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Expat Examined: Lindsey Tramuta PDF Print E-mail
Written by Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen   

Photo: Elena RossiniI've been reading Lindsey Tramuta's Lost in Cheeseland for awhile now and I can tell you that it's one of the best blogs out there when it comes to Anglophone life in Paris. Lindsey was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for Prissy Mag readers. Here's what she told us.

Photo: Elena Rossini

PM: How long have you been in France and what brought you here? 

LT: I have been in France for 5 years, although I never imagined it would be feasible to stay. I initially came for my studies - several study abroad programs - and fell in love not only with the city but with a Frenchman! Priorities changed and I decided not to leave.

PM: What keeps you here?

LT: Beyond the lifestyle which is a good match for me, I stay for my husband! We've made a life here together and I can see myself spending the rest of my life in Paris (perhaps with stints in other countries or other parts of France later on). I've worked very hard to become bilingual and I do not want to risk losing my mastery of the language (which is an ongoing, lifelong process) by moving to an Anglophone country. Despite administrative headaches and the occasional terse Parisian, Paris has been good to me, both personally and professionally, and I'm not about to turn my back on a good thing!

PM: What’s different for you here, versus where you’re originally from?


LT: Aside from the average waistline, the life-work mentality is different than in Philadelphia. My hometown has a flourishing and world-renowned restaurant scene and a rich cultural offering but it often feels like the common routine is work hard, drink heavily, watch sports, bum around, and I need something different from a home. Also, not relying on a car has changed my life - I enjoy getting behind the wheel when I visit my family once or twice a year but I feel much freer having an efficient urban transportation system at my disposal.

PM: What do you not like about living here, if anything?


LT: The attitude, the bureaucracy, the complaining (which I, unfortunately, have clearly adopted), the fact that you often have to fight to get what is owed to you and particularly, the professional pigeon-holing. Switching careers or having a hand on a variety of different projects is still  rare and widely unaccepted by the majority. In other words, my untraditional path - Community Manager + writer/blogger + baker all in one - often raises eyebrows to French people.The Louvre

PM: What are your favourite haunts?


LT: Despite being a homebody, I love to discover cafés and restaurants so often, I stay local. Le Pearl for lunch or dinner, Les Petites Indécises for brunch or an afternoon tea, Al Taglio for stellar pizza, La Place des Vosges (weather permitting) to read and people-watch, Le Floréal for juicy burgers and an unmemorable-looking bakery across from my building for the BEST multi-grain baguettes I've ever had. When I'm in the 10th, I stop at Du Pain et Des Idées for an array of escargot (the sweet kind!) and hearty breads.

PM: What do you miss most about the U.S.?


LT: The ease. Day to day errands aren't generally rife with challenges and complications but in Paris, you never know what to expect!

PM: If you didn’t live here, where would you live?


LT: I honestly don't know! I think San Francisco would match my interests quite well but I haven't been there in years so I can't be sure.

PM: And if you left France, what would you miss the most?


LT: Some specific to France others to Paris: the bread, butter, pastries, comté, public transportation, Haussmannian architecture, lifestyle, vacation time, chocolates and our adorable apartment!

PM: Tell us about Lost in Cheeseland and your other projects.


LT: Lost In Cheeseland started as a forum to express amusing anecdotes and frustrations about daily life in France, most specifically in Paris. It evolved quite naturally into something much bigger - each post requiring a certain level of research, photos, and reflection. My presence on twitter expanded the reach of my blog tremendously and eventually led to other writing opportunities - I was a columnist for BitchBuzz.com for a year, I've contributed to Travel + Leisure, HiP Paris, Parisien Salon, Matchbook Magazine, among others - and I have had some of my photos commissioned for publication.

Back in January, I also launched a business with a friend. Lola's Cookies is an online, artisan American cookie company and we've been thrilled with the feedback from French and Expat clients. We take it a day at a time!

PM: Complete these two sentences: Paris is…


LT: Home.

PM: French people are…


LT: Comically and perpetually unsatisfied; wonderfully cultured; afraid of change.



Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen moved to Paris from New York City in 1999. In addition to being the Editor and Founder of Prissy Mag, she is the author of Stockdale and Next of Kin.  For her complete bio...
Comments (5)add comment
Paris Karin (an alien parisienne): ... http://analienparisienne.wordpress.com
This is a really nice interview with Lindsey. I admire her blog so much, and it is nice to see the tables turned & her being the subject of an interview on someone else's blog (since she is usually the one interviewing)! Thanks, Prissy Mag!

February 13, 2012
Sandra Mistrelli: ... http://none
Very interesting article Prissy Mag. I too have been following the LIC blog and am delighted to learn more about it's writer. Keep up the good work Prissy.

February 14, 2012
interlinings china: ... http://www.interlinings.org
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