Traduction pour mes amis français!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

And Now... The Weather

So a couple days ago it snowed. And not like just a dusting. No. When I woke up there was a good 4 inches (10cm) of snow on the ground. Now I've heard this is abnormal for France (Dijon) at this time of year but it got me thinking what the weather is like here, at least in Dijon (I know in the south they're still catching rays, at least to some extent.)

Let's start with the facts (according to actual sources):
  • Dijon is considered a mild continental climate.
  • The temperature averages between -1° Celsius in January to 27° Celsius in July and August (30° F to 80° F.)
  • In winter the average temperature is between -1° and 4° C (30°-40° F.)
  • In summer the average temperature is between 15°and 25° C (59°-78°  F.)
  • Dijon doesn't receive a lot of snow, and when it does get snow, it melts quickly as the temperature doesn't rest below 0° (32° F) for very long.
Now the facts (according to Kobi):
  • It rains in the winter. A lot.
  • Like a lot a lot.
  • And when it's not raining, it's still cloudy which sucks.
  • My shoes are getting ruined.
  • The weather is definitely the worst thing so far.
  • I can't really say much about the summer since I was only here for the very end of it, but it's hot and doesn't rain as much so I liked it.
  • I've heard it rains every day in the spring.
  • This isn't really weather, but the leaves still haven't totally fallen off the trees yet, nor are they really close to.
  • Rain's gross and cold.
  • If you like rain come to Dijon, also come if you like mustard.
  • Even though it's above freezing it's still really cold ugh.

Well that's about it for this post! Do you like the rain? What's your favorite weather? Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Norms of French Culture

Hey guys, sorry I haven't written anything in a while. I've been pretty busy and not a lot of post-worthy things have been happening. Anyway, I thought I'd bring up the subject of customs in the French culture. There's many things that are different than the customs of the U.S and some things I'm still sort of getting used to.

Faire la bise
As you can see there can be anywhere from 1-5 kisses (that's a lot!!)

Let's start off with greetings and goodbyes. As many of you know, the French have this thing called "la bise." It's pretty much where you air kiss one cheek then the other. In different regions it's a different amount of kisses, but where I am it's one kiss on each cheek. This usually only happens between girls and girls or a guy and a girl, and usually isn't in a romantic context. Occasionally two guys will "faire la bise" but that's only when they're family or very close. For men it is more common to see a handshake or a check (high five.) Even among teenagers a handshake is quite common and not considered formal. Handshakes and doing la bise happen when you first greet someone and when you're leaving. This has been one of the weirdest things I've had to adapt to, even after almost 3 months, I don't always know how I should approach greetings and goodbyes. (Also, hugs are super awkward for the French, unless you're really close with someone, they don't really happen.)

Let's move on to one of my favorite subjects, food*. So food is pretty important for the French. Except breakfast. Breakfast isn't very important and usually consists of some toast and a glass of orange juice. Lunch is kind of the primary meal of the day and is eaten right around noon. Although many kids eat at school, many kids go home to eat with their families. Dinner is eaten pretty late here, or at least for U.S standards (around 7:30.) It's not as big as lunch but still tasty. Both lunch and dinner consist of a meat and some sort of grain and possibly some vegetables. They both end with bread and cheese and/or yogurt.

I don't have much else for this post. Sorry it's so short but I felt the need to write something. Next time it will probably be longer! Anyway, before I go, what are some customs in your country that you feel are specific to where you are from? Leave a comment below! Thanks for reading, I'll be back soon!

*No but for real, food is delish and French Food, it's the bomb-diggity.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The French and Their Food

What a day, what a day! Today I went to La Foire Gastronomique (the food fair!) It's a pretty well known thing in Dijon and it happens every year. Every year, a country hosts it. This year was South Africa, and it was pretty cool. Although South Africa hosted it, there was food from all over the world.

I got see and try a whole bunch of cool things from South Africa and I also tried some French delicacies. (I even ate some very American things.) First of all I had a sandwich with Foie Gras. Then I had escargot. Finally I had some gelato. (Also had some french fries but yeah.)

So foie gras is pretty much goose liver. It's a real delicacy in France and it's actually really good. It's usually eaten around Christmas and is quite expensive. I really liked it and I think that's true for most people. I don't like how it's made though. I'm not going to say because it's pretty gross but if you want to look it up feel free to.

Next I had Escargot (snail.) It's actually really good. The texture is a little chewy but the sauce* really makes it. The sauce has garlic, butter and then basil or cilantro, I'm not really sure. But yeah so that was super good and now I can say I'm a true French person because it's super cliché.

Finally I had gelato.** It was pistachio chocolate which was super delicious. Gelato is Italian ice cream that is softer and creamier than most American ice creams. It's my favorite type of Ice cream. They also have some great, and different flavors from your normal ice creams (kind of like Ben and Jerry's, which is actually in France!)

Well that's all I got for today. If you're looking for something new, go to a French restaurant and try some escargot! Have you guys already tried escargot? Did you like it? What's the most exotic food you've ever eaten? Tell me in a comment below! Have a good week!

*The sauce is also super delish with bread.
**Although gelato isn't French I thought I'd mention it anyway since it's foreign and really yummy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The ABC's of French School

Bonjour tout le monde! I hope everyone's week has been good so far. Today, like all Wednesdays, we had a half-day and finished school at 12pm. This might be one of the best things about French school. French school is very different from American schools in a lot of ways. For the most part I really like it.

In France I'm at Lycée Montchapet. It's a relatively big high school with +/- 1500 people. The layout is interesting. There is one large building (shown on the right in the picture) which has most of your classes. Then the main office where you would go if you're late is in a different building. This building is attached to the building where there are all the foreign languages. There is a building where there is an area where you can chill out, do work, hang out with friends or even get a snack at the cafe. Finally there is another building for the cafeteria.

I have French class*, math class, science, physics/chemistry, Gym class, FLE** and English class (literally so fun and easy although it's British English so I'm learning some little things which is cool.) I'm not sure why but I don't have history class, while all the French kids do. Also all the French kids take English and then Spanish or Italian, I don't have another language because I think they thought learning French was enough. (I agree!)

It's interesting in France because the schedule isn't the same every day. The earliest I have to get up at is 6:30am to start school at 8:00am although sometimes I don't have classes until after lunch. I then have an hour for lunch at 12:00pm. In the afternoon it also varies at what time I end school. Most days I will end school at either 16:00 or 17:00. Sometimes I will end as early as 14:00. And on Wednesdays, as I said, we always have a half day and end at 12:00. Also the weeks rotate so not only is your schedule different from day-to-day but from week-to-week as well. I know this isn't true for everyone, but at least at my school, some kids have to go to school on Saturday. I have to go to school for 2 hours for math class every other Saturday (c'est chiant!!)

If the teacher doesn't show up within about 15 minutes you don't have class. And unless the teacher is gone for 2+weeks you don't have a substitute. You have two weeks of vacation every +/- 7 weeks, which is really nice but throws you off a little bit.

At Montchapet, if you don't have a class, you can leave and go do whatever you want, for instance you could go shopping or get a coffee or do heroin***, whatever floats your boat. Also unlike in the US where all the teachers have a room that is theirs, here, the teachers change rooms as well, it isn't only the students who change for a class. The grading system is out of 20 not 100, in France. This has been really weird for me. 10/20 in the US would be 50/100 or an F. Here 10/20 isn't magnificent but it's not that bad. 14 or 15/20 is awesome and 18 or 19/20 is almost unheard of. Also I found it weird because there is a condom distributor in the school.  In the U.S I'm pretty sure if a teacher found a condom they would suspend you.

The lunch food here is also really different. I think that's all for now! I'll talk about food next time and include more about lunch food here. Have a good rest of the day or night, as the earth keeps spinning, a little dot in the vast universe, we can take a moment to appreciate the little things that happen every day. We know only where we are not where we will be in one year, one day or even one minute. And with that I would like to say, goodnight Internet, goodnight. +NightVale Podcasts
*Would be the equivalent of English class in the US.
**FLE= Français langue étranger or pretty much all the non French kids learning how to speak French. It's honestly pretty uninteresting but whatever.
***This is a joke, it's funny right? haha. People don't do heroin I'm sorry, I'm just trying to express myself :(

Monday, November 4, 2013


As I said in my last post I would talk about stereotypes. Both Americans and the French believe a lot of things about each others' cultures and ways of life. First off I should say the views mentioned in this post do not necessarily reflect me personally, but may have been something I heard someone say or something I saw on TV.

What Americans think is a typical French person.
Blue and white striped shirt, red beret, baguette.

Let's start with the Americans views on the French:
  • French people most definitely do not all look like the image on the left. Stripes are pretty common but they're not always or even usually blue and white. Also I'm not sure I've even seen one beret. As for the baguette, well that's another story. Bread is very common in France. It is eaten with just about every meal, in some way shape or form.
  • Stereotype: French people drink a lot of alcohol. It is true with some families but not all. When I am at my host mom's house we almost never drink. At my host dad's house, it is very common for us to have a glass of champagne or red wine with dinner.
  • Stereotype: All French people smoke. I think it is very common for the French to smoke, more common than Americans, although not everybody does.
  • Stereotype: French women don't shave. As far as I can tell that's not true.
  • Stereotype: The French don't bathe. Again as far as I can tell pretty much everybody does.
  • Stereotype: Cheese. Yes cheese is eaten after lunch and dinner, sometimes yogurt* instead, but always some form.
  • Stereotype: French dress super well: Many French do dress although I find it interesting because many of the French are obsessed with Americans and so they try to dress like a super stereotypical American, but I'll get to that.****
  • Stereotype: Crêpes are eaten all the time. At my house we eat them about once a week so yes I'd say they're pretty common- and delicious!

Now how the French view the Americans:
  • Stereotype: Americans eat fast food/McDo** all the time. It's funny, I actually eat it here more than in the US.
  • Stereotype: All Americans are fat. Well once they see me it kind of disproves that all Americans are fat. (+/- 46kg/100lbs.)
  • Stereotype: Americans are huge sports fans: I don't think it's totally true, but pretty true, I mean I still watch American Football online when I can.
  • Stereotype: Americans are really nice and caring. I think this is majorly true, but like everywhere there are the nice people and the @**h***s***
  • yeah this
  • Stereotype: Americans wear snap backs and those sports championship jackets (you know the ones from those 80's movies?) Most people don't wear those although snap backs are pretty common.**** 

  • Stereotype: Red solo cups are at every party every no matter what even like funerals and baby showers. Okay so they may be pretty common but they're not that common!
  • Stereotype: Finally all Americans live in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami or New York although Boston and Texas aren't unheard of.
Well I think that's all for now! Do you guys have any other stereotypes you think of when you think about Americans or the French? If so tell me in a comment below!
Next time I'll talk about school and how that works in France. (If you have a cool topic idea tell me about it!)
*In French the word for yogurt (yaourt) is literally the hardest word ever to pronounce.
**McDo=Mickey D's
*** The Asterisks are just for censoring there isn't actually a side note about this..
**** Since the some French people want to be like Americans a lot of them wear these since it seems very American.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Hey again! So I'm sorry but I totally forgot to introduce myself. I"m going to assume you have no idea who I am at all so let's go from there. Well my name is Kobi and I'm 16 years old. I'm a junior or in France I'm in Premiere S*. In the US I live in Vermont, a very small state, in the town of Brattleboro. Brattleboro has 12,00+/- people. In France I'm in the region of Burgundy (Bourgogne) in the capital: Dijon. There are 150,000+/- people, so for me it's awesome! There's a lot to do and A LOT of people, most of whom are cool. It's nice having 150,000+/- people because in Vermont you have a couple friends but other than that there are cows.

I am in France for the year until June. At first I was only going to stay until January but I'm having such a good time that I decided to stay for a year. I am with a program and as you know already I am going to school (and I don't have a choice) and I am with a host family. In my host family I live with a single mom named Laurence, a host brother named Charles who is 16 as well (we're in the same class), a host brother who is 8 named Igor (awesome name!!) (he's cool and pretty mature for his age) and a host sister who's 14 named Clémentine (also great name!!) (she's super nice and loves music.)

 That's all for this post I think. For the next post I'm going to talk about stereotypes and how the French view Americans.
Until then A bientôt!! Find me on Facebook, twitter and instagram!
Also if you would like help learning some French or you need help with an assignment for French class or something I will most definitely help if I can!! (Comment or message me on Facebook or Twitter.)

 * In France there are different specialties when you are in Junior and Senior year (premiere and terminale) You can be in S (science) L (language) ES (social economics) and I believe that's all.


Hey Guys! So I'm starting this blog to document my time in France. I know I'm a little late (by like a couple months, oops) I think it's okay since I still have until June to talk about what is going down in the +33! (props if you understand that reference.)

This is the last Saturday before we have to go back to school. In France we have twoish weeks of vacation every 6 or 7 weeks. It's pretty awesome! During this vacation I've done a lot. I've hung out in town or at the new swag* out the ass mall with friends and I've even done a little shopping. I've gone out with friends in the evening a few times and that's been fun as well. There's been a carnival type thing that is also really cool! I've gone a couple time and although it's super cher** it's really cool and worth the money. Plus I've eaten a lot of amazing french food, per usual.

Disneyland Castle
On the first day of vacation, two weeks ago now, (my god where has the time gone?!) I went to Disneyland Paris. It was really fun and I got to see a lot of my American friends that I know because of the program I'm with. I also met a couple new kids.

The one thing I haven't done as lot of is homework. I had to read a play by Moliere (I ended up finding it as a movie with exact dialogue. Since it was in french the visuals helped beaucoup.**) Homework is pretty tough, especially math. I'm doing alright, I think, especially for an American, but there definitely are some things that are quite difficult. Well that's all for now, I have to finish homework anyway.

If you have any questions about France feel free to ask them in the comment section and I'll answer them! No question is stupid or annoying! (unless it's a really really dumb question.)
If you want to follow my journey on Facebook***, Instagram, or twitter just click on whichever social network you want. I should be posting a few times a week, maybe more or maybe a little less, we'll just see what happens and how popular this gets.
P.S. in my posts I'll be putting "*" that means I want to add a little more and you can find it at the bottom of the post.
*I use the word swag a lot. I promise it's as a joke and it kinda just means super awesome.
**I'm thinking in Frenglish and I've found I like certain French words better so sometimes I'll substitute English words for French words. If you don't understand with the context feel free to ask or use translate. If you ask I promise I'll tell you.
*** If you add me on Facebook, message me that you found me on my blog because otherwise I'll think you want to hurt me so I won't accept your request.