Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bienvenue to Cassoulet Café

Hello there! Or should I say, Bonjour! Thank you for coming! If you love France or even despise it, or are just somewhere in between, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and I promise you this is going to be a fun, entertaining blog about the real life in France. I won't talk incessantly about just one or two French things, but I will talk incessantly :)

I can say "been there, done that" because we lived the American dream of moving to France....and then back!

I was bitten by the French-Bug when I was little because a close family member moved there. Then I became obsessed when I started learning French in school. I went psychotic for France after I grew up and finally was able to go visit. I fell in love with it, came home and convinced my husband that we needed to move there...and we did.

I love to tell stories of our life there and the hilarious (and maddening) times we had. Reading blogs on American expats in France has really made me feel that I wasn't crazy after all.

So often people say to me, "I would love to go to France, but that'll never happen!" and I say to them, "But if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen! I'll help!" I love budget travel and I hate it when people get the wrong view of France because it's been built up by others as a pretentious place only for those with money.
Or the view that Paris is France. As much as I appreciate Paris for what it is, it is not my favorite place in France. OH THE HORROR! Did I really say that?! Mais oui...Some would have you believe that if you don't love Paris and its 5 euro coffees then something is wrong with you. I hate the view wealthy (or budget-travel challenged) American tourists give of Paris: brand name haute couture boutiques and even brand name foods that would blow any normal middle-class budget in just one morning. (And no, real French people do not spend 12-20 euros on le petit déjeuner).
Or how about this one: "The French are rude! They hate Americans!" Maybe some do, but not most. I've encountered both and I've broken language barriers that explained a lot. I'll tell you all about it if you stick with me.
For one to experience the real France, they have to get the Parisian (or parisienne) stereotype out of the mind and hop a TGV train to anywhere else. I am here to tell you the way it really is. After all, I have a wonderful love/hate relationship with this country. I know how real French people live because I've lived there, I visit, and I have close family and friends who live there. This blog will be a hodgepodge of funny anecdotes, stories of culture clashes, beautiful photos, food discussions and travel advice.

I don't pretend to know everything about this wonderfully irritating country and its culture, but I do know France isn't perfect....and yet it is.


Janice C. Cartier said...

Ooh, this is going to be good.....All best, Jan

Blame It on Paris said...

What a pretty house you had! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Best of luck with your blog! I look forward to seeing what you write.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Thanks so much for coming by! Blame it on Paris, i WISH that was my house :) That, actually, was a house I saw in Rocamadour that I photographed. I took like 50 pictures of it lol! I do have photos of the front of our flat we lived in, but I'll save that for another post.

Horses of Indiana Magazine said...

I am so excited to find out about you blog! Thank you so much for posting a comment on my blog! I have so much to find out, I hope you don't mind if I become somewhat of a pest!! LOL I will be here daily!

A Bientôt -

Horses of Indiana Magazine said...

I meant "your" blog -- I'm just so excited!!


Hi! I'm Adele... said...

I'm sorry, I was logged in under my other blog, you won't know who I am that way! Let's try this again!


Blame It on Paris said...

Oh, I LOVED Rocamadour. I got lost for 8 hours on a trail near it. But the town is beautiful. So was the trail, but I wished I had packed at least a bottle of water.

Betty C. said...

I love the last line of this post. thanks for putting me on the sidebar of your brand new blog! It sounds like an interesting mix -- coffee and life in France -- and I've put you on my Google Reader so I can keep up with your posts. Most of the blogs I read have been around for a while, so it will be fun to follow a new one.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Betty C., Thanks so much for stopping by and for putting me on your Google reader! I'm flattered :) Hope I don't disappoint! ;)

Angélique said...

5 euro coffees? I agree ... am in Rome now where coffee is 1 euro and tastes so much better ... will miss this so much when I return to Paris on Saturday.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Hi Angelique, Thanks so much for stopping by and also posting. I did indeed pay 5 euros for a cafe creme at a cafe (but it was very cool!) near Notre Dame. ouch. it hurt.
We went to Rome a couple years ago and I was soooooo into their coffees! Like you said, they are CHEAP and they are GOOD!!!! Please, have a cappuccino for me before you leave, will you? ;)

Deb said...

I didn't realize how new your blog was!

I can relate to everything I have read so far. Interesting stuff!