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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« Delanoë disaster. The Mayor is killing Paris. Oh, and me, too. | Main | All Saints' Day in France »


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Sedulia, I am sad for you. First the mayor, the traffic, and now no Halloween. ::sigh:: No fun to be had anywhere in Paris these days.

I'll have my girls light their pumpkins in your honor tonight!


From Sedulia: It's not really Paris, Deb, it's me. I'm just a bit sick of it at the moment.

Be fully reassured, Sedulia : tonight in some gay bar in the Marais, I still could see some sreaming gay fairies and queens all dressed as skeletons and witches (one tooth missing), pumpkins, cobwebs and bats all around.
Tradition isn't dead, though Paris is.

It's funny, but I've been having the opposite reaction to Halloween in France. It just seems wrong and a little depressing, since it's at best a half-hearted attempt. Maybe it's only because I've arrived as it's falling back out of favor and I'm feeling protective of it. I actually prefer the idea of your original party where it was something special you shared with your children's classmates.

Halloween! So many memories...our first year in Nice, my then 9 year old daughter wore to a Halloween party a mask she had just bought in Venice. The mom told her, "That's okay. It's a Carnaval mask, but you didn't know." No other kids dressed as anything but scary goblins. Not the last time she would feel like a foreigner for being creative.

I'm out reading Halloween related posts by expatriate bloggers...and putting the links to them on my blog. 

Meilleurs vœux!

Yes, it's better not to get one's hopes up for a kind of celebration that doesn't seem to fit here. (sniff) :(

Hi Sedulia !

Next year, if there is a next year (gosh, with "global warming", one never really knows, does one ? –grin-); perhaps there should be a Hallowe'en Pumpkin Party for Parisian bloggers. In that way, Amerloque can attend and still retain his anonymity, since he'll be wearing a mask. (grin)


This is wonderful! As a french teacher in the California, I'm looking searching for real life in France. Now, what about Christmas. How does it compare to the US in decorations and get-togethers, gift giving, etc. Thanks, Janine

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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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