As they say in France, Slap this Man with a Large Trout!
Thursday May 31st 2007, 3:00 am
Filed under: health,paris,weird

[photo courtesy of chaojikazu]

The news about the man infected with a rare form of extremely contagious Tuberculosis (TB!) has been abuzz for a couple of days now – and it got weirder and weirder. I’d wanted to post about it because although he was advised to stay home and not travel, he traveled anyway and was on a flight from Atlanta to Paris and has most possibly infected passengers on that plane (May 12, Air France, Flight 385). The story weirdly continues as he’s later reported to have flown from Paris to Athens (to get married), then Athens to Rome (for his honeymoon), then he and his new wife escaped avoided the Italian health authories who were on their way to his Rome hotel by flying from Rome to Prague. Then, they flew from Prague to Montreal , Canada (because his passport had been redflagged in the U.S. – May 24 Czech Air Flight 104), then they drove from Montreal to New York in a rental car – but then flew from New York back to Atlanta (in a CDC Jet). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is concerned that he’s infected quite a number of people on those flights, not to mention his WIFE! and the people who were in close proximity to him at any of those locations and everything in between! The CDC recommends that passengers near the infected man receive TB tests as a precaution. (Airlines will be contacting those passengers.)

As an alarmist and paranoid person, I can’t help but realize that he was in Rome the same time as we were!!! Why didn’t he just stay put?! Geez.

UPDATE: It turns out that this guy’s father is a microbiologist specializing in rare TB cases at the CDC! Let’s guess where he contracted the disease … Oh and the guy has apologized. Pff.

Links: TB Patient Passengers Sought in Tuberculosis Probe, US Seeks Fliers Possibly Exposed to Rare TB, AJ

Don’t Let Smells Mix
Wednesday May 30th 2007, 10:32 am
Filed under: advertising & marketing,daily life,products

don't let smells mix brandt frig france ad agency

Too cute prints ads “Don’t let smells mix” for Brandt Refrigerators – created by ad agency, DDB, Paris, France – Executive Creative Directors: Sylvain Thirache, Alexandre Hervé, Head of Art: Sophie Mégrous, Art Director: Martin Darfeuille, Copywriter: Edouard Pérarnaud.

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Is Rome is Better Than Paris?
Tuesday May 29th 2007, 12:01 pm
Filed under: cultural differences,paris,travel and places,weird

rome is better than paris
“You cheer my heart, who build as if Rome would be eternal.”
– Julius Caesar (63 BC – 14 AD)

I think Rome might possibly be better than Paris. I know. Those are fightin’ words. Maybe I’m still under the magical spell of one of the most amazing cities EVER (Rome, that is), but for the life of me, I can’t help but wonder why the hell on earth Paris is the most visited city in the world, while Rome is in a distant 5th place? That totally baffles the mind. Rome RULEZ – and Paris is totally overrated!!!!!

I hear gasps worldwide coming my direction. Pfff. Bring it on…

This opinion is based on my one week holiday in Rome, which isn’t very long, I realize – while I actually have spent much more time in Paris as a resident. Perhaps if I lived in Rome, I might have the “honeymoon is over” syndrome? Who knows. For now, this is what I think, and I’m sticking to it.

Rome is better than Paris. Why? How?

– Much much more history in Rome.
– Stunning monuments and ancient ruins practically everywhere you go in Rome.
– Friendly locals in Rome. Um, Paris? hahahaha.
– Better coffee in Rome, hands down.
– The weather in Rome kicks Paris’ ass. So very much.
– The Pantheon, The Arch? THE Originals are in Rome!
– Rome has less POO on the sidewalks.
– Rome doesn’t smell like pee probably because guys in Italy use the toilets instead of walls and alleys.
– Michaelangelo.
– Leonardo da Vinci.
– The food in Rome was consistently excellent. Yes, you heard me correctly.
– Happier atmosphere.
– The ocean is nearby.
– Great seafood.
– Beauty is everywhere.
– Italian is prettier than French. hee!
– Rome is more relaxed.
– Cafe waiters are nice! OMG what a concept, right Paris?
– I gotta say this: Rome has less B.O.
– Gelato
– Cars stop for pedestrians in Rome.
– The Slow Food movement was founded in Rome.
– The Coliseum in Rome was built in 8 years. How long would it take in Paris?
– No bisou politics. A simple one kiss on each cheek in Italy ‘cept starting on the left side.
– Oh please. This list would take me years to complete.

In defense of Paris, I’ll offer these things: 1) Paris is quieter; 2) Paris has more wifi access; 3) Paris pastries are better except perhaps a simple panna cotta ai frutti di bosco; 4) transportation is more extensive but so what; 5) Paris’ marketing is better, which is why so many more people around the world have been brainwashed believe it is the most beautiful city on earth; 6) Parisian women dress better than Roman women; 7) Paris has more cheese.

Salve, Roma!

[A BIG thank you to our friends at Rome Apartment Rentals – Hi Fabrizio!]

Feathered Candidate for the French National Assembly
Tuesday May 29th 2007, 12:00 pm
Filed under: travel and places

francois grossi candidate franceHe wears a feathered Chief’s headdress (commonly worn by Native American Indian Chiefs), lives in a teepee without running water or electricity in The Vosges, and goes by the name, “Loup Solitaire” (Lone Wolf) but his real name is François Grossi – and he’s running for a seat in France’s National Assembly.

He seems kind enough, being quoted as saying that if he was elected, he’d fight against injustice, he won’t doing anything evil, and he’d sit in the last row inside the National Assembly so as not to have his feathers bother other members. Nice.

Read the article (in French)

[merci, solitaire friends!]

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Festival de Country Music, Mirande France
Monday May 28th 2007, 2:18 am
Filed under: events,music,tv and movies,weird

Festivals in France start to heat up in May then continue throughout the summer, but I’ve been on vacation (in Rome, which is no less than fabulissima, if that is a word. I don’t think it is but you get what I mean.) so I’m a bit behind in my search for food for the soul divertissements in France.

When I hear the words, “France” and “Country Music” in the same sentence, I’m convinced that this combination of words is a mistake. But just because country music is surely not food for MY soul, I do (I really do!) appreciate that millions of others find rapture and bliss in it.

And so (yes, this is going somewhere I swear.) I found something quite unusual, thanks to a conversation.

Recently, I asked my dad-in-law if he wanted me to get him something while I’m in New York next month. After a minute of thinking, he asked me to get him a hat from Dallas.

Me: “But. I’m going to New York. You’d like a hat from Dallas that I can buy in New York? Should I simply order online from a hat store in Texas and have it delivered?”

Dad-in-law: “Not the city of Dallas, la serie!”

Me: “OH! That show from the 90s?” (I’m not really sure when that aired but it had to air in France later after some dubbing time.)

Him: “I want a hat like JR.”

Long silence.

Me: “oooooOOOOoooo K…..”

I’d actually never watched that show but it was apparently La Serie (capital L capital S!) en France – so I had to do a little searchy to see what kind of hat ole JR wore – which brings me to this weird festival in France.

cast of dallas at festival in france

The Festival de Country Music in Mirande, France is a 5-day long celebration of all things country, including but not limited to special appearances by the cast of Dallas (Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Steve Kanaly and Charlene Tilton), lots and lots and LOTS of country music (16 hours per day, 73 concerts), dancing, hot air ballooning and more. Yeeeehawww! It’s the biggest country music festival in Europe and last year alone, 160,000 people attended. That’s really big for Mirande, which is a tiny village in southwest France (in Gascony between Pau and Toulouse) of 4,000 inhabitants.

Ready for the event? Then, saddle up and saunter over to southwest France. Don’t forget your cowboy boots, spurs, hat, (of course) and fuzzy chaps!

Festival de Country Music
Mirande, France (Gascogne)
July 11 – 15, 2007
Website: Mirande Country Music Festival