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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« The glamor of Paris | Main | Paris morning is night (in the winter) »


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Ha! ha! ha! Ah, Frenchies. "Tout un programme!" Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

I assumed that people liked the flocking because the trees get so dry from not being watered and that way there are less needles on the floor. Personally, I have scoured the city looking for a tree stand with a basin for water and it is IMPOSSIBLE. Am actually considering putting one in my luggage on the trip back after the holidays.

Love your post. Hate those flocked trees...especially the ones that are odd shades like royal blue, orange, and black!

I could never find a water-tree-holder in France so I brought one back from a trip to Germany. I had never thought of that reason for liking flocking but it makes sense. I had an old French lady tell me it was because it reminded her of her childhood when she had never seen snow and thought it looked like snow. She said now she knows snow doesn't look like that but the flocking still makes her nostalgic.

The material used in flocking is flame retardant, which may have helped in its acceptance.

Maybe they like to match their tree to their decor?

Never understood those flocked trees…..especially the black ones!

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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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