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Travel Cultures Language

A Game of French Wordplay: Les Bons Mots

by Meredith Mullins on November 20, 2017

A French bakery (boulangerie) with two women selling baguettes, illustrating baguettiquette, a form of French wordplay about the etiquette of eating baguettes. (Image © Meredith Mullins.)

Proper baguettiquette begins with the selection of the right baguette.
© Meredith Mullins

French Language Puns Offer Stories about the Culture

You can often step into French life through its language. Sometimes you can even invent new words to expand the boundaries of French language and culture. All it takes are some bilingual puns and a fun sense of French wordplay.

What word inventions come to your mind?

Observing Baguettiquette

What are the rules and traditions surrounding that oh-so-French symbol, the baguette?

Crossing Cultures with an Urban Eye

by Meredith Mullins on July 31, 2017

View of Hong Kong apartment building by Michael Wolf from his series Life in Cities, images that show the megacity crossing cultures. (Image © Michael Wolf.)

Michael Wolf’s images are a metaphor for megacities.
© Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf’s View of Life in Cities

Human herds. The crush of crowds. Anonymity. Frenetic rhythms. Unrelenting surround-sound. Noise. Congestion. Forced verticality. Pollution.

Density in all its forms.

Much has been written to advocate for, rail against, and, ultimately, to understand life in cities. Images abound. Urban life is not a mystery.

The Interdependence of Independence

by Meredith Mullins on July 4, 2017

American flag, as part of crossing cultures in celebration of Independence Day. (Image © VStock LLC.)

A symbol of freedom
© VStock LLC

Crossing Cultures in Celebration of Independence Day

It’s July. Our thoughts are drifting to . . . beaches, heat-quenching thunderstorms, easy summer reading, lazy days, and, oh yes . . . freedom.

Independence is in the air. Especially for an American living in France. (C’est moi.)

Large American flag and smaller French flags at the American Embassy Residence in Paris France, as we are crossing cultures in celebration of Independence Day. (Image © Meredith Mullins.)

America and France cross cultures in celebration of independence at the
American Embassy Residence in Paris.
© Meredith Mullins

I feel fortunate to divide my time between two countries that celebrate their freedoms. It’s rewarding to walk down both paths of history. And it’s gratifying to have two occasions to party in the name of pride and patriotism—July 4th and July 14th.

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