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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Hi !

Amerloque almost screams in frustration when, in the USA, a person at his table pulls out a lipstick and compact in public. Ca ne se fait pas. (grin)

Making one's own mayonnaise is crucial, no ? (wider grin)

Ah, le savoir-vivre à la française …


Thanks for the reminder about "no." I once got the Detaxe at the airport without having my "stuff" with me...even though the supervisor there pointed to the big sign and told the woman dealing with me no way. Then again, I was wearing a wide-brimmed black hat. Doors everywhere open for a woman in a big black hat.

Sweet entry! And it's funny how the mayonnaise thing sticks out...we'll all be rooting for you on that one.

Living in the states, I can only attempt one or two things from afar. Am proud to say I can make a good cassoulet and seven hour lamb. Fork and knife are always in my hand. But nothing like living there, sigh.

Making mayonnaise really isn't too difficult. I've never even thought about where I was when I reapplied my lipstick. You're saying that in Paris, one must go to the toilet?

I was looking at your photos, the one of the wonderful door on 29 Avenue Rapp in particular. You made the statement that you wished you could see it in a movie. I wanted to let you know that it is in the old movie musical, Gigi. Gigi's aunt "lives" in the building.
Hmmm-I put my lipstick on where ever I am. I guess I must be getting nasty looks but I've never noticed.

Ah oui, never take "no" for an answer. It really is the beginning of all negotians in France isn't it? When I first came here I constantly heard, "Eets not posseeble" but now I know that means – everything is possible...

Ms. Glaze

All I wish to say is that [impossible remark]. That is all! ...

From Sedulia: Stay off my blog or I'll write on your Facebook Wall!

First, I really enjoy your blog.

I just moved to Paris in September, and I find your lists totally right (and hilarious). I am sure I was getting funny looks the other day when I applyied lipstick in the Place des Vosges. I am here with my 7 month old son, though, who provokes strangers to speak to me constantly. My poor French has improved quite a bit as a result, I am happy to say.

Agree on the negotiations. Oh the shocked looks I get back in Canada when I try to negotiate terms...

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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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