En route

I’m currently with my wife in France, en route to Berlin, where we’ll be living for at least a year. My company is sending me there to do some product management things for its relatively young European business; more generally, we’re using it as an opportunity to live outside the US during a both personally and politically anxious time.I don’t want to talk any more about politics, since that’s basically all that American news talks about and it’s all stress all the time, so instead, here’s a picture of the lake Alicia and I are sitting next to:This is Lac Annecy, a large lake next to a small and very cute city in Southeast France, right near the Alps. We’re here to detox from life for a few days before re-immersing in a somewhat different one in Germany.Because I naturally assimilate into the culture around me instead of actually trying to relax, here are a few quick observations about life in Annecy: – Service in restaurants is slower, but also it’s so pleasant that I rarely ever mind. – Everyone says bonjour, bonsoir, pardon and au revoir to each other – almost no exceptions. It doesn’t feel fake either; the locals seem genuinely cordial and kind, almost like a European version of Southern hospitality. If you don’t speak English, there is a genuine attempt to try and make the language barrier work (though the variability of English understanding here is wide). – I feel like an asshole trying to fake French, realize I don’t know what I’m saying, and then asking for English. I need to learn German quickly. – Espresso is much better than coffee here. The best espresso.I hear the coffee is fantastic in Berlin.