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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of course I'm totally curious to know the address of this blog!

does make one wonder how others perceive us, based solely on what we present on our blogs.

I've had that experience, too, and it's very jarring! A while ago a friend of mine told me she'd stumbled upon the blog of a woman we both knew. The funny part was that this woman had posted an entry about bullying and about supposedly being bullied. We had a good laugh, especially when we got to the part where she postulated that the reason she was being bullied was because she was such a nice, good, wonderful person.

As you can probably guess, we (and many others) had known her as a bully herself in "real life." She had made a lot of people miserable while she was in their lives. She was incredibly manipulative, narcissistic, vindictive, used people and then stabbed them in the back, and was always eager to play the victim in situations in which she always turned out to be the true aggressor.

Every once in a while my curiosity gets the better of me and I check back on the blog. She presents herself as this super sweet, cutesy sort of girl - similar to how she often presents herself in person upon first meeting someone. Reading it, you would think she were the nicest person in the world, and she even has a small following who seem to think of her that way. If only they knew!

Like you, it's really got me thinking. I wonder if she believes her own spin about herself, which leads me to wonder not only about the bloggers I follow but also about myself. Though I'm not a blogger, I wonder how close my perception of myself is to how others perceive me. It's a given that it won't be an exact match, but it's got me a little worried... What if the disconnect is just as great as it is with this woman, and I'm really hurting people all the while thinking of myself as a basically good person? Something to ponder.

What I wonder is if the people who meet her through her blog ever see the bad side of her. If you met someone for a short time, or never have to depend on them, maybe you wouldn't ever see it.

Allison, your last question is one I wonder too! I know for a fact, though, that I couldn't do the things to other people I have seen this woman do.

Now I read other blogs more carefully, I must say!

Can you give us a hint? Heh heh.

I wish I wish I wish I could!

So many mixed emotions reading this!
People often aren't what they seem and some are very good at creating a fiction about themselves and are verrrry adept at delivering on it, on the internet or otherwise.
And next "Oh gawd, I hope it's not ME she's talking about, and that feeling OMG although I think I'm nice and kind, I don't realize that actually I'm a nasty awful person. Really! :) (Phewffies, as I would say, since we haven't actually met.)
And next, yes those people who appear to be your friend but suck the marrow of your soul, your work, for their own advantage.
And next, can you give a teensy little hint, like, if she is in Paris?

No of course it's not you, Polly! It's too dangerous to say anything more, though.

This is my new favorite blog. The story of your concierge made me laugh, cry, angry, inspired--a very beautiful, human story of a real character. I think it is good to have these kinds of people in our lives from time-to-time. They teach us something and take off a lot of the rough edges we would otherwise have.

She may have been suffering from bipolar disorder, from some of the characteristics you described. I know that is so American of me, but it is entirely possible.

Thank you for this story. Of course I am dying to know who's blog you are referring to above, perhaps you will reveal it someday.

Thank you RJH! Especially for the comment about the gardienne. To tell the truth, the possibility of her having had bipolar disorder never occurred to me at the time. But now that you mention it, it seems as if it might really be an explanation for some of her behavior. How interesting!

Believe me I would love to tell people who the bloggeuse is! But it's not safe to do that.

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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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