Usually when people think of France they think of Paris and that is it. It is a pity because there is actually plenty of things to do and see all over the country. Outside of Paris people are much more relax and the food is delicious and affordable. Continue reading Roadtrip in western France
Being back in Cologne I am constantly reminded of THE QUESTION! Mit oder Ohne (literally with or without) is the first Kulturschock for a naive foreigner discovering Germany. It does nor refer to anything existential but how you would like your water and specifically how carbonated should it be. Continue reading Water… with or without?
The very first time our families met, one of my sister and nephew greeted my sister-in-law with the traditional french la bise . Basically they went straight to her and hit each of her cheeks against theirs quite quickly. She was totally taken aback believing she was getting french kissed for greeting. Continue reading East meets West: politeness and social conventions
Once the marriage was done, I came back to work the next day and my German colleagues were asking me how they should call me now. Continue reading About giving up my maiden name… or not
While strolling through the south city on my way to brunch I was reminded of the love for the city of Cologne. My love for this place I call home even though I don’t have a place there yet and the love of its inhabitants and those who once lived there. Cologne people have this very deep attachment for their city and they are not … Continue reading The city that has become part of myself
Coming to the US I always assumed that I knew how the american political system worked. I knew how the French Republic (constitution 1791) and the United States of America (constitution of 1788) shared the same ideological roots (Age of Enlightenment) and even political figures ( Benjamin Franklin, Marquis de Lafayette). Over centuries we shared the same struggle on how to set up a fair … Continue reading Why american like voting so much?
On a recent trip to Blue Rigde Parkway and the Smokey Mountains, we entered the Cherokee Indians Reservation. I had planned the trip relying solely on the NPS website for planning our visit and did not put much thought into it until we arrived and it became evident that Cherokee was a different cultural territory than the rest of North Carolina. When you enter you … Continue reading A 17th century view of cultural differences