Category Archives: French Culture

Secularism and Free Speech in France, Episode 51

Secularism and Free Speech in France Explained

Secularism and Free Speech in France
Church at Villedieu-sur-Indre “certified” with French Republic stamp in June 1884. Photo dadavidov

This week on Join Us in France Annie digs into the history of secularism and free speech in France as it relates to the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher Grocery store terror attacks . Knowing a little history will explain a lot about a place, and in this instance, the events unfolding in France in January 2015 make no sense whatsoever without understanding the historical context. Why did so many French people take to the streets? Why are the French police now arresting people who just want to be heard too? Is it simple backlash? Is it rampant racism? Or is it compliance to French law and why is the law the way it is? This is all explained in today’s show.

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Continue reading Secularism and Free Speech in France, Episode 51

Driving in France, Episode 16

Drinving in France, road with bend

Driving in France

In this episode, Annie and guest David talk about driving in France. Should you rent a car? How safe is it? Is driving hectic in France? We start with misconceptions, then we explain differences you should know about, and we also give you tips so you can relax. Have you considered setting out on your own to explore the French countryside? This episode will help you decide if it’s for you or not. Where will you go? Vineyards? French villages? Renting a car does open a lot of options for you!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

«I just returned from a trip to France. We could not take a train due to the strikes and ended up driving across France from the Dordogne to Paris. What a wonderful experience! The podcast on driving in France was a HUGE help with parking, highways and the red plus signs at traffic lights. Thank you so much!» Robin Friedberg OConnor

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If you found this episode helpful, also check out Tips for Driving in France, Episode 138.

Episode Highlights

  • Common misconceptions about driving in France
  • Things to consider before renting a car in France
  • French terminology you need to understand
  • Navigation tips
  • Speed limits in France (that’s a gotcha!)
  • More gotchas (unexpected rules and customs)
  • Indication signs
  • Danger signs
  • Direction signs
  • How do roundabouts work?
  • Parking in France
  • In case of emergency
  • Final thoughts


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