Expat Voices: Dan H. Woods on living in France
'Dan H. Woods' may or may not exist but he gives his cent's worth of life in the French town of Louveciennes nonetheless.
Name: Dan H. Woods
City of residence: Louveciennes
Date of birth: October, 1960
Civil status: Relatively civil, but I've been known to be cranky when I don't get enough sleep
Reason for moving to France: Came to work in the corporate offices here in Paris
Lived in France for: 4 months
What was your first impression of France?
I came in November so my first impression was "My God. Where did the sun go?"
What do you think of the food?
The quality of snails in France far, far excels the quality garden pests found elsewhere. When you eat them, you think to yourself , "These are really some top-notch gastropods."
What do you think of the shopping in France?
It's a never ending process. You go to the store and buy stuff in portions so small that you use up all your purchases on your drive home. Then you have to turn around and go right back to the store.
What do you appreciate about living in France?
The museums, the history, and the people.
What do you find most frustrating about living in France?
The lack of a morning bucket of coffee. In France they drink exquisite demi-tasses of espresso. I'm used to drinking coffee out of a tub, dutifully sipping it for a good 45 minutes until I wake up. Sometimes I even used to splash a little on my face. It's just not done here in France.
What puzzles you about France and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
I'm surprised that there isn't more "cowboy justice" here during the rail strikes. Let's see, about 75 SNCF workers go on strike and strand roughly a million commuters. Do the math.
How does the quality of life in France compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
If you're a person, the quality of life is exceptional. I think the snails live in constant fear, though.
If you could change anything about France, what would it be?
It would be nice to see the sun... occasionally.
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Leave the suntan lotion at home.
'Dan H. Woods' writes a weekly humor column called 'Tomfoolery & Codswallop' that addresses a wide range of topics such as his experiences in France, Congressional spending, and poisonous Australian creatures. His columns can be found at www.tomfooleryandcodswallop.com.
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