Here is an extract of the interview I gave to the Guide 2 Paris. You can go to their website to read the full interview.
Go to the end of the post to see what you need to do to enter a giveaway to win your own copy of ‘Your Guide to Visit Paris for Free’.
Before moving to Northern California, did you live in Paris or elsewhere in France?
Before moving to the Bay Area, I lived in Paris in the 18th arrondissement, at la Fourche, close to the Place Clichy. I am originally from a small village in the South of France, Argeles-sur-Mer by the Mediterranean Sea and the Spanish border. I spent my last semester of college in Madrid, Spain and then moved to Paris.
How long ago did you move away from France?
I moved to the US 14 years ago but I go back to France for 10 weeks almost every year to visit my family and friends and visit Europe.
What do you miss from living there?
I miss my family the most. I am lucky to spend my summer with them and they also come to visit so I end up seeing them a lot more than what I thought.
I also miss the food although over the years, I have been able to purchase a lot of French products in the Bay Area.
Another thing I miss is the architecture. San Francisco is gorgeous but Paris has a different feel with its older buildings, monuments, bridges, and the cute little streets. I never get tired of exploring Paris.
Are there any cultural differences you had to get used to?
Double dipping was the first cultural shock, not for me but for those who watched me happily double-dip the salsa at the first party I had been invited to. I believe that the main cultural difference is with the food. It still is so maybe in a way, I never got used to. Meals and the preparation of the meals at home are a big part of the French culture and I was very surprised to see how many Americans eat out on a regular basis or do not cook. We rented an apartment in New York that did not even have a table and chairs or a pot to cook! But I have seen an evolution but it is still a far cry from the food culture in France.
Another cultural difference that surprised me is that the Americans are go-getters. They believe they can achieve anything if they put their heart into it and they see no limits. It is definitely not a French characteristic. I have seen so many Americans go back to school after a layoff or changing careers. Because of my French upbringing, I had put limits on myself and never thought I could become a writer. I have been writing all these years but I never jumped off the bridge to do it full time. After more than a decade of living in the US, I have embraced the American mentality and I have become a writer. I doubt I would have done it if I had stayed in France.
What inspired you to write “Your Guide to Visit Paris for Free”?
I had the idea for this book after spending a full day with some American friends, Griff, Leslye and their daughters, Ashlye and Chloe, in Paris. They asked me to organize our day together in Paris. I did not want to have them spend a lot of money so I planned the day around being frugal. We visited Notre Dame de Paris, walked by the Bouquinistes, enjoyed a nice stroll in the Ile de la Cité, walk to the Galli Square where we admired the remains of the Bastille, enjoyed some pastries under the shade of the trees of La Place des Vosges, visited the Musée Carnavalet; enjoyed a walk in Le Marais, and then finished by la Colonne de Juillet, Place de la Bastille. We walked all day, enjoyed great visits, and did not spend one Euro except on food. That day inspired me in sharing all that can be enjoyed in Paris for free and share with others all the tips and insider information I have accumulated all these years.
Click here to read the full interview.
A book will be given to three random people who complete the following sentence:
I would like a copy of "Your Guide to Visit Paris for Free" because...
You can provide your response on the enquiry form or Facebook comments below, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, via the Guide2Paris Facebook page or via twitter by mentioning @G2Paris_France and #FreeParisGuide.
The lucky winners will be announced on the website no later than Monday 14th May 2012.
Book giveaway rules:-
All decisions of Guide2Paris will be final and binding.
No employees or family members of Guide2Paris, Lydie Thomas or her publishers are eligible to participate.
All entrants must be aged 18 or over.
All entries must be received before 13th May 2012.
The recipients of the three books will be drawn at random from all entrants on Mon 14th May 2012.
Guide2Paris & Lydie Thomas will not offer a cash alternative to the book.
- Please note that the books will be sent from the US and hence there could be some delay in posting.
Can't wait that long to get a copy? Your Guide to Visit Paris for Free can be purchased on Amazon.com as a paperbook or kindle versions. UK shoppers can also buy the paperback version (see link below) and the kindle version is also available for the French market.