Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the most famous American in Luxembourg, Mike McQuaide and his book.
I’m wondering how it feels to now live in Luxembourg – one of the smallest countries of the world – after having been used to living in the United States, the land of the free, home of the brave.
In 2013, Mike McQuaide moved to Luxembourg with his wife and 14-year-old son. It was a risky step, but a step he does not seem to regret.
In his book “An American in Luxembourg” he offers his readers many ideas about what to do in Luxembourg, what makes our country unique and special. His writing is filled with humor which I really appreciate. When reading it, you’re immediately put into a good mood!
His very first WOW of the book went to the three-mast pirate ship play structure in the park in Luxembourg City. I’m also fascinated by this playground!! 🙂
If you’ve been following his adventures for a little bit on Social Media, you know that he’s learning Luxembourgish. In his book, he invents new phonetics/pronunciation to our beautiful language and tells us about the challenges he encountered language wise in a country where most people talk on average 3,7 different languages.
The book also talks about the Luxembourgish Haute Cuisine and the author tells us his stories about trying different dishes asnd making friends by cycling all over Luxembourg.
He took part in the LetzGocycling Initiative in which he won a fantastic and unique BMC Road bike handpainted in Luxembourg’s official colors + the Let’s make it happen Logo. I start to fully understand why Mike did not regret moving to our little country (you must know I’m a big bike fan myself) 😉
His book is filled with many beautiful and funny pictures that he took while discovering more and more of Luxembourg. In a way the book was like medicine to me! Not because of all the health tips in it – there aren’t any, but because you have to smile and laugh all the time when reading it! The book is so real that you can easily imagine Mike biking all over, meeting new people, learning about our culture and traditions! His story telling took me all in and I finished the 180 pages book in one day! It’s wonderful to see our country through Mike’s eyes, all our cultural “Dingsda” have now a new magic to me.
I also couldn’t wait to interview Mike, hear a little bit more of his background & adventures.
Hi Mike! Can you tell the Rosport Life readers (those who don’t know you yet) the story about how you’ve ended up in our beautiful country?
My wife got a job with a Luxembourg-based health-insurance company. Though we’d never been here, we’d heard of Luxembourg because of the Schlecks, and we figured moving here would be a fun adventure. And it has been!
After having won the Publikumspräis in 2018 for „An American in Luxembourg“ what has changed in your life?
Nothing has changed drastically really, though I’ve been invited many times to read and sign copies of my book for various groups throughout Luxembourg, which is always a lot of fun. I’ve also been asked to host a couple events, including an interview with Andy Schleck in front of a live audience, which was super cool.
What projects have you done since you have won?
Lately, I’ve been making a lot of videos. Short three- to five-minute videos on things to do around Luxembourg or about things I find particularly interesting or unusual. I make one once a month for CFL and twice a month, I read essays that I’ve written on Radio 100,7.
What gave you the idea to write a book? About all the curiosities an curious people in our beautiful little country.;)
When I moved here, everything was brand new to me and often quite funny, and when I tell people about my experiences here they seemed quite interested and amused. Especially Luxembourgers. They’re very interested in an outsider’s view of their country.
What story is your personal favourite?
From the book? If so, I should say the one where I talk about trying to learn new languages and my awful attempts at trying to speak French in public. Or my fascination with how Luxembourgers kiss each other on the cheeks three times. When I read those in public, people seem to get a real kick out of them.
Are you working on another book project? If so, could you give us a hint about what’s it going to be?
I’m not working on a book per se, but I’m always writing and so I may at some point compile what I’ve written over the last couple years and put it all into another book. That’s basically what I did with the first one.
Luxembourgish is a hard language to learn, nonetheless you’ve taken on the challenge. How is that working out so far? Would you recommend expats living in Luxembourg to learn the language?
I’m not really one to say what other people should or shouldn’t do, but it seems to me if you’re living in someone else’s country it would be respectful and nice to at least try to learn some of that country’s language.
What’s your favourite Luxembourgish dish?
Gromperekichelchen! Bouneschlupp is good too.
What’s (in your opinion) the most beautiful place in Luxembourg?
Too numerous to narrow down. Gringlay up by Bourscheid is amazing, so is the Corniche in the Stad, as are of course the vineyards on the Moselle. Certainly, the otherworldly forests and rock formation of the Mullerthal too. The list could go on and on …
Do you have a favourite Luxembourgish song?
Un der Attert. (If I was rude, it say the Hesper Kutsch.)
Thank you so much for your time!
If you’d like to discover Mike’s book, you have the chance to win one on my Facebook Page 🙂 Take a look! The give-away is open until Sunday 29.03.2020.
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