Frank in France #36

Frank Varney

Frank in France #36

2 mins
November 30, 2021

Since the day this column appears will be the fourteenth birthday of my son, Oliver, I thought I would make him the focus of today’s column to find out his thoughts about living in France.

What are your hobbies? I like to dance hip-hop. I’ve taken classes for three years but couldn’t continue this year. But I miss it. I also like playing video games, although my parents don’t like that I play as much as I do. I used to like skateboarding but now I am getting into basketball, so I play basketball more than I skate.

What would you like to do in the future? I would like to get into computers and programming. Maybe I can turn my love of playing video games into a job. But I am also interested in culinary arts, I think that would be an interesting career as well. 

The birthday boy, eating a staple of French cuisine in early winter: oysters on the half shell. (Photo by Frank Varney)

What is your favorite thing about living in France? The bread! There is really good bread here that is difficult to find in the U.S. But after that, I think France is a good place to live because medical insurance isn’t expensive like it is in the U.S. The same for the retirement system in France.

What is your least favorite thing about living in France? The fast food, it’s not the same as in the U.S. There aren’t the same restaurants like in the U.S. There isn’t A&W in France! And the fast food chains we do have, the food tastes different here than in the U.S.

What do you miss about living in the U.S.? A&W! They have the best root beer. And their hamburgers and hotdogs are so good too! I also miss Target, it’s such a great store. You can find everything at Target.

The birthday boy accompanying me on a 10K walk through the vineyards of Charentes. (Photo by Frank Varney)

What is our opinion about being raised to speak two languages? Sometimes I didn’t like it when I was little, but I think it’s a good thing now. I have English-speaking friends in my school, so we talk English with each other. I also know it will be useful in the future for some professions.

So, if you could choose where to live, would you choose France or the U.S.? I like the U.S. because there are so many more things available than we have here, like stores and toys. In the U.S. you can buy fireworks and in France you can’t because it’s prohibited. And everything is so much bigger. The cars are so big over there.

What would you miss if you left France to live in the U.S.? My friends. (insert long pause…) And my parents.

Joyeuex 14ème Anniversaire, Mon Grand (Happy 14th Birthday, My Big Boy)!

The birthday boy making his dad nervous by his bêtises (foolishness), which he has been doing successfully for the past 14 years. (Photo by Frank Varney).

This article was orginally reported by
Frank Varney