Monday, June 30, 2008

Country Craze in France

I was browsing for interesting tidbits and came across this article explaining the Country Line Dance craze in France...

It appears the trend is so widespread that the government will be implementing control measures to regulate instructors and training courses. For example, professional teachers will be required to have 600 hours of courses under their belt buckles.

Does your home country have a Country-Western trend or sub-culture? I have heard of such trends existing in Australia, The United kingdom, Brazil, Japan, etc.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pain at the Pump

The price of gas has been a common topic of conversation among friends and co-workers, a constant source of news for the media, and a marketing tool for fuel-efficient vehicles and bicycles.

Here are ways Americans are coping:

How are you dealing with fuel prices? Do you think the Houston area needs improved access to public transportation? Please tell me about the transportation options in your home country.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Montgomery ISO Retreat

Were you at this Galveston retreat? Share some stories...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Here comes the bride...

Wedding season is upon us! You may have noticed extra re-runs of Bridezillas on TV, bridal parties crowding local beauty salons, or bachelor/bachelorette outings at local establishments. Perhaps you have been invited to a wedding yourself, and need to navigate American wedding traditions. As a routine wedding guest, I can tell you wedding etiquette can be quite interesting! I have attended weddings all over the United States, and found traditions vary according to culture and region.

A great deal can go into being a wedding, even for the guests! A friend of mine attended an out-of-town wedding and had to schedule time off from work, book a flight, reserve a room, rent a car, board her dog, buy a dress, halt her mail, and purchase something off the wedding registry before everything was sold out. Whew!

Does anyone plan to attend a wedding this summer? Care to share?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I went to Chick Fil-A for lunch the other day and noticed a familiar flavor missing from my chicken sandwich. After removing the lettuce and bun, I discovered there was no tomato. What! No Tomato? The meal wasn't quite the same, but remembered tomatoes were vanishing from menus all around the country due to a salmonella scare. I realized the missing tomato wasn't such a bad thing, but made me ponder the food safety in the United States. I remember the cat and dog food scare that sent pet owners into a frenzy in 2007, and passing up fresh spinach at the grocery store in 2006.

How safe is the food in your home country? Do you think the United States needs to tighten food safety restrictions?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Like, do you speak American?

Check out this interesting article I found on PBS!

It discusses influences on modern American English:
  • Regional accents/slang
  • Immigrants
  • Popular music and media
  • Spanish
  • Culture
  • Technology

As an international student, what do you think of American English? Give me your perspective. If you are learning English as a second language, how have you been challenged by slang, etc.?