Currently…. Champagne Edition

Realising… that it’s really hard to spot everyday things like postboxes when you don’t know what they look like. Despite being told where it was, I walked past the airport postbox 3 times before finally spotting it. Would you have spotted this??

Driving… on the right hand side! That’s a first for me. It wasn’t as scary as I thought, apart from when I absent-mindedly tried to change gear using the door handle….
Avoiding… the local speciality here, Andouillette. It’s a sausage made from pig colons and intestines. Colons. I’m sure you can understand my reluctance, especially when it’s been described as ‘strong tasting’ and ‘sits heavily on the stomach’. Er, no thanks. Pass the champagne?

[It’s everywhere!]

Shaking… everyone’s hands. When you pass someone in our new place of work, you have to shake their hand. I’m used to a nod, a greeting, maybe even a little wave if you’re feeling particularly pleased to see someone. But everyone you pass, even if all you say is ‘bonjour’, has a handshake. Apparently that’s very important here, and shows you respect the other person. If you don’t, you get a bad reputation as a snob! It’s a nice gesture, but a bit time consuming.

Adjusting… to the different work culture. Other than the obvious prevalence of strikes, which is unfortunately not just a stereotype, here we all down tools and go en masse to a canteen which is a standalone building in a business park. Workers from all around the business park (and some from further afield, like us) get our freshly cooked lunch here. There are multiple courses, food cooked to order, the works. Lunch done properly!

Shopping… for allll the good French skincare.

Thanking…. the Gods of Beef that the French aren’t scared of a little rare meat. Steak haché is a dream for pink hamburger lovers and steak is usually served like this:

[I mean that’s quite rare]

Defending… our English traits against merciless mocking, included but not limited to my colleague who dared to have his cheese before his main course, and the fact that we had a working supper. These things are just not done.

Staying… in a hotel that used to be a bonnet making factory. Neat. This is one of the machines from the factory.

[It knits in a circle!]

Drinking… champagne! At last. Thanks to some insider connections I had a tour of the Taittinger cellars in Reims (highly recommended, by the way) and tasted a good £100 worth of champagne afterwards. Yummm.

[This made for a very merry evening]

Walking… everywhere I can. The cities I’ve been staying in are not only beautiful, but very walker friendly. I love not having to get in a car or on a metro to get somewhere, and being able to look at pretty things along the way certainly helps.

Thinking… of those Carrying On in Paris.

What are you up to at the moment?


Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff and Things.



  1. 19th November 2015 / 15:39

    Holy cow (literally) that steak is raaaare but it would be fun to sit down to a nice lunch every day. Champagne is my favorite – what a fun experience!

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:04

      It’s been a great experience all around really! Apart from the steak, which was a little bit on the rare side even for me.

  2. Kerri Taylor
    19th November 2015 / 16:04

    all the champagne please! yes yes. cheers to pretty walks, rare beef and savoring each moment!

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:04

      Cheers! I’ve been slacking on the champagne front this week, must put that to rights…!

  3. 19th November 2015 / 16:54

    That’s so funny that you’re having to get used to driving on the right hand side of the road. It would totally freak me out to drive on the left hand side! And I can only imagine how wonderful the Champagne is from Champagne (although technically I guess that’s the only real champagne in the world). I could drink that all day long!

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:07

      It’s surprising how quickly I got used to it, and then I got home and had to keep telling myself “Drive on the LEFT now Rachel!” Funny how we adapt so readily. I think you’d be fine! And technically yes! I am in the Motherland. It’s awesome.

  4. 19th November 2015 / 22:15

    Wow I can’t imagine how tricky it would be to drive on the right side of the road! I find driving on the left side hard some days, ha! (I’ve crashed the car a few times….)

    That lunch does look very tasty too, much nicer than the normal lunches you’d get to pick from here near the office!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:08

      You and me both! I do find driving quite tiring as I have to keep up a stream of mental commentary (mostly about what side I’m supposed to be driving on and if I’m too close to the kerb and oh help roundabouts). I will say I’ve certainly eaten very well here!

  5. Jen
    20th November 2015 / 02:55

    I can only imagine how tricky it has to be for you to drive on the right side of the road. I know I would have a hard time driving on the left.

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:09

      You know, I have gotten used to it pretty quickly. So much so that I was then confused about driving on the left again when I got back to the UK! Doh.

  6. 20th November 2015 / 12:29

    Oooh thanks for the warning about andoulette. I am adventurous with my eating… but not that adventurous!

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:09

      Avoid! Avoid! People keep trying to convince us to eat them but they always have a twinkle in their eye at the time which makes me think it’s all a horrible trick. I continue to avoid.

    • 23rd November 2015 / 22:11

      Yes indeed! It really was. Very educational as well, of course 🙂

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