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Thread: Francophone country / Summer

  1. #1

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    Default Francophone country / Summer

    Hello

    I'd really like to spend some time in a francophone country over the summer (atleast a few weeks, longer if possible!) but I can't afford to stay in a hotel and I imagine that it's hard to find a hostel where I'll be able to cook properly. I really like the French language and I've been learning for about 2 years now.

    I really like the idea of an Au Pair situation but not only is it incredibly difficult to get past the gender stereotypes but also I'd be uncomfortable staying in a non-vegan household if expected to cook and clean up.

    So I'm putting this out there, without much optimism I must so as it's surely a long shot, but is anyone interested in putting up with me staying with them for a while? I'd be content with a tent in the garden even, and I'd gladly carry out the usual Au Pair stuff within a vegan household. (cooking, cleaning, looking after kids, helping with English, etc) I'd of course pay for all my own food and other expenses, and even help out a bit with bills if you're going through hard times, though I wouldn't be able to give too much.

    If anyone is interested either post here or message me, we will of course get to know each other before agreeing to anything

    p.s I'm 21.

  2. #2
    rosederwelt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Hey! Although I don't live there anymore and therefore can't put you up, I thought I'd give some advice if you end up having to search a "conventional" au pair site... which would be a last resort I suppose.

    I studied in the French speaking part of Belgium. I'm afraid you'll find that people are not very accepting towards vegetarianism let alone veganism. The majority of people I encountered thought it meant that I'd eat fish and chicken I don't know whether you're into that sort of thing, but it's also impossible to find things like Cheezly since there just isn't demand for it. You can get soy burgers and a couple of other meat analogues in most supermarkets (in my city, Liège, anyway), but you may have to spend time hunting them down - they're pretty hidden away.

    I should also add that in general, people are very open about the commodification of / cruelty to animals - I've seen terrible, heartbreaking things at markets and fairs.

    I know I'm not making it sound very nice, but I've had similar experiences in France, too. I just wanted to tell you about that before you went somewhere and had trouble... I'm certainly not trying to put you off, and I'm not trying to say everyone there will have this attitude. But I've personally found it extremely difficult to be a vegetarian and a vegan in those places.

    The place I'd really like to go is Montreal. I know the French there is a LOT different to European varieties of French, but it would be stimulating to go, all the same. And of course I've heard it's amazing for vegans. I've been trying for ages to get an au pair or similar job there, maybe you'll have better luck than me!

  3. #3
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    There are some French vegetarian and vegan groups like this one http://www.mangez-vegetarien.com/ren...egetarien.html which mentions it has a Facebook page. Perhaps you could also try locating a suitable family through these groups?

  4. #4
    CuddlyChicken
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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    .............
    Last edited by CuddlyChicken; Jun 26th, 2012 at 11:34 AM.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Quote rosederwelt View Post
    Hey! Although I don't live there anymore and therefore can't put you up, I thought I'd give some advice if you end up having to search a "conventional" au pair site... which would be a last resort I suppose.

    I studied in the French speaking part of Belgium. I'm afraid you'll find that people are not very accepting towards vegetarianism let alone veganism. The majority of people I encountered thought it meant that I'd eat fish and chicken I don't know whether you're into that sort of thing, but it's also impossible to find things like Cheezly since there just isn't demand for it. You can get soy burgers and a couple of other meat analogues in most supermarkets (in my city, Liège, anyway), but you may have to spend time hunting them down - they're pretty hidden away.

    I should also add that in general, people are very open about the commodification of / cruelty to animals - I've seen terrible, heartbreaking things at markets and fairs.

    I know I'm not making it sound very nice, but I've had similar experiences in France, too. I just wanted to tell you about that before you went somewhere and had trouble... I'm certainly not trying to put you off, and I'm not trying to say everyone there will have this attitude. But I've personally found it extremely difficult to be a vegetarian and a vegan in those places.

    The place I'd really like to go is Montreal. I know the French there is a LOT different to European varieties of French, but it would be stimulating to go, all the same. And of course I've heard it's amazing for vegans. I've been trying for ages to get an au pair or similar job there, maybe you'll have better luck than me!
    Thanks for being blunt about what your experiences were, it comes as no surprise though as I know quite a lot about French culture and I've also visited Liège (stayed there 2 weeks) - I'm in love with the language, not the culture or politics . Luckily I cook all my own stuff from whole foods so shouldn't have much problem regarding food as long as I can find a decent enough kitchen.

    I'd ideally like to go to Canada also, as I imagine I'd feel more accepted there and I've always heard positive things about it in general. I don't think I can really afford that though during summer, but I'm definitely doing to try and get a place there for my 'year abroad' part of my studies.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Hello Maitre,

    I have only had a few trips to France since going vegan, but I can confirm Roses sentiments that being vegan might be seen as going completely against everything that a French person might stand for. Negating the necessity to smother every vegetable in cream and butter is certainly an offense worth punishing in the world of Haute Cuisine as it is seen in France.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  7. #7
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Mind you I think that may be mainly true of the French people one encounters in restaurants. Obviously some French people are vegetarian or vegan themselves.

    I have a French cousin who seems to take my being vegan in her stride, and who seems to have a mainly plant-based diet herself (she grows most of her own veg, although she was mentioning that she has a problem with wild boar coming and digging up all her potatoes!).

    ETA sorry to take your thread off track, Maître - anyway you might strike lucky and find a congenial family.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Quote Maître View Post
    Hello

    I'd really like to spend some time in a francophone country over the summer (atleast a few weeks, longer if possible!) but I can't afford to stay in a hotel and I imagine that it's hard to find a hostel where I'll be able to cook properly. I really like the French language and I've been learning for about 2 years now.
    Surely living in Canterbury, you are near enough to visit France for a day trip! How long does it take to get from Ashford to Paris by Eurostar? When I first opened this thread I thought that it was started by someone who was nowhere near France or any francophone country.

    Quote rosederwelt View Post
    The place I'd really like to go is Montreal. I know the French there is a LOT different to European varieties of French, but it would be stimulating to go, all the same. And of course I've heard it's amazing for vegans. I've been trying for ages to get an au pair or similar job there, maybe you'll have better luck than me!
    Having been to Montreal six years ago, it is reasonably good with regard to vegetarian restaurants and vegan options therein. Think of the locals as North Americans in terms of lifestyle etc who speak a language derived from French, rather than being French themselves.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Heh, there's a slight difference between a day trip and a summer I made this thread quite a while back and I'm no longer actually living in Canterbury, I can no longer commit to spending the summer abroad either, not that it matters anyway

  10. #10

    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Quote Maître View Post
    Heh, there's a slight difference between a day trip and a summer
    Agreed, but from where you were living, France was almost commutable.

  11. #11
    Milady Froggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Hi there ! As a French vegan (living in the UK now), I'm afraid that most of what you all said is true ... but !! it's getting better, especially in Paris & its area, and very big cities.
    Maître, I understand you won't go, finally, but that you love my mother-tongue, so if I can help (by chatting or correcting or anything), just let me know !
    This offer is valid for anybody. Bonne soirée à tous !

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Hey Milady Froggy, I tried to private message you but it appears as though you've disabled them in your options!

  13. #13
    Milady Froggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Francophone country / Summer

    Hi Lentils ! (first time I talk to vegetables )
    I've just changed my settings. You should be able to PM me now.

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