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Showing posts from January, 2018

TRUFFLE MARKET, VILLENEUVE-MINERVOIS: QUICK TAKE WITH PICS

Our visit to the truffle market in Villeneuve-Minervois this year during the third week of January was at least our fifth such pilgrimage and we've enjoyed each and every one. You see, truffles have a very particular taste and aroma. Not everybody gets it. Cathey is particularly sensitive and particularly appreciative. Foodie heaven. I can smell the aroma and I can taste the taste. But, like opera, my appreciation is on an intellectual level. My soul is not moved.

Here are some pics and comments concerning our recent visit. You can find a more comprehensive description of a previous visit HERE.




AN AMERICAN EXPAT'S TAKE ON WORLD POLITICS: PART 2 - BREXIT

I've chosen Brexit for PART 2 rather than THE UK or something similar because, as an English-speaking expat in a region whose English-speaking expats are primarily English, the UK's march out of the European Union dominates English-language political discourse...until Trump is mentioned. I'll get to Trump in Part 3.

For the uninitiated, a brief lexicon:
European Union (EU) - 500,000,000 Europeans in 28 countries in a political and economic union.
The Four Freedoms - The free movement of goods, capital, services, and labor within the EU. 
English - The language spoken in the UK coloured by the whimsical use of the letter u. 
Brexit - Shorthand for the United Kingdom's (UK's) withdrawal from the European Union.
Remainer - Those who advocated for the UK to remain in the EU.
Leaver - Those who advocated for the UK to leave the EU.
Boris - Euphemism for "I lost my hairbrush."

I admit that the politics of Brexit had me stumped for quite a while. To some extent…

AN AMERICAN EXPAT'S TAKE ON WORLD POLITICS: PART 1 - FRANCE

I enjoy politics. I enjoy reading about politics, talking about politics, writing about politics. And I've been a politician. I was a member of my town council in Pennsylvania for a couple of decades, chairman for a good bit of that time, and I sat on the two-county regional planning commission that covered the Lehigh Valley of eastern Pennsylvania including the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, twice serving as chairman.

This last year or two have been like heroin for a political junkie like me. As an American expat living in the south of France among politically aware expats from around the world, Brexit, Trump, and Macron have been front and center to read about, to talk about, and now to write about. What better time to look back and look forward than at the beginning of a new year?

I don't pretend that these will be detailed analyses. Pick nits if you will. In fact, I invite discussion. Even dissent. My insights are free of charge and worth every penny.

Let'…

BURGER KING, NARBONNE: RESTAURANT REVIEW (GOD FORGIVE ME)

After 48 years, The Southern Woman That I Married can still surprise me.

We went shopping the other day. You see, we're at the beginning of the French winter sales. Yes, stores here have sales all of the time, but I'm talking about THE SALES. Twice each year, once in winter and once in summer, every store holds sales. It's an official thing. There's a national start date (although it may vary a bit from region to region), a national end date, and stores are not permitted to bring in stock just for THE SALES. So these are true clearances. Discounts can be 70% or more. Serious savings.

Yes, I know. Controlled capitalism. How could it possibly work? Hint: It works because everybody buys into it, even the capitalists.


The day before we hit the shops, Cathey said,"Let's have lunch at Burger King." Be aware that Cathey has been trying to find a decent hamburger ever since we arrived in France. We've tried Buffalo Grill. We've ordered a burger at one o…