Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

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The Good And Bads of Paris

The Good And Bads of Paris:

(I will write every other question in french.)

Since we all like to be optimistic, I’ll start with the goods:

One: The Boulangeries. When you go to America, you can get bread, of course. But it’s not the same as here. There, you grab some ol’ bread that all look the same: A square with a hat on. But then here comes the french bread (cue presidential music)… Grab butter from Monoprix, and put it on bread. You have a meal. And also, pain au chocolat. Bammie – Wham!

Deux: Poulet Roti. Vraiment, Il n’existe pas une chance pour le poulet américain. Sérieusement. C’est terrible contre le poulet français. (Google Translate)

Three: Languages! I love learning them cause I find them kinda cool. And then it gives you an “Understanding Power” With peeps who speak a language that you speak too.

Bads…. Dun Dun Dunnnnn!

Une: Beaucoup de stress…. Les langues sont une arme à double tranchant. (Google Translate Again)

Two: The urine smell in the city. I don’t have to go farther except to say i’m not joking.

Trois: Les Amis. Je n’ai pas beaucoup à l’école. Et quand c’est tout en français, c’est un petit peu difficile. (Google Translate. Last Time, I Promise)

So that was my Pros and Cons list on Paris. See ya on my next post!



Define “Home”


What do you define “Home” to be? I found this poster, which defines it as “Home is wherever I am with you”, inferring that because I’m with the family, I am “home”.  That’s one definition. But if that were the entirety, it denies how much all the cultural ways in which home is also all the people around you.

Home to me of course includes my immediate family but also my extended family. It also includes the friends I might see every few weeks. It even includes how certain meetings run, or how my favorite cafe has a particular drink that I love and they know I want it even before I get to the front of the line.

How would you define home for yourself?

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Home Need Not Be A Place

I must have read this piece a year or so ago, and still refer others to it. It’s by a fellow HBR writer, Gianpiero Petriglieri (an Italian born, French living, etc guy)…

Yet home need not always be a place. It can be a territory, a relationship, a craft, a way of expression. Home is an experience of belonging, a feeling of being whole and known, sometimes too close for comfort. It’s those attachments that liberate us more than they constrain. As the expression suggests, home is where we are from — the place where we begin to be.


Kiddo’s question the other day prompted me to find it again. I was born in one place and yet live in another. I’ve lost a sense of my roots. Home is no longer a place to me, but where my loved ones are. The very intimate loved ones I live with, the kids that live away from us but always in our hearts, where our dear friends are (Bainbridge, etc)…

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Mise en place

Mise En Place Office.jog

Mise en place is a cooking term that translates to “everything in place”.

It refers to the way chefs have their ingredients organized and prepared, spices lined up, and everything all ready to go before they start cooking.

I’m in the process of writing books 3 and 4 and will probably (hopefully?!) finish both projects during this year abroad. A writer in Paris. Is that cliche? Well, even if it is, it’s a bucket list item for me! As we browse the apartments we could live in, I find myself seeking out the spot I’ll write. Perhaps I’ll get a standing desk, with some space for flowers, a monitor, a lamp, and a note book. While I know I’ll head out to cafes every now and then to break up the monotony of working from home, I imagine “base camp” a certain way. Perhaps with a view of an iconic spot, ideally with natural light, and, of course, quiet enough to focus.