Pay to Play

Sometimes coping with The French Bureaucracy is a straightforward commercial transaction. I drove up to Montpellier yesterday for a medical exam and interview with the OFII, the national office of immigration and integration, a name that implies some effort will be made to help newcomers adapt to French society. I wouldn’t count on it. After … Continue reading Pay to Play

You Meet the Nicest People in a Bar

I was chewing on an immense magret from a steroidal duck and washing it down with Coop wine when an old friend from past visits came in and I immediately launched into my insurance saga. “This is wrong. I can help you.” He went to another table, talked with one of the men, and returned … Continue reading You Meet the Nicest People in a Bar

Paris, 29 March

A busy day at the Palais Royal, one of my favorite places in this lovely and still livable city. Originally the home of Cardinal Richelieu, it housed royalty until the revolution, and many notables since, including Colette and Cocteau (not in the same apartment). There are two distinct sections enclosed by offices, the Comedie Francaise, … Continue reading Paris, 29 March

A Letter from Barbara Lane

Dear friends and family: Yesterday I resigned from the JCCSF.  I had planned a community panel, to take place on February 8, in response to President Trump’s executive order on immigration with representatives from the ACLU, American-Islamic Society, a rabbi who would speak about the Jewish experience with exclusion, and an immigration attorney working with … Continue reading A Letter from Barbara Lane

Getting To Know You – Quickly

It’s quite a challenge: an 826 Valencia podcasting field trip with high school students who have written letters to the president-elect. The object is to take these letters and turn them into two minute essays the students will record and 826 will podcast. The challenge is to get to know this student in a hurry … Continue reading Getting To Know You – Quickly