Many of my experiences in France teeter on the insane if not singularly absurd, which is reason enough why I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I’m not sure if these events would happen in any other place than France – perhaps, but I like to imagine that it doesn’t.
The meeting I had last week was one of those strange but entertaining days where what would appear to be a boring hour or two, was instead, filled with some appeal. The actual content of the meeting was not interesting at all, but if not for the office’s medieval armor and weapon collection, which took up a good half of the office, I would’ve zoned out like I’d do in my high school history class. (Not history’s fault, the teacher’s!)
The medieval collection of armour, weapons and war paraphenalia was authentic, the real deal that a medieval soldier supposedly sported as he battled it out with medieval enemies. There’s a mace resting on the shelf of the radiator but I was hoping there’d be a different kind of mace; you know, the club with a spiked ball on a chain! (I know, I’m complaining!) In any case, the display was unexpected, weird and cool, just like my France.
Jacques Chirac: Yo Bruno, what kind of animal is that over there?
Bruno Le Maire: Since when do you say, “yo,” Jacques?
Chirac: It’s always been a part of my vernacular. BTW, you can call me Monsieur Chirac, and don’t change the subject.
Le Maire: Just because I’m the Minister of Agriculture doesn’t mean I know anything about agriculture. I actually hate animals and nature. Didn’t you see me on Canal Plus yesterday? I don’t even know what a turkey sounds like. I just wanted to be Minister and agriculture was the only one available. I took it because I knew les grands surfaces (large supermarket chains) would give me huge bribes to not denounce them because they’re fleecing farmers and French consumers.
Chirac: You sort of suck, Bruno. Of course, bribes are kind of nice.
A baker in the Vaucluse area of France has discovered the secret ingredient to a successful Galette du Roi: the same ingredient as most popular products: sex. Specifically, the boulanger put feves featuring various Kamasutra positions. Needless to say, the lines at the bakery rival those of Apple’s new product launches. Sales have obviously skyrocketed. How do the galettes taste? Who cares!
699 Avenue Vidier Maurice Marguerite
84270 Vedène, France
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 02 37 24
French people over the age of 45 or so, who’ve tried to study English, will all be able to say “My tailor is rich.” Some might not be able to say much more than that, but by God they can at least say that and that might come in handy…some day! I’ve met many people who’ve proudly recited this line to me. I never know how to respond.
This most absurd and utterly useless phrase is the very first lesson from a book called, L’anglais sans peine (English Without Pain). It’s a book that a lot of French people owned, and I recently found it at my in-laws! My dad in law can’t say too much more than “my tailor is rich.” How many more times will we all laugh when he says that to me? I don’t know.
The book is pure gold in its datedness, silliness and just plain wrongness and it’s something I must share here, albeit in little blog posts.
Here’s the cartoon that goes with lesson Number 1: My Tailor is Rich. From where the author pulled this out of, I can’t say.
I couldn’t resist posting this hilarious video. (Click on the image to watch the video.)
Carla Bruni Asks for a Finger Up Her Butt, in Seven Different Languages
France’s first lady is tres embarrassed that an old, raunchy episode of a talk show called Eurotrash has surfaced online. Now the French government is scrambling to get it yanked from YouTube. Here’s what they don’t want you to see.
Apparently the French government fought to remove a longer version of this video—in which Carla showcases a pair of “hot international sex guides” that teach international tramps how to say phrases like “Do you like my titties?” and “Put your finger in my bottom” in seven European languages—from YouTube. Eurotrash hosts Antoine de Caunes and designer Jean-Paul Gaultier (in the hot pink sailor suit, obviously) ooh and aah at the multilingual promiscuity of “Italy’s most elegant export.”
The yanked version apparently showed Carla discussing celebrity affairs with Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. The Daily Mail reports Carla is “shocked and dismayed” at the video’s “sudden reappearance.”
Nicolas Sarkozy has been caught on film telling a man “don’t get cheeky with me” after spotting him wiping his hands on his clothes after shaking hands. Mr Sarkozy looked visibly rattled as the man in his 20s made the highly provacative slur, filmed and broadcast by French TV channel TF1. The French president stepped back and jabbed his finger at the culprit, repeating three times “Fais pas le malin, toi” – meaning “don’t get cheeky with me”. The presidential loss of cool comes a year after Mr Sarkozy told a man at an agricultural fair to…
The following massacred French recipe was committed by the folks at that omnipresent family cafeteria/restaurant in France, Flunch, not me this time around.
We strolled by a Flunch yesterday and saw this huge sign for a new offering: The American Galette. While you’d think it would resemble a French sandwich américain, with its nonsensical bratwurst, grilled veggies and fries inside a baguette – surprisingly, La (chouette/nice) galette américaine sort of makes sense (in a Frenchy way) sporting basically a burger and its fixings inside a galette (a savory crepe usually made with buckwheat flour). Is it any good? I dunno but I think it needs fries inside!
Now the stereotype has been confirmed – by a French poll that completed the character assassination by labelling the capital’s inhabitants “snobbish” and “self-regarding”.
“We find them to be hard working and cultivated,” the political magazine Marianne said of Parisians in an editorial published alongside the survey.
“But we consider them to be above all way too arrogant, aggressive, flirtatious, stressed, chauvinistic, snobbish, and self-regarding than other French people.
More than 70 per cent of those questioned thought Parisians were more snobbish than other French people, while more than 65 per cent thought them more aggressive and arrogant. However, many of the French questioned did not think any of these characteristics were particularly negative, with 68…
The film, “La France change, ma région doit changer” (France is changing, my region should change) shows an eco-friendly house with solar panels on the roof, smiling schoolchildren and a mother hugging a little girl in a sunny garden.
A voice-over boasts about Mr Sarkozy’s achievements since 2007, and the benefits of living in France.
But the French TV channel Canal+ has discovered most of the footage was bought from Getty Images, and shot thousands of miles away in the US.
The family house used in the video is in Escondido, California – and UMP party bosses even failed to spot that a car parked outside it has US number plates. The class of happy schoolchildren from a mix of ethnic backgrounds live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And the mother with her child in the garden is really in..
Following Sarkozy’s horribly embarrassing nepotistic naming of his 23 year-old son to the powerful political post inside EPAD, the reactions are numerous. Many college students are requesting to be adopted by Nicolas Sarkozy so they’ll have a better chance at “finding” a good job; people are outraged, defenders are insisting little Sarkozy got elected! Whatever. WHY do you think he was elected? A few words: HIS DAD’S URGING. Duh,people.
Anyway, this one’s my fave. It’s a hilarious spot advertising a fake iPhone app called, “L’application Jean Sarkozy pour L’iPhone.” You don’t need to speak French to understand what that’s all about.
Here’s a silly fun ad from the U.S. explaining why things are better when they’re French. Soooo….. I haven’t seen French maids like that in the seven years I’ve lived in France – NOT saying they don’t exist but anyway…
Twenty short people were ordered to stand behind French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make him look taller while delivering a televised speech.
They were bused in after being “vetted” by aides of the French President who made sure none were more than his own height of 5ft 5ins.
The extraordinary scene unfolded at the Faurecia motor technology plant in Caligny, south of Caen, in Normandy, last Thursday.
Despite Mr Sarkozy’s lack of inches, he looked far more statuesque than usual as he posed in front of the group of white-coated technicians on a specially erected stage.
In a broadcast on French television on Monday, a woman researcher admitted on camera that she had been chosen because of her small size.
Asked by the TV journalist Jean-Philippe Schaller if it was necessary for her to be no taller than the President’s 5ft 5ins – a height which rises to around 5ft 7ins thanks to his stacked heels – she replied: “There you have it.”
Pictures were then shown of the 20 workers on board a coach which brought them in from other parts of the three-mile-square Faurecia site.
All admitted that they were among the smallest members of the 1,400-strong Faurecia workforce, and had been selected to replace the usual workers in the unit where Mr Sarkozy made his speech about the car industry.
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.
Not that you need another reason to love Paris, but I thought this would be an important addition to the list. Track athlete, Romain Mesnil, for some reason, decided to run naked in the streets of Paris with his … pole. Honestly, we don’t mind. If he needs some publicity, he should have it. Watch the video.
Mr Sarkozy, a man often ridiculed in France for preferring fitness to literature, has frequently expressed his disdain for “La Princesse de Cleves” (The Princess of Cleves), a novel by Madame de La Fayette which was published in 1678 and is taught in most French classrooms.
Now, French readers have adopted the book as a symbol of dissent: as Mr Sarkozy’s popularity falls, sales of the book are rising. At the Paris book fair this week, publishers reported selling all available copies of the novel, while badges emblazoned with the slogan “I am reading La Princesse de Cleves” were a must-have item that sold out within hours.
Mr Sarkozy’s views on the novel are hardly new. As far back as 2006, before he became president, he made a comment that left no doubt that his school memories of it were not happy ones.
“A sadist or an idiot, up to you, included questions about ‘La Princesse de Cleves’ in an exam for people applying for public sector jobs,” he said, adding that it would be “a spectacle” to see low-level staff speak on the challenging work.
Since then, Mr Sarkozy has repeatedly criticised the tale of duty versus love at the 16th century court of Henri II, suggesting that knowledge of it was not useful.
Over time, his attacks have bolstered the book’s popularity, and even given it a new role as a symbol of dissent at a time when public anger over Sarkozy’s economic policies is high.
Public readings of the work have proliferated at universities like the Sorbonne in Paris, hit by protests over government reform plans, and at theatres.
The cultural weekly Telerama this week published results of a survey asking 100 French writers to list their 10 favourite books. “La Princesse de Cleves” came third in the overall rankings, after masterpieces by Marcel Proust and James Joyce.
Telerama commented that it was unlikely Madame de La Fayette would have done so well before Sarkozy’s jibes.
“Turns out there’s still hope of getting paychecks in indie rock, just be cool with getting low-balled by French heads of state. The Wesleyan boys are seeking damages for President Sarkozy using “Kids” as his campaign soundtrack and in two web videos without just compensation. The administration did pay 53 euros to license the track, but MGMT’s lawyer claims that isn’t enough to cover the additional internet usage. Sarkozy’s counter offer: a sizable 1 (i.e. one) euro. Le you-got-served, MGMT. Actually, Sarkozy got served. With a lawsuit. Because that is statutory rape of his artist-fee obligations. (I’m a civil law expert, don’t worry about it.) Worth noting: The French government is in the midst of pushing through extensive anti-piracy and file-sharing legislation (i.e. vague irony). Sorry Sarkozy, MGMT are a very sexy duo who have international counsel for real. And all this after MGMT taught Paris the meaning of Thanksgiving. More at BBC.”