By Scott Dominic Carpenter author of French Like MoiListen to Scott read City of Light Bulbs
Surprise is the highest form of pleasure, and it’s easier to find than people think. You don’t have to invest your 401(k) in Powerball numbers to enjoy the fruits of unpredictability, or even travel by Amtrak. No, it turns out you can simply move to Paris, where the ordinary so often leads to adventure.
It went like this. Shortly before Anne returned from the States, I finished painting the walls and pushing the furniture back in place. During my final check, I discovered the bedroom lamp had burnt out. This led me to hoof it to the local supermarket, which stocks bulbs of various shapes and sizes.
Only after I returned home with my trophy did I realize my error.
In France, the base of a bulb is called a culot, a word derived from cul, which translates as “ass.” Although ungentlemanly in some contexts, cul raises no eyebrows in …