We had promised Mark a medieval castle, but the first sight of interest we noticed was a statue of a butt-naked woman.
Did you know you can buy half a baguette? That kissing is a minefield? That “bourge” is an offensive term?
Communicating with French people can be tricky. I should know that—after all, I used to be one of them.
I swear that when I was a kid, there weren’t twenty kinds of galettes bretonnes in supermarkets and that blood sausage wasn’t an exciting thing to share around the BBQ.
Feng and I were taking a late-night walk and the group of friends in front of us had just noticed something apparently “gross” in the side street they had just passed.
Last week, it was just my parents, my brother and the three of us in the family house by the seaside. This long weekend, there are 11 of us.
The one- or two-hour walk feels like an accelerated history lesson or a sociological snapshot of Nantes.
“Oh, Juliette… he got a splinter.”
“No worries, I’m on it. Mark…?”
“NNNNNOOO! NOOOO! DON’T TOUCH IT! DOOOOON’T!”
At 6:45 p.m., the five of us walked to the Musée d’art, Nantes’ art museum that had just reopened after a five-year renovation and expansion project.
This summer, the main exhibition, “Seul avec la nuit,” features the work of Hans Ruedi Giger who created the Alien monster.
I remember buying a red diabolo and training for hours in my building’s inner courtyard, throwing the spool in the air and failing to catch it a thousand of times.
Pretty much all of the major casino software designers have been hard at work developing…
We were almost done visiting Nantes’ historical prison, a former detention centre turned into an ephemeral art project.
“The problem is, people are scared of us. They fear pain. And of course, they think we’re expensive.” “Huh-huh.”
I walked along the waterfront. It was definitely 2017 but it could have been 2007, 1997, 1987…
The good part of a stay in Saint-Michel—the village we’re in—is that you have to be resourceful and flexible to make do with what you have.
We’ll make it. It’s a short 45-minute drive, which is just as well because I’m stuck between Feng and Mark on the back seat, and my sister’s cat
The 50+-stop itinerary takes visitors on a “journey” from art installations to more formal exhibitions, from quirky playgrounds to obscure art projects.
Seven French moments, with candid pictures taken around Nantes.
We bought Mark a trottinette, i.e. a kick scooter—but since none of us knew the proper terminology for it English, we adopted the French name.
I had too much faith in French summer weather. Somehow, I had forgotten Nantes is close to Brittany, where the local joke is “oh oui, we had a nice, dry summer—I remember, it was on July 29.”
Once upon a time, before large supermarket chains took over most of the developed world, shopping at local markets was a standard feature of daily life. Nowadays, most French fill their shopping cart at Carrefour.
“I asked for a… baguette au sésame. But they didn’t understand me at first, because I pronounced it as seSAmee instead of SAYsame.”