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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« Free parking in August | Main | Logomania »


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Wait, I'm confused, the 14th of July?? Was the road still blocked off from Bastille Day? Or were they preparing for the holiday on August 15?

They had blocked off the middle of the street, leaving one lane on the outside in each direction. The central part of the road apparently has to be repaved every year after the tanks pass!

August is my favorite month in Paris [that is: when there's no heatwave]. A lot of things are closed and the city is packed with tourists, but the pace slows down and relaxes. There's no traffic in the streets, there's room in the metro, people are pleasant, work is cool. There's "une odeur de vacances", even if you have to work.

Hi Sedulia !

Actually last year, in 2005, there were no tanks in the parade, as far as Amerloque knows.

Several years ago the ecoayatollahs at City Hall were so unhappy that the pavés were being "ravaged" that they sent the bill for the replacement/repair work to the Ministry of Defense. There was a brouhaha in the press about this, and, at least in the 2005 Bastille Day celebration (and perhaps even in 2004, Amerloque seems to recall), there were no tracked vehicles, including tanks.

During the first part of this year it was announced in the press that the ecoayatollahs and the Ministry had come to an agreement, which allowed tracked military vehicles. The bill for repairs to the streets, according to the press, in being footed by the Ministry.


We were having lunch on the Blvd de Montparnasse and all of a sudden these tanks went zooming by at amazing speeds. I was with my husband family they all exclaimed "Oh la la la!" and I automatically exclaimed "Whoa". Don't know if I"ll ever shake that expression. :)

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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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