Archive for July, 2007

Killer Cereal

July 29th, 2007

During one of our first shopping trips to a local supermarket we were somewhat surprised to find that a lot of breakfast cereals here feature chocolate. While it may be normal in North America for chocolate to be part of sugary cereals, usually marketed to kids, here chocolate is even included in so-called “healthier” cereals. […]

French Convenience Food

July 29th, 2007

Before we came to Paris I had read about the Picard chain of food stores and was eager to visit one for myself. These stores are devoted to frozen foods (with only a few non-frozen items to be found) and have many locations around the city, as well as throughout the rest of the country. […]

Old friends in new places

July 28th, 2007

A few days ago I sent out a mass email message to people in my address book telling them about our new Paris blog, and within a few hours I got a surprising reply: “Whaddaya know, I’m in Paris now too.” It turns out that an old friend of mine, a Buddhist monk from Berkeley […]

A day in the Marais

July 25th, 2007

Before we moved here, I spent a lot of time looking at Web sites about Paris. I did this partly to keep me motivated through the sometimes difficult visa process, but mostly to get ideas about what we would do and see (and eat of course) once we arrived. I’ll admit that I have an […]

This is what it’s all about

July 24th, 2007

Ah, the humble baguette. This particular specimen was procured about half a dozen doors down from our building for € 0.80 (a bit over a dollar). We could have chosen at least three other bakeries within two blocks of here, had we been in the mood for a slightly different texture or aroma. And every […]

Johnny Clegg at the Bastille

July 23rd, 2007

On Saturday, July 13 (the eve of Bastille Day, or as it’s known here, Fête National), there was a free concert of African music at the Place de la Bastille. Morgen had read about this, but it drew my attention a couple of days earlier when I saw the name Johnny Clegg (one of my […]

Obtaining the magical Navigo cards

July 23rd, 2007

One of the major items on our to-do list once we arrived in Paris was to acquire some sort of transit pass—not having a car, we knew we’d be relying heavily on the Métro (Paris’s subway system) to get us long distances across the city. Although it’s possible to buy Métro tickets for individual trips […]

Les toilettes

July 23rd, 2007

Of the many sights I’ve become accustomed to seeing all over Paris, few warm my heart as much as this one: the ubiquitous public toilette. These things are all over the place (especially in the vicinity of Métro stops and tourist attractions), and I’ve frequently made use of them. Previously, they were all coin-operated, so […]

Taking our phone service with us (or not)

July 23rd, 2007

Several months before our move, we started thinking about how we’d make and receive phone calls with people back in North America. Our presumption was that we’d have both a landline and cell phones, but that using either one to make calls to North America on a regular basis would be prohibitively expensive. (It turns […]

Dealing with airfare sticker shock

July 23rd, 2007

At our second-to-last visit to the French consulate in San Francisco, the agent told us that if our visa applications were accepted we’d need to present not only our passports, but one-way plane tickets to France before we’d be issued our visas. We didn’t think this would be a problem until we started looking at […]

Flying the furry skies: Transporting our cat to France

July 23rd, 2007

We knew from the start of our planning that we would take our cat Zora with us to France, we just weren’t sure how to make that happen. Many people were surprised when we told them she was coming with us, but it seemed the obvious choice to us. No matter how difficult it might […]

Clawing through the red tape: The formalities of importing a pet

July 23rd, 2007

If you want to take your pet to France—and we did—you have two entirely separate sets of problems. One is simply that of transportation; Morgen covered that in Flying the furry skies: Finding transportation for our cat. It can be a pain, but it’s ultimately not that much harder than buying a plane ticket for […]

Gateway to France: Finding the right health insurance plan

July 23rd, 2007

One of the requirements for getting a long-stay visa (which lets you apply for a carte de séjour once you get here) is to provide proof that you have health insurance coverage for the first year after your arrival in France. In the past we have purchased travel health insurance for longer trips out of […]

Finding an apartment in Paris

July 23rd, 2007

Even though the consulate told us that we did not, strictly speaking, have to have a lease on our apartment before we applied for a visa, we thought it would be prudent to keep our eyes out for a place we liked. And we decided that if the right deal came along, we’d just go […]

Looking back: Our first visit to the French consulate

July 23rd, 2007

When we started thinking about this blog, we had the idea that we’d document every step we took to get to France in real time. We thought other people trying to do something similar would find it useful to see a chronological record of all our steps (and missteps). Although that didn’t happen, there’s a […]