As an American living abroad and teaching English, I often get asked where I’m from. This is an unusually tricky question to answer, and not necessarily because so many people suck at geography. Technically speaking, I hail from Maryville, Illinois, which is a mild-mannered suburban village of the type where it’s big local news when […]

The clock was ticking. September was quickly coming to a close. My roommates and I had less than a week before we’d be out on the street. It was a chaotic rush to find new accommodations, especially since the three of us were teaching by this point, which didn’t leave a lot of extra time […]

We were back to square one on the apartment hunt and time was running out. We redoubled our search efforts. Eventually, we made contact with a middle-aged man named Charles. Charles had the look and gait of a retired tennis player. He had bushy eyebrows, cropped salt and pepper hair. He wore a brightly colored […]

About three-quarters through the experience of The Classroom, those of us who were determined to stay in Prague had the collective realization that we would need a place to live after our student housing contracts expired. Up until that point, we had been coddled like babies, but now it was time to take matters into […]

The salesmen in the souks of Tunisia have been blessed with the gift of gab. The vast majority of them are multilingual and will try to snare potential customers by attempting to guess his or her nationality. The official language in Tunisia is Arabic, but I’ve heard them prattle on in English, German, Russian, and […]

By this time tomorrow I will be waking up on the Tunisian island of Djerba for a week of vacation. One of the things I take great pleasure in when taking a trip like this is the near total disconnect I have from the rest of the connected digital world. My phone is not smart, […]

The alarm rang at an unspeakably early hour. The skies were still dark. With some effort, we managed to get showered and ready, and were out the door a little past 7 in the morning. The distance from Angers to Le Mans is around 95 kilometers (60 miles), which meant that we’d be on the […]

Sweet & Lowdown is a Woody Allen movie from the late 90s that stars Sean Penn as the arrogant, narcissistic, and mercurial but talented Emmet Ray. Self-touted as the “second greatest guitar player in the world … after this gypsy in France,” Emmet plays jazz in a post-Gatsby, early-Depression era where fame and fortune were […]