Les ordinateurs ne marchent pas

The computers aren’t working. This is a recurring theme at the bank, where our account is not fully open after more than 5 weeks. We also see reboots of the Metro once in a while (every few weeks).

One of the things that amazed me when we first arrived was that it seems like there’s an app for everything; every mall has an app so you can see events and sales and a map of the mall. The city of Lyon has an app that covers events, holidays, and parks, and has an alarm feature that will wake you up with a list of cool things that are happening today. TCL, the operator of the rail and bus system in this region has an app that is really useful. The app for our bank is really fantastic; Simple isn’t really needed here. It seems like everyone has a smartphone app, and they’re usually well-crafted and generally worth installing.

However, things break.
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Avec Fromage?

Unless you are in a McDonald’s, you won’t hear this question asked. For better or worse, the answer defaults to yes. Do you want cheese in your nan at the Indian restaurant? Too bad, you’re getting cheese. In nan. Never mind that there isn’t any cheese in Indian cuisine (ignoring paneer, because it’s not identified as a western-style cheese by anyone I know); it’s France, therefore you must have that avec fromage!

Dirt vs. Varietal

In the US, people choose their wine first by the varietal (grape), then the winemaker, then the region where the grapes were grown. In France, the region is most important. The winemaker is important too. Looking at the varietal at all (as a consumer) is a relatively recent development.

I lived in Sonoma County (one of California’s prime wine-growing regions) for 9 years, and discovered wine there. My company is named for my favorite varietal. I’m a varietal-first drinker. The French way feels less likely to consistently result in a wine I’ll enjoy.
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