My own house is guilty of this, and some of you already know the reason why.

What really reached me is, if the stereotyped American is friendly on the outside but introverted or hiding something on the inside, it disobeys Dale Carnegie’s principle to “be genuinely interested in people,” as if you don’t want to actually hear the answer to the question, “How are you doing?” It is also slightly vindicating to a cynical introvert who easily sees through that outer veneer.

Life in La Ville Rose

Believe it or not, not all French people live in country chateaus or tiny (but charming!) garrets in Paris. Just like in the US, a large portion of the population lives in the suburbs.

During my stay, I’m living in a suburb of Toulouse called Tournefeuille. If you are like I was and are curious about what French suburbs look like, search no further.

My street looks like all the others in the area: most houses are one story with a large wall/fence in front. Cars usually park on the sidewalk as driveways are very small.

In my neighborhood in the US, Vlad always commented on the paradox of Americans having perfectly manicured lawns, and yet keeping their shutters and curtains closed. (“Why do you spend so much time on your yard if you can’t even see it?”) I had never noticed this before, but day after day in my neighborhood his…

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