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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Why do American eat so much junk food?Both same answers!

Honestly, I can't stick it out. My lungs were damaged by chain-smoking parents and my brother died of lung cancer. Add to that the grandmother and aunt who died of emphysema and hey presto, you see in me a real smoke-phobe. I love the idea of a terrace seat, but in Paris I sit at that first row of tables, just inside the cafe. It makes all the difference.

@Katerina, if the person next to you is eating junk food, that does not affect YOUR body. I think that's the basic difference.

And what's even MORE ennuyering? THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW--the law was passed so that the 'workplace' would not make the workers sick. Um, last time I checked the servers had to WORK on the terrasse, serving the damn smokers. And so, after developing adult onset asthma thanks to a particular smoke incident in Paris, I now have to sit inside on a beautiful day. Or, more recently, in the hot weather, in it's rare appearance, I whip out my handy purse fan, turn it on and blow their smoke right back at them--amazing how quickly those cigarettes go out, not to mention the commentary exchanged--oh la vache! :p

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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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