Understanding Charlie Hebdo

On 7 January 2015, two men stormed the offices of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. They murdered 12 people, including the five most famous and beloved cartoonists (one of whom was the editor) and two police officers, and injured 11 others, 5 seriously. Those are the basic facts of the tragedy, which you undoubtedly already know. But what you may not understand is why – beyond the horror of murder and mayhem – this event has touched every French person so deeply. As one internet meme says: “12 dead. 66 million wounded.” Why is Charlie Hebdo so important and iconic? Continue reading

Greek Lessons

Most of our traveling is to places where we speak the language, and of course when we don’t, we can usually fall back on English. This is the case in Greece as well; since it’s the only Greek-speaking country, the vast majority of Greeks are (more or less) fluent in English. But since my husband and I are both language lovers, and enjoy the surprised yet pleased reactions of native French, Spanish, and Italian speakers when we are able to communicate in their language, I thought of a new twist for our trip to Greece: why not learn a bit of Greek? Continue reading

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