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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« Plain-clothes controllers: you have been warned! | Main | The trail of Post-its »


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A little strange to watch politics in the USA from across the Atlantic. Somehow the vision from this perspective is so much clearer, though.

I'm out and about looking for stories about the election from the expatriate view. I'll put links to what I find on my blog.

Meilleurs vœux!

Bush is a Christian?

Yes, it is amazing to me that so many hate Hilary while I think she is great even though she vasilates on some of the issues that are important to me. She worked so hard to straighten up the health care mess in the U.S. but the greatest monopolies on earth shot her down, big time. I have been reading alot about Obama. He might be able to win because the poor and the middle class appreciate him.

From this ex-ex-pat, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. It reminds me of the months leading up to the 2004 elections when I lived in Paris. I'm a bit surprised at how much the French attitude towards American politics has stayed with me.

I also don't think Hilary has a chance.

It's terribly embarassing to think about the politics mess here...thanks for putting up with us...I wish it would all go's like a bad dream

could you tell us more abour Obama? I've never heard of him too

From Sedulia: Mimi, try here:


and here:

What I find interesting as an American expat in Paris, is that the French of all walks of life just assume what my political beliefs are. I am not a Bush hater, nor do I think that the Democrats taking power is going to solve all the world's problems. But the French never ask me how I feel about the elections, they just say things like "Isn't it is terrible that Bush was re-elected? I'm so sorry." or "Aren't you relieved that the Democrats won? Now France and the US can be friends again!"

I guess they never met anything other than an outspokenly left-wing American before!

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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.

News about France in English

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