Foreign Correspondent

J.A. Getzlaff is a seasoned journalist whose work has appeared in The Guardian U.K., Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.  She maintains a blog, Foreign Parts, about all things to love and hate about Paris.

À DÉTESTER: The scammers of Paris (les arnaqueurs)

Nobody likes un arnaqueur — a cheater, a swindler, a con artist — except, of course, on film.  In "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" Paul Newman and Robert Redford made the notorious bank robbers charmants, and Jean-Paul Belmondo did the same for car thief Michel Poiccard in "Breathless" (À Bout de Souffle"), although lovely Jean Seberg does rat him out in the end....more

À AIMER: Mornings at a French Café

What's so special about mornings at a French café?  Well, look at the photo.  See the guy sitting by himself reading?  What is he reading?  A novel.  Not a newspaper.  Not a magazine.  Not a computer screen.  Look around the cafe (which, by the way, is Chez Prune just off the Canal Saint-Martin).  Do you see any laptops?  Any milkshake-sized 'coffee drinks'?  Any trans-fat pastries from a nearby factory?  Non....more

À AIMER: The Joys of Getting Sick in France, Part Four

 Today the Washington Post reported that the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform bill, if passed, "would require people to buy insurance or face penalties ranging up to $1,900, to be assessed on their income tax returns."...more

On the Road: Why Hawaii is like France

Travel enthusiasts are often asked which place on Earth they like best. For years, my answer was always the same: "Hawaii and France." No one understood my response — not even me. How could I hold in such high esteem two destinations that are so completely different?...more

On the Road: The effects of 'Hawaii head'

Where did my mind go?   ...more

À DÉTESTER: les macarons

Cloying.   ...more

French Versus American Income Taxes: Who Pays More? (Part Three of Getting Sick)

Last weekend, inspired by some very good points and questions from readers, I went down the tax rabbit hole and into the very confusing world of French impôts, where everything is topsy-turvy — about as upside down, or right-side up, as things are in the American tax world.  In some aspects, the two systems are quite similar; in other aspects, they are completely different. ...more
That's an interesting paper but I think there's a mistake.. I'm french and I have one of my ...more

À DÉTESTER: Chestnut Spread

Do all junkies come to detest the thing to which they're addicted? ...more

À AIMER: Getting Sick Part Two, or The Joys of Civilized Medicine

Welcome to Part Two of À AIMER: Getting Sick, or The Joys of Civilized Medicine (thank you reader Kent for suggesting that we replace the word "Socialized" with "Civilized").   ...more