A Canadian In Paris

Posted on: Sunday, February 7th, 2010
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Blog | Leave a comment

freiffelNow and then, a Sabbatical story comes along that is too good to pass up, and too good not to pass along. 

Meet Todd Babiak.  Todd is a writer based in Edmonton—on a year-long BreakAway with his family in Paris.  He’s having a gas, as this article describes.  He’s also finding that sabbaticals bring surprises. 

  • France can be uncouth!

Babiak’s latest book is called Toby:  A Man.  It’s about an etiquette commentator for a TV station.  (Now there’s a job with few openings!)  After studying manners for so long, Babiak decided to do a year in Paris—in hopes of landing in a place where civility truly is alive and well.  Well, is it?  He answers…

 Vulgarity is global now; we can’t get away from it.” 

  • Peeing on main street

Babiak tells the story of walking his daughter to school one morning, only to pass by two men peeing on a building amidst a busy street.  Now, anyone who’s spent time in Europe knows that such practices are common.  Still, it can be a buzzkill to pursue a course in grace, and instead experience coarseness. 

  • Babiak has the last laugh

Our Sabbatical seeker is eating it up though, as one tends to do in Paris.  His faux blog, Tobyaman.com, features the commentary and Q&A of the uber-refined Toby—who is “suing” Babiak for writing that unauthorized biography.  It’s full of hilarity on many levels. 

Clearly, Todd Babiak and fam are having a great time, even if the French manners ain’t what they used to be.

Best of all, they still have five months to do Paris—public pee and all.  Enjoy!

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