Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
Resource for people that would like to live or travel in France.



Daily Life



Moving Planner


Q & A

Reading List

Travel Planner


Expat Store

Driver's License



Disposal Units


Learn French

Tax Services


NewsletterFebruary 2010

Snowman Gothic

In support of Annecy 2018.

My son made these snowmen and it reminded me of this painting.

French Food Traditions

Au Vieux Fournil is at it again. Their Galette du Rois this year have fèves that are reproductions of old postcards of La Roche sur Foron. Last year it was photos of the town this year it’s ten yesteryear postcards. The fèves show how La Roche sur Foron has and hasn’t changed.
I recently had a chance to talk with the owner of Au Vieux Fournil - Rachel Baty. Mike Pedersen of ADVideo was kind enough to take some video. See how good your French is!

Clearstream Verdict

The Clearstream verdict is in (see October 2009 Newsletter 'Clearstream Affair'). Former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was found not guilty of manipulating the Clearstream investigation to harm French President Nicolas Sarkozy. De Villepin, even if he has never held elected office is seen as a possible rival to Sarkozy in the 2012 Presidential elections. Without even saying he is running some polls show de Villepin getting about 8% of the vote. In the same polls Sarkozy is running at about 30%. That’s a big difference but it’s possible the Sarkozy vs. de Villepin dual could divide the right. Ever since the 2002 Presidential election the right has taken advantage of a divided left. Sarkozy vs. de Villepin could shatter, if not destroy that advantage. The fact that de Villepin was found not guilty is seen as a defeat for Sarkozy and puts de Villepin back in the spotlight.
De Villepin isn’t out of the woods yet, prosecutors are going to appeal (as is possible in France) the judgment. Meaning there will be a new trial. From what I’ve read and heard about the Clearstream trial, de Villepin was able to talk his way out of some very incriminating evidence. This brings up an interesting aspect of French culture. The French hold mastery of their language to great esteem. De Villepin might be seen as aristocratic and elitist but he sure speaks great French and that’s something that really helps in France. Sarkozy on the other hand is prone to verbal gaffes. I’m still convinced that one of the reasons Sarkozy beat Ségolène Royal in the 2007 Presidential election was because his French was better than hers. Will the tables be turned on Sarkozy in 2012? It remains to be seen.
A good movie to watch that demonstrates the importance of the mastery of French is Ridicule. Full honesty; Sarah Turnbull talks about Ridicule and the French language in her book Almost French.

Never too Early

With taxes that is. If you want to get the jump on your tax filing I work with two American accountants – Barron Harper and Liz Zitzow who specialize in serving the American expatriate community, in France or other countries. I also work with two accounting firms - Property Tax International and French Tax Online who can help with your French returns. Property Tax International offers a special for American in France readers. Barron Harper has articles on Americans in France.

B&B/Gîte in Normandy, France: The Haven is a small English-run guest house in rural Normandy, France, offering B&B and Gîte (Self-Catering) accommodation. We have renovated an attractive old stone farmhouse, to provide comfortable accommodation, whilst retaining many of the original features. The house is in an elevated and peaceful setting, south-facing, with an acre of garden and beautiful views. It is situated on the outskirts of a small hamlet, in unspoiled, rolling countryside, halfway between St Lo and Mont St Michel. The nearest market town is Villedieu-les-Poeles, less than 15 minutes drive away, and the Normandy Landing Beaches are about an hours drive away.

Follow @jeffsteiner

Sign-up for the FREE Americans in France newsletter.
Just type in your e-mail address and click 'Subscribe'.






Search Site

Travel Store


Auto Rentals


Cell Phones


Phone Card


SIM Card



Terms &

This site
uses Cookies!

Terms of Service


Follow me
on Twitter.

Facebook Page

RSS Feed