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 Sedulia !

Montparnasse Cemetery is worth a visit, too, in Amerloque's view ...

Those interested in Russian civilization might find it of interest to visit the Russian cemetery in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, outside of Paris. There are something on the order of 10,000 Russians buried there; many of them are from the emigré community which flourished in the 1920s. Amerloque took an American friend of Russian extraction and his Russian-born spouse out there recently (last year) … The website is in French.


Beautiful and evocative. Thanks!

The city of Paris is sponsoring guided walks through all of the cemeteries this month -- I'm bummed that can't make Pere Lachaise visit today. Here's the link:

farah diba is still alive
here's her official site:
it is the tomb of the empress' mother, and her daughter

From Sedulia: Thanks Philippe. I'll add a note.

I was at Pere Lachaise today. Let me know the next time you return and I will show you Heloise and Abelard. It is actually just down the hill from Jim Morrison, who I can't believe is so visited.

wonderful and informative, thanks

i am doing a project in French class on All Saints Day and these pictures were an amazing help to me! thanks so so much!

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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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