Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • bigarré

    Etymology: unknown.

    Avec le public bigarré du festival, des familles, des jeunes alcoolisés et des amoureux de la royauté britannique, vous sortez votre briquet pour entonner un Candle in the Wind déchirant avec Sir Elton John.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    Pro-Palestine demonstrators in Paris. Two big demonstrations are planned for Wednesday 23 July and Saturday 26 July.

    Drivers for car services, protesting a new measure to be voted on this Wednesday that would oblige them to return to their home base or off-street parking after every fare. The measure is meant to kill Uber and other such taxi competitors. Paris has far fewer taxis per capita than other world capitals, the metro closes at night, but Uber must be killed, because protectionism. Here's some more info on this issue.

    Corsican CGT union workers at the Schindler elevator factory, on strike since April 22. They want to be paid the same subsidy as their colleagues in Paris. The company says Paris is much more expensive than Corsica and that's why it pays the subsidy there. The workers say that living on an island should warrant a subsidy too.

    Public sector

    CGT union workers of Air France, calling for a ground strike on Saturday 2 August, not coincidentally one of the biggest travel days of the year in France. Passengers must be made miserable!

    Workers of the SNCF (French national trains, toujours eux), on strike Tuesday 22 July between Beauvais (Ryanair's "Paris" airport) and Paris

Go back to school in Paris!

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That looks like an eiffel tower tchotchke seller. I saw multitudes of these men, especially at Trocadero Square, and felt a little sorry for them. With so many of them around, each one can't be making many sales. I wondered if they were promised work to make up for their travel to France, and it turned out to be this.

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Today's quotation

  • If a woman is badly dressed, you notice her dress; but if she is perfectly dressed, she is the one you notice.

      --Coco Chanel (1883-1971)

    Si une femme est mal habillée, on remarque sa robe, mais si elle est impeccablement vêtue c’est elle que l’on remarque.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Big scandal in China over rotten meat provided by major supplier Shanghai Husi to fast-food restaurants, including McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks

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