The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10:22 PM: Restate My Assumptions

Upon the realisation that this blog lacks a proper "About This Blog" page, here it is:

About The Frogmarch

In the summer of 2005, after a particularly soul-crushing meeting at work, I returned to my office and scanned through a few online job-listing pages I had bookmarked. I encountered a listing for a job that I was qualified for, that sounded interesting, and--here's the kicker--was in Lyon, France. I fired off my resume with a tension-relieving mouseclick, and went back to work. A couple of months passed, during which I had mostly forgotten about even applying, and one day I got an e-mail requesting an interview in Lyon.

I bought an expensive suit.
I scurried to refresh my high school French.
I watched a Godard film or two.
And over Thanksgiving I went for the interview and got the job.

[photo: self-portrait, tiny elevator, rainy day]

Thus began an adventure unlike any I'd experienced--over the next few months I sold most of my stuff, concluded my business in the US as best I could, and packed up my family (my wife V., then 7 months pregnant; my son Boog, then 3; and our cat Bowie, ageless and noble with iffy kidneys) to go live in a foreign country overseas where we knew nobody. We left behind a lot of friends and family and a very comfortable life in Chapel Hill, NC, and the night we arrived in Lyon, in March 2006, I sat alone with head in hands at a vacant bus stop in Villeurbanne, wearing the same clothes I'd had on for 3 days, having failed to acquire any dinner for us other than 3 bags of potato chips and some Orangina from a gas station, wondering how I'd made such a spectacular blunder by dragging my family along on such a rash undertaking.

This continuing adventure, now nearly two years long and including the birth of our second son, Tater, is chronicled in The Frogmarch.

There are almost as many American-In-France blogs as there are Americans in France. I have tried to make this one a little different by focusing on small things, day-to-day struggles, and minor cultural differences rather than just some pretty pictures of the Eiffel Tower (though, um, I've got those too if you're interested). Riots and strikes and creepy basements and interesting booze and confusing gas fixtures and ancient hookers are the types of topics you'll find here.

[photo: self-portrait with cheese and white flag]

I do not discuss my job, other than in the most general terms, I do not post identifiable pictures of my family, and I try to remain sorta-kinda anonymous--though if you're reading this you probably already know who I am (heck, if you're reading this we're probably related).

I do not accept advertising because ads suck, and it's not as if I'd make any money from them anyway. Any products mentioned are solely because I find them interesting, whether good or bad: I do not accept money or products in exchange for placement, because all I really need is this delicious, handcrafted Blanton's Single Barrel bourbon... mmmm, that's smooth.

You can check the archives arranged by month there on the right of the page if you want to do some catching-up or rereading--there's some pretty good stuff in there, I promise--and of course I welcome your comments (click on the Comments link at the bottom of each post). If you want to send me an e-mail, send it to, only use our real names in the appropriate places. If you don't know our real names, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll get back to you.

Enjoy, have fun, and if you read something you like, pass it along to a friend... that address again is (there's no "WWW").

Johnny D. Frogmarch, Esq.

[this post will be permalinked at the right of the page once I work out the HTML]


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