New Radars
Wednesday April 17th 2013, 9:24 am
Filed under: advice,cars/bikes/etc,daily life,news,tips,travel tip

Just when you’re beginning to spot all the radars on the road, these show up. The new radars they’re installing all over France are higher up than the old box ones and they can do much more than their predecessors. For example, not only will they flash you if you’re speeding by it, they can also measure the distance between you and another car (so the tailgater, whether a local or not, will get ticketed). They come in two sets so they also can measure your speed based on the distance between the two radars. The ones we noticed were about 5 kilometers apart. In other words, if you’re not speeding when you pass the first radar but begin to speed afterward, if your average speed is above the limit you will get ticketed because the second radar is also watching you and clocks you. This means you can get ticketed even though you’re not speeding by the radars (but were in-between). I’m not explaining this very well but simply watch your speed and keep an eye out for these new radars. Of course, if you never speed while driving, you have nothing to worry about.

radar and flash
I’m not advocating that you join the ranks of formula one drivers (please drive safely!), and I realize that it’s best to stay within the legal speed limits. However, sometimes we’re not sure of the speed limit. It’s merely a heads-up because frankly, we just need to know.

For what it’s worth, there are surely apps to let you know where radars are and/or where you can inform them of new radar locations.

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Meeting with Your Banker in France
Monday August 24th 2009, 4:30 am
Filed under: advice,cultural differences,daily life,funny,tips

banque en ligne monabank
Click on image to view video
The following clip might make some of you cringe, particularly those of you who bank in a large French city, and no matter what you do, can’t seem to contact your own banker. Ever. Since I’m not one of those people anymore (Our bank is in a small town where I have easy access to our banker. Yes, that IS possible.), this spot is sort of hilarious – but I’ve been there so know that I feel for you if this scenario is more of a reality in your life. The good news is that if you hang in there (the spot is sort of long), it offers a solution!!! NOTE: In French.

What to Do if You Damage Your Rental Car in France
Saturday May 23rd 2009, 5:18 am
Filed under: advice,cars/bikes/etc,tips,travel and places,travel tip

car accident in france
From jaunted:

“All this week Jaunted contributor Eric Rosen has been filling us in on his recent field trip, drinking his way through France. Today, however, he has a major buzzkill to report. Here’s how he learned to deal with denting a rental car in a foreign country.

Renting a car in a foreign land can be a pretty daunting prospect. You don’t know how compact a “compact” will be until you try squeezing in your luggage, your mother, and a few presents for friends back home into a tiny Citroën hatchback. You also pray that you remember how to drive a stick-shift well enough to avoid any accidents. Accidents do happen, though, and you should be prepared, especially when renting internationally.

The first and most important thing you should find out is whether your credit card offers insurance when you rent a car. Call your company, learn all you can about the program and its terms, and decide whether you should go with their program or with the rental agency’s. Usually the credit card’s insurance is a better choice since they are looking out for their cardholders’ interests (for once!), and you’ll have someone on your side in case you get into a scrape—no pun intended.

Many credit cards also offer life insurance and medical care as part of their package, which is not always the case with foreign rental companies. Just be sure you decline the agency’s third-party liability insurance when you sign the rental agreement, otherwise your credit card insurance is void.

Photo Op
Take pictures of the car before you drive it. The last thing you want is for the rental company to charge you for dings and dents that were already on the car when you picked it up. If you get into an accident, take pictures of everything as well, so you have visual proof of what happened, and what exactly your insurance should be paying for.

Call This Number
Every rental agreement has a number to call in case of accident or breakdown. Call it. Immediately. When someone picks up, insist they speak English so that you know exactly what is going on and what they are instructing you to do. It is also a good to look up a list of common car and accident words in the language you will be operating in before your trip. That way, you can explain small problems to a mechanic if something goes wrong along the way.

Then call your insurance company—have their number with you at all times—and explain the situation so that they can start a file on the claim.

If it’s only a dent or scrape, and the car is still driveable, you will only have to fill out a form when you return the car. Get a copy of that form to send to your insurance company so they can start the claims process.

If your accident is more serious than that, or if there are injuries, fill out a police report, seek medical care, and keep a record of all the files and bills involved to submit to your insurance.

When You Get Home
Make sure your insurance company has all the necessary documents, forms and information it needs…then wait. It usually takes about 45 days to process a claim. If the rental agency tries to charge you preemptively for the damages, have your credit card put the charges on hold until the situation is resolved.”

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A New Book! Je me ferais bien un… / I feel like (eating) a…

Boudin noir? Poulet rôti? Moules Frites? Un moelleux au chocolat? How ’bout some foie gras or a nice juicy côte de boeuf? I know you’ve been dying for a tête de veau, haven’t you? When you travel all the way to Paris, does it ever occur to you to hit the pavement in search of a croque monsieur? I mean, a really, really good croque monsieur? Well, the best one in Paris has truffles in it. I would travel all the way to Paris for that. If it was really exceptional, I wouldn’t even mind if it didn’t have any truffles. At the same time, I can’t imagine going to a fancy restaurant for a croque monsieur but hey, the best club sandwich in Paris is supposedly from Georges V, and I bet it is not a bon marché. I wouldn’t want to pay too much for a club sandwich, but my sweetie probably would. He LOVES club sammiches. Anyway, on to the book.

Je me ferais bien un… is a new Paris restaurant guide book in French written by Valérie Expert and Véronique André, and is a little different from most other Paris restaurant guides. The authors made it a mission to try a significant number of restaurants (they say they tried them all but c’mon) in Paris to find the best places for the French’s 52 most favorite foods and dishes suitable for all budgets. So in many cases you can choose a dish or dessert, for example, and find the best couscous from a fancy restaurant, a mid-range bistro or a budget restaurant.
steak in france

The book is organized in alphabetical order. So during those times when you say to yourself, “Je me ferais bien un… / I feel like a…” just look for the dish in the book you feel like eating then go from there. We can’t wait to try out the recommendations! Will their listings for the best hamburger pass our test? We will see about that. Oui, by the way, the hamburger is apparently a favorite among the French.

Here’s the list of dishes included in the book, if you were wondering: andouillette, assiette de légumes, baba, bar, blanquette de veau, boudin noir, caesar salad, cassoulet, choucroute, club sandwich, côte de boeuf, couscous, crêpes, croque-monsieur, eclairs/religieuses, foie de veau, foie gras, gambas, gigot d’agneau, gibier, hachis parmentier, hamburger, île flottante, langoustines, magret de canard, mille-feuille, moelleux au chocolat, moules-frites, os à moelle, oeuf/omelette, paris-brest, pâtes, petit salé aux lentilles, pigeon, pieds de porc grillés, pizza, plateau de fruits de mer, poulet roti, pot-au-feu, raie, risotto, ris de veau, salade thaï, sole, soufflé, sushi/sashimi, souple chinoise, tapas, tartare, tarte au pommes, tête de veau, truffe.

Je me ferais bien un…

29 janvier 2009 : La Grève générale ! / January 29 – General Protest in France
Tuesday January 27th 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: advice,cultural differences,daily life,news,people,politics,tips

la greve generale general protest january 29 2009

La Grève!

Just a heads up to those interested: There will be a huge strike on Thursday, January 29. Everywhere. Nearly Everyone. La Grève générale ! A general strike. I hope there will be a huge turnout. What is is about? Pretty much everything: the financial crisis, weak purchasing power, human rights, etc. It is basically the reaction of La rage du peuple! Be prepared to face some huge perturbations especially if you need to get anywhere. The syndicates are saying this will be absolutely immense, bigger than ever before.

La Grève!!!