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Subject: Bonjour! La France! Aide, svp! rss

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Greg Hinkle
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I'm coming!

Well, I'm trying to get there. The idea is to stay for three months, starting in May. But in trying to find where to stay, internet access is a major consideration. I'm going to be working while I'm there, and I've never been to Europe before.

What type of internet access is available? How easy is it to get online? I'll need to be online for a good 8 hours a day for work - do the internet cafe's allow for loitering?

(It's not just me that's coming - it's me, my wife and my four kids, so I can't just be anywhere like a normal single guy. We're looking for houses or apartments to rent.)

If anyone knows France really well, or, say, lives there, would you mind answering some questions I have? Like, where in France should we stay? Regional bias enouraged.

Also, I'd want to find some gaming while I'm there
 
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Greg Hinkle
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Re: Bonjour! France!
Bump for La France! C'est journée là, maintenant.
 
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Jeff Smith
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Re: Bonjour! France!
If you rent a flat, you can of course have ADSL at home. See here for an example:

http://abonnez-vous.wanadoo.fr/prehome.php?url=/index.php_qr...

Where will you be staying in France?
 
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Jon
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Re: Bonjour! France!
Bonjour!

Like in America, network access varies from place to place. In my Paris hotel room, I could not connect to the Internet. In a smaller city, I can.

Just make it one of the questions you ask (along with "is the swimming pool heated?" and "how large is the wine cellar?" and of course, "ou est le garou?") the people who might rent you their house.

Speaking of which, why rent one house for 12 weeks, when you could rent 3 houses all across the country for 4 weeks each? Por quoi? Por quoi? You will love it. You will never come back.

I will now get out of the way, and let the French people answer your questions for real.
 
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Greg Hinkle
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Re: Bonjour! France!
Ascarel wrote:
Where will you be staying in France?


Wherever we can. We want to avoid staying in the Paris area because of the costs. We're on a relatively tight budget. We'd prefer Eastern France, due to the proximity of Belguim/Germany/Switzerland. We plan on visiting friends in Belgium while we're there.

We're TRYING to find a place to stay in our price range (around 1000 EUR a month, give or take 200 EUR). We're not too particular, but internet connectivity is a must because of my job. We've seen a couple rural gîtes, but we're not sure what it would take to get access out there.

We're open to suggestions!
 
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Greg Hinkle
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Re: Bonjour! France!
jwandke wrote:
Speaking of which, why rent one house for 12 weeks, when you could rent 3 houses all across the country for 4 weeks each? Por quoi? Por quoi? You will love it. You will never come back.


Having enough trouble finding ONE place, much less three. But we're open to that/looking into it also.

jwandke wrote:
ou est le garou?


Vous êtes le loup-garou.
 
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Jeff Smith
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Re: Bonjour! France!
agnespoodle wrote:
Wherever we can. We want to avoid staying in the Paris area because of the costs. We're on a relatively tight budget. We'd prefer Eastern France, due to the proximity of Belguim/Germany/Switzerland. We plan on visiting friends in Belgium while we're there.


Eastern France is the part of the country I've seen most often, although it's mostly limited to Franche-Comté and Jura. I would suggest you check out the city of Besançon! This might be perfect for you. Not too big (it's much smaller than Lyon, which is a little farther south) but not too small either. Check out wikipedia.fr, it has great articles on many French towns and cities (that figures!).
 
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Jon
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Dog!
My tiny midwestern college had a study-abroad program in Besançon. What a coincidence you'd mention it!

You know what I have found? Even though je ne parlais pas francais, the people are extremely warm, helpful, and kind. Even in Paris, people have gone way out of their way to help an American brother out. Of course I do possess preternatural charisma...

I'm sorry for weighing down this thread with lack-of-information, but am happy I'm bumping it up to the top of the Active list.

If you send me a postcard of the wolf statue when you visit it, I will dance with joy.

I hope les francaises will soon finish their evening meals and once again turn to the warm glow of the screen, and answer poor agnes' call.
 
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Jeff Smith
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On the road to Strasbourg, northward of Besançon, you have a bunch of towns I haven't seen, but the second biggest city of Alsace, Mulhouse, particularly comes to mind now. Its population is about the same as Besançon (called Besac by the locals!), which is roughly 110 000 people. Worth checking out, I think!

Then slightly more to the west of Besançon, you have Dijon (150 000 people).

Tell us when you make your pick!

And we could use indeed some help from the locals...

 
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James Cheevers
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I moved to France with my family last year. Originally we never planned to stay, just to take a 6 month holiday. But we've loved it so much that we decided to buy a house to renovate.

We've been living in the Poitou-Charente area (Dpt 79 to be precise). The kids have adopted by the community and are now practically fluent with the language putting my wife and I to shame.

I think it's a great move and also imagine that you will likely want to stay.

Good luck with your move.

James

PS. We were able to rent a 4 bedroomed farmhouse for around 580 Euro's a month last year in Dpt 79. So you might want to check out the area.
 
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Greg Hinkle
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solove wrote:
I moved to France with my family last year. Originally we never planned to stay, just to take a 6 month holiday. But we've loved it so much that we decided to buy a house to renovate.


That may happen for us too. Who knows. We like to keep an open mind.

solove wrote:
PS. We were able to rent a 4 bedroomed farmhouse for around 580 Euro's a month last year in Dpt 79. So you might want to check out the area.


WHERE?! Do they have a listing on the web, or a phone number? (I say that like I can speak french worth a crap.)
 
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Brendan Tracey
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Qu'est-ce que le garou? Je parle un peu de français, mais je ne comprends pas ce mot.
 
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Gandalf The Grey
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Greg,

Your questions are a bit difficult to answer, but France has really good Internet access now ranging from 512K (anywhere in France) up to 20M for certain emplacements in big towns.

Regarding accomodation, I would say that if Internet is your main issue, well you'd be better advised to stay close to big towns (>100,000 in.)

Of course, Paris is a place of choice but quite expensive, and not necessarily the perfect place for calm, like other big cities all over the world.

Perhaps, you would prefer SW of France, near the Atlantic Coast, and the Perigord (yes, where they feed ducks to make the Foie Gras), if living in the countryside is what you're looking for.

If you have more specific questions, I will be please to answer as far as I know the answer
 
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Greg Hinkle
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Thanks! My wife is calling France right now to find out more information about some places near Lons-le Saunier that look to be in our price range. As long as they don't mind children, and internet access is attainable, then that's where we'll probably go.

If we're asking about internet access? How do we phrase that? Our french is rudimentary.
 
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Greg Hinkle
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howeman wrote:
Qu'est-ce que le garou? Je parle un peu de français, mais je ne comprends pas ce mot.


Oui, loup-garou. Werewolf. Jwandke est un loup-garou.
 
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Greg Hinkle
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After a humorous phone call with France:

My wife: "Parlez vous anglais?"
French woman: "Un peu!"
My wife: "Crap."

For if she spoke a little english, then she would have said "a little", not "un peu".

But then she got an email from someone else in France, responding to a request she had made earlier. He informed us of his place that was in our price range beween Colingy and Saint Amour in either the south of Franche-Comté or the north of the Rhone-Alpes region. Somewhere in there. She made the reservations.

So now we have to get there. But more importantly:

Are there gamers near Lyon? Actually, Geneva Switzerland looks closer, is it easy to drive there (for gaming)?

I have my priorities straight.
 
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Gandalf The Grey
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Regarding Internet access :

"Bonjour est-il possible d'avoir un accès Internet haut debit ?"

(Hi is it possible to have a hi-speed Internet access ?)

Lons-le-Saunier ? Where the hell did you find that location ?
 
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Jeff Smith
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Wow, of all the places in France I'd never imagine that Lons-le-Saunier would be mentionned here. I know the city, I have a good friend who lives there and I have visited him often.

Driving from Lons to Geneva is possible, we actually did it in 2004 when I was living in Lausanne, Switzerland. We took the long way through the Jura countryside. Beautiful scenery.

Btw, Greg, I figure you'll be working on learning some more French until you get to France? If you need help, just ask (French is my mothertongue and I'm a linguist).
 
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Greg Hinkle
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Menoteios wrote:
Lons-le-Saunier ? Where the hell did you find that location ?


They have a website and everything

The place we found is actually about 35 minutes from Lons-le-Saunier. Even farther away from ... everything! But they have WiFi, so it sounds like we're set. Well, we still have to worry about July - they're booked in July. So we'll find some place else - it looks like any ski resort is fairly cheap during the summer.

Ascarel wrote:
Wow, of all the places in France I'd never imagine that Lons-le-Saunier would be mentionned here. I know the city, I have a good friend who lives there and I have visited him often.

Driving from Lons to Geneva is possible, we actually did it in 2004 when I was living in Lausanne, Switzerland. We took the long way through the Jura countryside. Beautiful scenery.

Btw, Greg, I figure you'll be working on learning some more French until you get to France? If you need help, just ask (French is my mothertongue and I'm a linguist).


Yes, we're learning as much as we can. We can both understand/read it okay, and our pronunciation isn't bad, but our writing is fairly bad. And we need to beef up our glossary.

But the purpose of going for three months is to immerse ourselves in the language, so we'll HAVE to learn. And if we're staying in the countryside, we can be leasurely about it. But yes, we're cramming now with Pimsleur CDs and Rosetta Stone software and reference books (including a good one that has all the swear words).
 
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