During his time in Italy, Stefan Ulrich wrote two books about living in the country (“Quattro Stagioni”, “Arrivederci, Roma! Ein Jahr in Italien”). Around one and a half years ago, his employer – the Süddeutsche Zeitung – asked him whether he could imagine working in Paris. Ulrich’s yes came rather spontaneously.
In his new book “Bonjour la France! Ein Jahr in Paris”, he admits feeling homesick wanting to visit Rome during all holidays. His wife and two kids felt the same. However, they eventually decided to use off-days to discover France. Determined to soak up the country’s culture, they stayed in countryside castles and visited the most famous museums and churches of Paris.
All of these occasions included funny incidents – and Ulrich bluntly writes about it. Now and then, the reader gets the impression that Ulrich added a bit too much colour. Some of the episodes seem exaggerated and carved into shape to make a good story while a few statements, especially by his children, appear unrealistic and composed that way just to please the reader. Nevertheless, Ulrich successfully created an entertaining book full of enjoyable anecdotes about living in a Parisian suburb.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung correspondent writes about getting to know the new neighbours and his family’s problems with plumbers and internet connection experts. He recalls research activity in an infamous district in the north of the capital of France and writes about a special backstage tour at an opera. Other chapters reveal embarrassing moments concerning culinary aspects and his meetings with members of the French government – including a short eye to eye encounter with Francois Hollande, the country’s president.
Bonjour la France! Ein Jahr in Paris
By Stefan Ulrich
Published by Ullstein (www.ullsteinbuchverlage.de)