Thus concludes a month in France

I had a marvelous time, and I am very grateful to the excellent development folks at TSE for the visit. Some of their working papers are here.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about unaccountably undertouristed southwestern France, except to say (for purely selfish reasons) that I hope it remains under-visited.

We spent a weekend in Provence and it was amok with tourists. We spent the rest of our stay in Toulouse and (later) the peaceful Aude, and I will definitely return. I think I could stand the lifestyle.

If you must go, I recommend one of two strategies, both of which we tried. One, plop yourself in a small village for a week and enjoy the zillions of hiking trails that connect every village. Or two, bike from village to village over a week staying in a demi-pension. Then enjoy a marvelous, heavy, wine-ridden dinner.

It is safe to say that, perhaps for the first time ever, I am fully sated with wine, cured ham, foie gras, and cheese.

Possibly the only peculiarity of the trip was the tendency, almost daily, for a random stranger to come over and, rather than coo at our adorable 3-month old, tell us she was too hot. Or too cold. I am not certain about this, but I think the correlation between the actual temperature and the hot/cold advice was close to zero.

I have just arrived in London, where I keep having the urge to speak in French or Spanish to Anglophones. It always takes me a couple of days.

And Owen Barder (of the excellent blog, amongst other things) is helping me work off the foie gras and cheese by springing, quite suddenly, a 5k race on me. I have never run a race. We’ll see how that goes. Then off to Oxford tomorrow for a conference.

9 thoughts on “Thus concludes a month in France

  1. Yes, as another Oxford economics student, also curious about which conference you’re coming to, but welcome!

  2. An International Growth Center conference on fragile states at St. Anne’s. I don’t know if it is open to students or not, but I think it is probably not. Perhaps CSAE PhDs?

  3. IGC has a tendency to have these top-secret workshops, hidden from CSAE PhDs, or even, it seems, those working on IGC projects…