February 5, 2015


I was lucky enough to get to go back home to California for two weeks during the winter holidays.

Christmas à la plage.

I made sure to only put really light weight objects on my x-mas wish list and asked my parents to not gift me anything too heavy, as I was hoping to use the return flight as an opportunity to bring more of my belongings to France.

As luck would have it, the gifts that I brought to CA with me far outweighed the gifts I received (why are wine bottles so freaking heavy?), and left me with some space to bring back beloved objects that up till now were residing in my parents’ garage.

I brought back some old journals, some clothes, my Ewok stuffed animal, and a ridiculous amount of DVDs.

Since the first time I moved to France, I’ve been treating my parents’ house like a Blockbuster. I have a CD case holder that I fill up with DVDs that I then I change out every time I go home.

My Ewok, books, and movie rental hardware.

This year, however, I got some DVDs for Christmas that I didn’t necessarily want to take up space in my special DVD trading case; I decided to take my French film DVDs back to France to share them with the French boyfriend; and I also wanted to borrow my Dad’s DVDs of the original Star Wars films as it’d been too long since I’d seen them and scandalously, the French boyfriend hasn’t seem them since he was a child.

All in all, I brought back a lot of DVDs and left some other treasured objects behind.

Now it’s important to note that Europe and North America are in different zones for DVDs. This means that a DVD made for viewing in America is considered a “zone 1” DVD, and can only be played by North American “zone 1” DVD players*. France, along with the rest of Europe, is in “zone 2.”

This has never been a problem as my computer is from America, and therefore plays zone 1 DVDs. For French DVDs, we use French boyfriend's French computer. Everything works out dandily.

Except that as soon as I got back to France, my laptop’s DVD drive stopped working.

So much for that.

*Apparently DVD players exist now-a-days that can play both zones, but unemployed me is a little too tight on money to purchase one. Also, I’m not sure I believe them.


  1. I used to do the same thing with my DVDs. Then, a few years ago, I was so so sure that I would be returning home at the end of the school year that I took 50lbs worth of stuff home (including my DVDs) for Christmas. And then, well, I came back to France and decided I didn't want to go back home. I don't know why I never brought DVDs back on any of my trips since then! And now, I currently have no way to play them anymore.


  2. No chance of picking uip a chapo French DVD player at a brocante? Had same probs with my original slaptop at start, but it committed Hari Kiri, working between two systems and languages, and now on a French AZERTY portable.

    1. A cheapo French DVD player can't play my American DVDs unfortunately :( But thanks for the idea anyway!

  3. Ok, so you need to hack your dvd player. It's not as drastic as it sounds. Just find a dvd player that you want to buy and the ask Google if there is a hack for that model to make it multi-region. Usually this just involves pressing a sequence of numbers on the remote. Then voila you can play dvd's from both regions. I lIve in UK and have done this for 2 cheap dvd players. Beware though, it doesn't work on every dvd player so google the model before you buy. Love your blog x

    1. Thanks for your advice and thanks for reading!


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