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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That's what I call "a step into the future" or "the future is now"! ha!

I had the same startled reaction when I had my first group conversation through MSN with my in-laws (mum, dad and brother) who live in Brazil. Hubby and I were here, in Canada, behind the microphone, and we could hear them all so clearly!

That must have been startling for you!

Maybe it was one of those wireless earpieces? It's connected to you phone via a technology called, "bluetooth." I have one, and I love it, but it really fakes people out!

LOL! This is very funny! I certainly would have been surprised to hear a stranger tell me they loved me while walking down the street.

I remember the first time I saw someone talking on one of those hands free cell phones several years ago. It was at a Starbucks and everyone in there was staring at this man sitting alone at a table apparently having a very animated conversation with himself. We were all trying to decide if this man was really quite mentally ill, he had a briefcase and was dressed in a suit and didn't look like the sort of person I was normally used to seeing talking to themselves. Finally he stood up and we saw he had an earphone in his ear and was speaking into a microphone attached to his phone. I think there was a collective sigh of relief in the Starbucks when we saw that

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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.

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