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

  • ouistiti

    (literally: marmoset)
    Etymology: onomatopoeia from the sound a marmoset makes. Actual meaning: this is what you say in France when you want people to smile for the camera.

    Selon une étude réalisée par le fabricant d’appareils photo Nikon, le « ouistiti » utilisé en France au moment de se faire prendre en photo est le petit mot le plus efficace pour s’assurer un joli sourire.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    First strike in 43 years at an aeronautics company in Toulouse, Latécoère

    Public sector

    The SNCF (toujours eux), regional train employees in the Lyons area guaranteeing unpleasant travel from the 17th-21st December
    Also yet another strike by Sud-Rail, a particularly truculent SNCF union in the south of France, this time five days in January: 6,7, 21, 22 and 23. "We have no choice." Right.

    Marseilles trams on strike until February

Go back to school in Paris!

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« A rude word on the telephone | Main | Driving from Germany to France »


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Wait - you're not allowed to pump your own gas? Where is this paradise? (Although I suspect that makes your prices higher, I think we're paying around 1.30 a liter here)

I believe that in Paris intramuros, you're not allowed to pump your own gas. Yeah, I love that!

Okay, I'm trying to do the math here and its making my head spin because I'm just that good with numbers.

I know the "gas is more expensive outside of the US" principle well.


1 liter=.25 gallons

and you paid like $1.75 for a liter...which means that your gas costs...$6.92 a gallon.

Sum of this complex equation: That's expensive.

Gas is $2.25 a gallon here at the mo.

BUT. There are like 3 cities in this entire country where you can live and not rely completely on a car to go anywhere. Can't say that about France.

From Sedulia:
You're right, Sarah. Luckily you don't really need a car most of the time in Paris. In the U.S., only maybe Boston, New York and Chicago?

beautiful site and pictures!
But: it´s a pity that the pictures from my home town Munich in the album "Europe today" cannot be opened. Some pics of Frankfurt are also concerned. I tried it with different browsers, recent versions, but without success.
Best regards from Munich, Alex

From Sedulia:

Yes, unfortunately my webhost accidentally erased more than a hundred photos from this website. It's a big job putting them back up. I'll see if I can find the Munich ones. It's my favorite city of all I've ever lived in.

It's so hard to explain this to friends and family in the US. I think your picture says it all and I think I'll forward it to them. It's a lot of money and it's litres not gallons!

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Today's quotation

  • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

      –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

    À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.

News about France in English

Nice to Rude

In Paris, alone, need help?

Overblogs (blogs of blogs)

Paris France in English

Paris en photo