Posted by jos76 on March 12, 2008
During my sophomore and junior years in college I lived in France. I originally intended to live in Paris and to attend one of the universities, but I realized after a few weeks that it was too expensive for an American student to live there, so I packed up and went to Rouen, in Normandy. This was a much smaller city about an hour west of Paris. I enrolled in the University there and took a position as an English Teaching Assistant in a high school.
I lived in a little suburb of the city called Bois-Guilliame (William’s Woods) in a small apartment above the garage of a professor at the university. We became great friends and had almost every meal together. She was much older than me and had just divorced before I moved in. She needed someone to talk to and I wanted to talk as much as possible in order to practice my Parisian French (I had a French-Canadian/Quebecois accent when I got there), so we were a perfect match. It was kind of like a Harold and Maude situation, but the updated gay version. Each night when we would set the table, there were the required elements like plates and utensils, but I learned to add a dictionary (which we would always seem to need) and Brigitte’s cigarettes (Marlboro Box), a lighter, and the ashtray. It was France after all.
I am a French teacher so I have been back to France many times since college, but it has always been with 20-40 students in tow. I have enjoyed traveling with students, but student travel companies are not known for choosing the best hotels and restaurants. This Friday, Dac and I are leaving for Paris. It will be the first time since college that I have been without a group of students. It will also be Dac’s first time there as well. I’m very excited to show him around and experience this amazing city again.
Cheese, cafe, croissant, baguette, oh my!
Posted in Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: baguette, cafe, cheese, college, croissant, france, French, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, lgbt, Normany, Paris, Quebec, Quebecois, Rouen, teacher, travel | 3 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on January 16, 2008
Remember back in the late 90’s when everyone that had a free email account (yahoo, hotmail, aol) saw all of their information displayed in the recipients email in-box? I remember seeing the senders full name and various other pieces of information at the top of every email that I received. Now, we wouldn’t be caught dead providing that type of information at random on the Internet (said Jos76 as he cautiously chose his year of birth to include in his blogname.)
But, had we not been freely given this information, my partner, Dac, and I would not be together today. I posted a profile on love@aol (remember when we used to access the Internet through aol dial-up?) back in 2000 and Dac responded to it, claiming that he saw that I was Portuguese (and French Canadian) and decided to reply because he is Portuguese as well. When I received his third email I noticed in the freely-provided information from hotmail that we had the same last name. “Oh great,” I thought, “just when I meet someone that I really like I find out that he is a cousin or something!”
I mentioned it to Dac and he did not believe me at first. In fact I had to show him my license on our first date to prove it to him. No worries. We are not related. It turns out that my grandfather had changed his last name when he moved here from the Azores, so though we have the same last name now, we don’t have the same heritage. Thank God! What would our children look like?
Posted in Fun, The Past | Tagged: aol, Azores, blog, Canadian, dating, email, French, Gay, gay marriage, hotmail, Internet, liberal, love, Portuguese, yahoo | 2 Comments »