Dialogue Entre Barack Obama and Francois Hollande
Monday August 20th 2012, 12:06 pm
Filed under: business / economy,dialogue,people,politics

barack obama and francois hollande
This is actually not very funny to me but hey, whatever. C’est la vie as they say in my quite possibly soon to be ex-host country. This is not an isolated case. Not only are American businesses in France going to suffer, French small businesses will feel the wrath as well (if they don’t already feel it). If you’re in France or you visited recently, I’m sure you’ve seen many places out-of-business. This is why a lot of people have moved to England. It’s not a new thing; the tax/social charge system in France for entrepreneurs/independent business owners is dysfunctional and always has been; it’s just going to get worse. The state of the economy doesn’t help, either, and we’re not prepared to take on continous and conscientious struggle. It was really fun and good while it lasted (10 years!), so thanks for the good times. If, by chance, something miraculous happens in our favor, we’ll stay. Otherwise, it’s going to be a reluctant au revoir très bientôt. By the way, this website may be up for sale soon so send me offers!

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Why Coffee and Cafes in France Have Gone Downhill

french coffee and cafes going downhill

Over several years now, a strange thing has happened in France: the coffee started to suck. Yes, there were cafes that served terrible coffee forever, but for the most part in the early 2000s, it was still flavorful, very drinkable sludge espresso. It was French coffee, the coffee that I expected to have each time I came to France. I liked it, and the quality was very consistent from cafe to cafe. So when we moved to France six years ago, I was happy to be able to live the cafe experience, meeting people, hanging out, watching passers-by and sipping tasty coffee as often as I pleased. I used to always be surprised that I wouldn’t get the shakes if I had a double shot. However, soon afterward, I began not really enjoying my cuppa because of a declining quality, and in some cases, I developed a strange rash from drinking some brands of coffee, not to mention, getting the shakes (which I get when I drink American coffee). Slowly and surely, I reduced my consumption of coffee, and today, I don’t drink any coffee, whatsoever.

I miss it but I can’t seem to find anything I like. Apparently, I am not alone.

More and more people have stopped going to cafes, which has forced many cafes to close. In fact, since the beginning of this year, 610 cafes in France have closed their doors to the public forever. They just couldn’t make it. Many of these cafes had been in business for many generations.

Why did this happen? Expert have found many reasons that have played a contributing role, but for me, ultimately two were responsible, and it’s specifically these reasons that acted as the final coups de grace:

1.) The Case of the Free Coffee Machines – In the early 2000s, thousands of cafes were offered “free machines” for their establishments. “Free” is not entirely accurate and this “free” had heavy strings attached. In exchange for the free machines, the cafes were obliged to use coffee supplied by the company that offered the free machines. Guess what? That coffee is CRAP, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out which company offered the free machines. (see appropriately numbered, number 2 below)

2.) Good coffee companies were bought by evil corporations – There is no doubt in my mind that corporate mergers brought quality down in coffee; it happened right before my very eyes and taste buds.

There are other factors why cafes have shut down.

3.) People stopped going to cafes. Why? The coffee sucked! Also #4 below.

4.) Weak Purchasing Power – Crazy inflation occurred when France turned to the euro. Prices went up but salaries did not. That said, even with less money to dedicate to little luxuries, I feel that people would still frequent cafes if the coffee was good.

5.) The popularity of home coffee makers using capsules – I hate these with a passion, and I hate that they have become so popular. I don’t care what they taste like because I find them to be very unfriendly to the environment. So wasteful. Why oh WHY did George Cluny agree to do those “What Else” spots? Doesn’t he CARE? Having said that, I think people in general were looking for alternatives to find more tasty coffees since they couldn’t find them at the cafes.

6.) The Smoking Ban – Since smoking is no longer allowed in cafes, that has hurt businesses in a big way.

Related: Dirty Secrets of a Paris Cafe Waiter, What happens when Europeans watch too much American TV, Bamboo Coffee Filters,

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France Pulls Toxic Chinese Food

From sinolinx:

France has recalled sweets and biscuits made with Chinese dairy after finding high levels of an industrial chemical.

In China, four babies have died and 53,000 have fallen sick after consuming milk products contaminated with the chemical melamine.

The EU banned imports of Chinese baby food containing traces of milk in response to the scare last month.

The recall of White Rabbit sweets and Koala biscuits is the first such order to be made by a European country.

French consumers were warned to destroy or return the tainted products after tests showed high levels of melamine, which can cause kidney failure.

“The first results of tests conducted in France have shown a melamine level above the warning level set by the European Commission at 2.5mg per kilo,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

So far there have been no identified cases of health problems associated with the contamination in France.

The recall is the strongest measure yet taken by a European country amid a worldwide health scare over Chinese milk products that has led several countries to ban dairy imports from China.

It came as China issued new quality controls for its dairy industry and promised more severe punishment, including public naming, for anyone found to have violated safety standards.

Some Chinese dairy farmers are accused of fraudulently adding melamine to watered-down milk to make the product appear rich in protein and to fool quality control tests.”

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One Bad Apple: Toxic Mac Pros
Sunday September 28th 2008, 9:23 am
Filed under: articles,business / economy,daily life,games/software/tech,news,products,shopping,weird

From gizmodo:

“One of the croissant-snarfing editors at Gizmodo France passed along this article that alleges the Mac Pro gives off toxic vapors. Translating from the language of lose to the language of guns, soccer moms and hot dogs results in a bit of discombobulation, but the gist is that a CNRS lab researcher got a Mac Pro, and after his eyes and respiratory tract were repeatedly agitated by a “stench,” decided to break down the noxious vapor coming off the Mac Pro. They found “seven volatile organic contaminants.” Though the worst they do inhaled is cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation—ingested is another story—benzene is the most troublesome, since inhaling it eight hours a day over could affect one’s bone marrow. Apple’s response?

The researcher says that after first alerting Apple to the issue, “I got the same answer each time, our skate launcher warning: ‘Our engineers are working on the problem.’” (I’m assuming “skate launcher” is a Google Translate cock-up. Giz France editor says “Skate Launcher warning = the guy from the CNRS lab who tried to warn Apple.”) Since publishing the report, Apple has promised “to resolve the problem in eight days.”

I wouldn’t chuck your Mac Pro out the window yet, but if you’re particularly digging that new car smell, I’d probably cut back on huffing it, until this is sorted out.”

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Carrefour is a Rotten Egg

If you shop at Carrefour, you might have noticed a strange sign they’ve put up near the eggs that first says that eggs stay fresh 25 days after they’ve been packed, then says, “we remove eggs 7 days AFTER the expiration date.” This should be an indication that you should NOT buy eggs from them or at least check the date very carefully. They do this so you cannot return rotten eggs and get your money back.

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