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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That's why the Parc des Buttes Chaumont is so different, so not French, and in my opinion, so good.

I almost mentioned Buttes-Chaumont!... but it was the lovely exception that proves the rule. Unfortunately I don't live anywhere near it.

So much that I love about the Jardin de Luxembourg, but I do wish sometimes for a big of romp-worthy grass. We enjoyed discovering Buttes Chaumont last visit.
And I'm thrilled to see our own Stanley Park included with those other great city parks; it truly is a treasure.

Stanley Park is the most beautiful city park I've ever seen, but not every city has the luck to be as beautiful as Vancouver!

Have you walked in Le Bois de Vincennes, and better still inside Le Parc Floral? I have taken my kid there for years, every time we stop by the visit our relatives, in fact. Both wonderful places. Give them a try! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

I love this entry! It's so true, sometimes perfection can be a little boring!

I agree, Les Butte Chaumont is fantastic. but it is the exception that proves the rule. Such a bizarre park as well. Fake Roman temple on high with an amazing city view, big rolling hills, fake grotto - but all incredibly charming.

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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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