign friends with Asian blood had the opposite problem - people just thought they were stupid if they couldn't speak/understand Japanese so well.

I think from that experience, living in France as a foreigner, I have this feeling that I should be automatically identifiable as such. Especially when sometimes other foreigners are so easily recognisable - newly arrived or visiting Japanese, sometimes Americans and English too. Of course there's no doubt others thousands I pass weekly. The feeling of being obviously different is starting to fade especailly as my French slowly improves.
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