Friday France Photo: Happy Hours
Friday February 29th 2008, 11:11 am
Filed under: daily life,nightlife,photos,signs,travel and places

happy hours bar in amiens
I guess it makes sense to say “happy hours,” afterall.
(photo taken in Amiens, France)

Pilgrimage from Britain to India is Foiled by the French
Friday February 29th 2008, 10:03 am
Filed under: cultural differences,news,people,weird

From Timesonline:

“Mark Boyle was a man with a dream. He was so convinced that a world without the evils of money is possible that he set out to walk from Britain to India without spending a penny in order to prove it.

But Mr Boyle, who hoped to reach Gandhi’s birthplace within two-and-a-half years, had reckoned without one sizeable stumbling block: the French.



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Dollar Drops to a Historical Record Low
Friday February 29th 2008, 5:30 am
Filed under: daily life,news,outside of France,shopping,tv and movies,weird

dollar weakest everUsually in the news, they say that the euro has risen to a record high, but I see it more like this: the dollar has plummeted to a record low, it’s never been this low. Ever. It’s like the peso! This means one euro equals $1.52, and that means one dollar equals about 66 (euro) cents. Ouch.

Needless to say, it’s probably not the best time to come to France with those pathetically wimpy dollars. [photo: Joel Saget]

French Pastries 101: Tarte au ch’uc (sucre) de ch’nord
Thursday February 28th 2008, 11:16 am
Filed under: cultural differences,daily life,food and drinks,Nord Pas de Calais,tv and movies

tarte au sucre
Since last week’s early release of the new movie (Bienvenue chez les ch’tis) about the particular group of northern French people, Les Ch’tis  seem to be the new black in France even before its official opening yesterday. We went to the movies at Cité Europe in Calais (the north) where there are 12 movie theatres. Four were dedicated to Bienvenue chez les ch’tis. All four were sold out and jam packed so we went to see Cloverfield.

Anyway. On to pastries. The tarte au ch’uc / sugar tart, is a typical Ch’ti pastry and so is pronounced “tarte au ch’uc” (shuke). These are not very easy to find unless you’re in the north. We spotted them at a bakery in Amiens where we visited last Friday. It’s basically a pastry crust with no filling but with sugar on top, as far as I can tell, but very tasty. If you ever meet a Ch’ti, he’ll reminisce for days about them…in addition to another Ch’ti specialty: beer soup.

Related: French Pastries

Are Cookies Catching on in France?
Wednesday February 27th 2008, 8:50 am
Filed under: cultural differences,daily life,food and drinks,shopping,travel and places

cookies wimereux france
This photo is from a “fancy” bakery’s window display in Wimereux, a dingy yet upscale beach town in the north of France – because cookies are starting to pop up here and there. It’s disorienting. Why? While these are cute, they aren’t necessarily enticing and who would choose cookies over French pastries…which RULE?

Not knocking cookies. It’s just that I can just make any ole cookie at home, and we are in France afterall and France has amazing pastries! Why buy a cookie when you can get a Paris Brest or Mille feuille or Tarte au n’importe quoi or Mousse au chocolat or lots of other mouth watering delicate pastries? Cookies, no matter how tasty, just seem so basic. I guess they’re la tendance / the trend – and trendy things seem better. But they aren’t. Necessarily.

Related: French Pastries 101