The Strasbourg Christmas Market (and why I won’t stop traveling)

  Three days after a truck barreled into a crowded Christmas Market in Berlin, Chris and I boarded a bus en route to Strasbourg, France – the self-proclaimed Capital of Christmas – to visit its own famous Marché de Noël. We weren’t seeking out trouble. Nor were we necessarily going out of our way to make a statement against the evils in this world. We simply had made plans to spend a few days before Christmas enjoying the old, Germanic, yuletide tradition – plans that we had no desire to cancel. The decision to go to Strasbourg as planned was not, of course, made without some deliberation. As we […]

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Autumn Snapshots: Day Trip to la Château de Rambouillet

Paris is currently under siege by the highest level of air pollution the poor city has seen in 10 years. Air pollution. No, not Paris! you say. Paris, with its romance and its mystery and its unparalleled perfection, cannot possibly have a problem with air pollution! Alas, even gay Paris must account for its industrial waste and its dependence on diesel fuels. The illusion was shattered for me and now I must share the stinky, smoggy truth with you. Sorry. This pollution problem, however crummy it may be, hasn’t come without its perks. In an effort to improve air quality by encouraging would-be drivers to stay off the road, public transportation […]

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An Open Letter to the Man Who Saw Me Cry

An Open Letter to the Man Who Saw Me Cry in the French Immigration Office |

To the man who saw me cry in the French immigration office: I think it goes without saying that I was having a really, really rough day. You could have watched the scene unfold from your seat across the room, quietly feeling sorry for me like the rest of the responsible expats who showed up at the correct time with the correct paperwork. (Kudos to you for effectively reading between the lines on the government website.) You could have even snickered to yourself and thanked your lucky stars that you weren’t the fool for whom, as the receptionist put it, “there was absolutely nothing she could […]

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Go and Sin No More: My Favorite Painting at the Louvre (so far)

My Favorite Painting at the Louvre (so far) |

The best part about getting a membership to the Musée du Louvre is that I can visit the famous museum as often as I please. I don’t have to feel rushed, like I need to ingest all of that culture in one, greedy bite. I can spend an afternoon browsing the Egyptian artifacts and another meandering through the Roman sculptures. I can revisit my favorite Greek pottery or Moroccan tiles. And, I don’t have to feel guilty for spending a half an hour admiring a single Italian painting either. It’s fate that I even found the painting at all, hidden as it is in a corner behind the […]

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How To Feel At Home in a Furnished Apartment

How to Feel at Home in a Furnished Apartment - just 7 easy steps! |

There are many reasons why you might find yourself renting a furnished apartment. Whether you are studying abroad for a semester or are moving temporarily for work, it doesn’t always make financial sense to ship furniture or appliances or boxes filled with cookware and dishes to your new abode. A great alternative is to rent an apartment that is already stocked with all of the furnishings and amenities it needs and that is, for whatever reason, being leased by the owner for a period of time. How convenient it is not having to pack towels and bed linens and silverware and wine glasses! Convenient, yes, but also a little […]

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