Someone really hates day and night.
Posted in photos, signs
Ici, c’est comme ça! / This is what we do here!
Maybe I’ve been in France too long, but am I wrong to think this is funny and even cute?
Posted in signs Tagged with: Bathroom Etiquette, france, french, signs
Seen on a sidewalk in Paris. Our story: it’s a message from an anglophone to a French lover. Now, hopefully that person can read English. If not, here’s what it says, Oui, t’était un bon coup au lit.
Posted in art/culture/design, daily life, paris, signs, travel and places, weird Tagged with: Yes. You Were Good in Bed.
Travailler plus pour gagner moins.
Posted in daily life, photos, politics, signs Tagged with: travailler plus pour gagner moins
Just next to Madonna in Paris, is this adorable rendition of Einstein, carrying a sign, “Love is the answer.”
Posted in art/culture/design, paris, people, photos, signs, travel tip Tagged with: Einstein Street Art in Paris, france, latin quarter, paris
Some people come to Paris to take photos of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame and The Arc de Triomphe, but I come here to take photos of game references. I’m strange that way. I love this “Leave us alone!” from the game, Bubble Bobble. If you’re wondering (I know you are!), this one’s at the corner of rue du Temple and rue Rambuteau.
Posted in games/software/tech, paris, photos, signs Tagged with: bubble bobble, france, french, games, paris
From the Fondation Cartier:
The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is pleased to present Born in the Streets—Graffiti, on view from July 7 to November 29, 2009. Occupying the entire gallery space of the Fondation Cartier, as well as the building’s façade and surrounding garden, the exhibition brings to light the extraordinary development of an artistic movement that was born in the streets of New York in the early 1970s to rapidly become a worldwide phenomenon. Today, graffiti has entered the cultural mainstream, crossing over to the realms of studio art, design and advertising. Yet, despite its immense popularity, this essentially illegal activity continues to evolve at the periphery of the contemporary art world, its origins and history little-known to the general public. This exhibition attempts to sketch the general contours of a subject that is vast and complex, a form of expression that has come to embrace many different techniques, ideas and styles. The exhibition traces the origins of the graffiti movement while offering a panorama of the diversity of contemporary writing. It provides the public with the opportunity to rediscover an art both ubiquitous and continually evolving, and thus relate to the city in a new way.
Posted in art/culture/design, news, paris, signs
I have to admit I’m equally fascinated and disgusted by the website, This is why you’re fat, and I had the same feeling the other day at the mall when I saw this meal posted at Flunch (a cheap eats cafeteria). It made me wonder when there’ll be a French equivalent of that website. Obviously taking inspiration from the U.S. it looks as though France is pushing calories with this “Super Tennessee,” which looks like two hamburger patties, Canadian bacon, cheese and a fried something at the bottom (I’m thinking it’s deep fried hash browns or something like that – served with French fries. Ok, it’s not as over-the-top as some of the items on TIWYF but still.
Posted in food and drinks, signs, weird
Now I know why it can be hard to find unusual and real antiques and meubles de métier here in France. They’ve been shipped to the U.S.!
Based in San Francisco, The Butler and the Chef offer an enormous and impressive collection of French antiques and other collectibles for people looking to add some functional French style to their homes.
The Butler and The Chef – French Antique Showroom
290 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.626.9600 Fax: 415.626.9601
Posted in art/culture/design, daily life, outside of France, shopping, signs, travel and places
From the latimes:
“Over the centuries, the French have cultivated the fine art of rebellion.
The list of targets encompasses tyrants, wars, colonialism and, above all, capitalism in its many manifestations. The latest enemy may seem unlikely: billboards.
The Dismantlers, as a nationwide group of anti-ad crusaders call themselves, aren’t violent or loud or clandestine. In fact, they invite the police to protest rallies where they deface signs. With a copywriter’s flair, one of their slogans warns: “Attention! Avert your eyes from ads: You risk being very strongly manipulated.” The goal of the Dismantlers is to get arrested, argue the righteousness of their cause in court and, you guessed it, gain publicity.
“We challenge the mercantile society that destroys all human relationships, professional relationships, health, the environment,” said Alexandre Baret, 35, a founder of the group. “It’s a message that proposes to attack advertising as the fuel of this not very healthy society.”
Despite the stick-it-to-the-man rhetoric, there were neckties and briefcases in the crowd at an evening rally here a while back. Part-time insurgents had come from work for the gathering in the Place Malesherbes, an elegant, tree-lined plaza graced by statues of the author Alexandre Dumas and his musketeer hero D’Artagnan, one of literature’s most irrepressible swashbucklers.
The 80-odd demonstrators, looking bohemian and stylish, listened to Baret set the ideological stage. The red-bearded schoolteacher and father of four explained that he doesn’t want to abolish advertising, just …” continue reading
Posted in advertising & marketing, cultural differences, daily life, news, paris, signs
Protect Nature / Respect the Environment / No Swimming Allowed
tags: signs, photos of france
Posted in Bourgogne/Burgundy, environment, nature, photos, signs, travel and places Tagged with: environment, france, french, nature, no swimming, photos
When we first moved to France in 2002, I was a big snacker, as many Americans are. It was part of life and when I began searching for French snacks in Nice, it was a huge disappointment. In fact, I remember blogging about how we were able to find potato chips but only “au parfum paprika,” and other so-called different parfums, which in fact all tasted exactly like BBQ potato chips. Not knocking those, but I wanted different things to munch on, some variety in textures and flavors, artificial flavors and ingredients notwithstanding.
In the U.S., we’re used to variety, so much of it, that’s it’s hard to decide what to snack on. Having choices is good. It’s great for someone who must have a full spectrum of junk food, whether it’s good for zee health or not. Wasn’t I relieved to find Roasted Chicken Flavored Chips in France? Anyway. Another thing I’m used to, as an American, is volume. Gimme some tortilla chips, not just individual lunch bag sizes, but JUMBO, heaps of mega amounts of genetically modified corn substances and oils pressed together in the shape of triangles. Throw some in the oven with cheese and add salsa, guac, black beans, jalapenos, sour cream, onions and more cheese and voila: yummy nachos. I can eat an entire pan in one go, whereas in France, this portion would be served to at least 10 people.
On the sweet side of junk, I also needed volume. An example: I was very much a M&Ms with peanuts kind of person. Gobs and gobs and gobs of them, I would munch all day if I could.
During the early years in France, the biggest bag of M&Ms with peanuts held approximately 15.3 M&Ms with peanuts. PFFFF! I was like, “don’t make me laugh, France. I could eat 100 bags of those itty bitty things. Gimme more!” Where was the humungous bag to fill my ginormous American belly???
Recently, we saw some XL bags of M&Ms in Auchan. My sweetie noticed them and squealed XL! So, yeah, it was pretty big for French standards considering these didn’t even exist a few years ago. I was mildly impressed, but this French EEKSelle was a mere 500 grams (about 1 pound). Frenchies would probably say, “Ouah. Enorme!”(wow. enormous!) while ogling the outrageousness of its packaging. I say, “PFFF! That’s a Barbie portion.”
Last month while shopping at Costco in L.A., we saw some bags of M&Ms. Each weighed 1587.6 grams (3 pounds and 8 ounces)! Now, THAT’S what I’m talkin’ ’bout! To be honest, even I was shocked at the magnitude of the bag. But! In the back of my mind, I was thinking, “I bet there’s one that’s EVEN bigger!” I’m so American. I’ve probably watched way too many episodes of The Simpsons. (You know what episode, I’m talking about.)
We bought several. Not for me because these days I don’t eat as much junk (remember junk food is BAD for you!), but rather, for a few of our French friends who we know are ravenous M&M addicts. They were all shocked and happy with their supersized gifts, exactly what we were hoping.
But just afterward, it all made me a little worried. I hoped those M&Ms last a while and aren’t eaten right away…
While I complained about the dinkiness in size of M&Ms bags and other snacks, and the lack of variety in France, I was, at the same time, relieved that I would not have the challenge of resisting eating these as well as other junk in grand quantities. Like many people, I can’t eat just 1, or 10 or even 15. The French were known to be bafflingly skinny for many reasons, but namely because of a lack of junk foods and specifically a lack of large quantities of junk foods, or food in general – with the exception of meat at BBQs.
Sadly, times are changing in France. We found these M&Ms in the store the other day. They were size “Maxi” (whose name would obviously NOT work in the U.S.). The maxi bag is 1000 grams, just over 2 pounds. France, you surprise me sometimes. So, it’s big but there’s still a difference of about 587.6 grams, about 1.2 pounds, to catch up with their American counterpart. But 2.2 pounds is fairly large for previous French standards.
I know! This is what I was hoping for, but not really.
M&Ms is just one example but there are thousands of products that can also apply here to the obvious conclusion: an increase in product sizes will lead to an increase in consumption, which leads to obesity. This happened in the U.S. which is partly why one third of Americans are obese.
Obesity is rising already in France but I’m afraid it will only increase exponentially with the supersizing of portions and with the imports of industrial foods. In 2002, when we first moved to France 9.4% of the French population was obese. Just four years later, that percentage increased to 12.4%. That’s nearly 8 million obese people in 2006. I don’t know more current stats on obesity in France but I’m fairly positive that it’s more than 12.4%.
tags: france, french, obesity, m&ms
Posted in advertising & marketing, conspiracy theories, cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, health, products, shopping, signs, weird
Val de Reuil, located just south of Rouen has expressed their Obama love with this hard-to-miss billboard. I thought that was kind of cool.
tags: france, french, obama, val de reuil, yes we can, french billboards
Posted in advertising & marketing, celebs, cultural differences, daily life, Haute-Normandie, news, people, photos, politics, signs
This restaurant’s name probably doesn’t bug other people as much as it bugs me – but what on earth are people thinking in Nimes??? The restaurant is called, “Le Sake,” you know, “sake” being the alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice from JAPAN!? YET. The restaurant specializes in Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. That’s like calling a place Sombrero and selling underpants there.
You know what I mean.
I don’t care if the restaurant is good or not – I’m boycotting!
tags: france, french, sake, nimes, badly named restaurants, fail
Posted in advertising & marketing, daily life, food and drinks, funny, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, photos, Provence, restaurants, signs, weird
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.
tags: france, french, carrefour, rotten eggs
Posted in advertising & marketing, business / economy, daily life, food and drinks, health, news, paris, products, shopping, signs, tips, weird
We spent a gorgeous day with our niece, meandering around the village of Le Touquet Paris-Plage, a small beachtown in northern France. It didn’t occur to me until after we saw this restaurant with extra EXTRA large hamburgers, that today is the 4th of July. Happy 4th of July! We would’ve commemorated my birth country’s independence here at Jean’s Cafe, which is a restaurant à la americaine (and à l’anglaise) but we had just finished eating some tasty tapas just up the street. Incidentally, I don’t think I’d want the Hamburger XXL, especially one that costs 17 euros, just a little more than $26. (I might be tempted by the ribs, however.) I don’t think I’d want anything XXL unless it was a French pastry or artisanal chocolate or Italian gelato or a pizza pie from Giordano’s.
We couldn’t resist but ask Jean’s Cafe how XXL the Hamburger XXL was exactly because we all knew that if we had an XXL burger in the U.S., it’d be like a 5 pounder of ground beef, with an extra cheese-like substance, a head of iceberg lettuce, 8 sliced pickles (amusement park-size), a whole sliced onion, waterfalls of ketchup and mustard – all inside a bun the size of seat cushion. You know? Anyway, the XXL is 250 grams of hamburger meat, roughly a half-pound of meat. That’s a LOT for French people but maybe a measly morsel for Americans. Ok, it’s huge, I realize, but I keep thinking about that Simpson’s episode where Homer eats 4.5 pounds of steak… so a half a pound is…you know how the French say… Les doigts dans le nez. (literally, fingers in the nose, which is suppose to mean, “piece of cake”).
tags: france travel le touquet extra extra large hamburgers in france 4th of july
Posted in food and drinks, funny, Nord Pas de Calais, signs, travel and places, travel tip
Remember recently how the media was reporting that France was heading for U.S. obesity levels? Well. It has arrived. I saw this store for large sizes 44 to 52, which is alarmingly huge. We’re used to seeing these stores in the U.S. where obesity is commonplace and has been for decades, but in France, it’s fairly new. I hope it’s a temporary thing.
I like that the French stores take a more “soft” and kind approach, and never say, “larger,” “bigger” or even “plus” sizes – even if they are for overweight and obese people. Toscan is a spinoff from Armand Thiery, but when we were shopping at H&M in this very same mall (Cap Sud) in Avignon, they had a large size section, which is relatively new.
What does this mean about France?
1. People are FAT! And are getting fatter! 42% of French women are overweight. The rate of adult obesity is 25%. With children, there was an overall overweight and obesity prevalence of 17.8%, with an overweight and obesity prevalence of 25.3% in boys and 16.5% in girls aged 11-14 years and 16.7% for boys and 16.5% for girls in the 15-17 year age group (from a 2007 study).
2. The French can no longer indulge in disdain toward the U.S. when it comes to obesity. Don’t they LOVE to show supersize, bulging, ripply, jiggly Americans on TV!? That’s over, TF1.
3. French people are beginning to eat more processed foods. The weak buying power has forced many people to shop the center of the supermarket – meaning, the cheaper but more caloric items versus the fresh foods, which are found in the periphery of the market that are more expensive, less caloric but more healthful.
4. There is a need to monitor what kinds of foods get imported into France. Example, do they need to bring in GMO cereals ladened with corn syrup, trans fats, and other (as Michael Pollan likes to call them,) “food-like substances”? This is the government’s role: to protect its citizens.
5. Risk Factors associated with obesity – will increase health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure in adults and children. This will also decrease the overall lifespan of the French.
tags: france obesity big sizes fat french
Posted in books/magazines, cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, shopping, signs, weird
Strategically placed at the toll booth where you have to stop, you can’t miss this warning. Here’s what the sign says reminding people driving on the road to pull over and rest if they show any signs of fatigue. Or else!
After the first signs (of fatigue), Don’t go any farther.
Posted in advertising & marketing, cars/bikes/etc, daily life, photos, signs, travel and places, travel tip
I almost didn’t notice this fun street art in the pedestrian shopping area of old town Saint-Brieuc, Brittany France, and would’ve just walked by without taking a picture. Good thing I did a double-take!
tags: france travel street art bretagne saint brieuc brittany
Posted in Bretagne/Brittany, photos, signs
More Chinese haters of France. In this case, it’s a taxi driver that is refusing Frenchmen and dogs. What about French women? French children? Are they turning away French poodles? Bichon Frisés? The noyve.
I don’t think France cares too much if she’s hated but don’t you wonder why China is picking on France specifically – when there have been boycotts all along the world path of the Olympic torch? What about England? What about the U.S.? Japan? They tried to trample the Olympic torch, too.
And, and, and, what did dogs do to deserve that? Can’t we all just get along?
Posted in events, funny, news, outside of France, people, photos, politics, signs, weird
I know these Chinese guys didn’t mean for this to be funny and for all intents and purposes it isn’t funny, but still…
They just don’t GET it.
Hey, and Napoleon’s a pervert!
Related: Olympic Torch
Posted in funny, news, outside of France, politics, signs, weird
This parking lot sign has two messages. In French, you simply pay for parking at the machine before getting into your car. The English version is different. It starts out nicely and politely with the “Could you…” No question mark at the end though, but anyway. THEN! Lucky Anglophones, it gets even better for you. You see, if you speak English, when you come back to the parking lot, you get to PICK a car. Don’t want to get into your own car? TAKE another.
Posted in daily life, funny, signs, travel and places
As most people expected, Reporters without Borders did manage to get some attention during today’s Olympic torch relay in Paris protesting against China’s inhumane treatment of the people of Tibet. There was so much disruption everywhere that the last leg of the Paris torch relay was canceled.
Related: Photos from Paris Bloggers, Olympic Torch
Posted in cultural differences, news, paris, people, photos, politics, signs, sports Tagged with: 2008, france, olympic torch, olympics, paris, reporters without borders
Definitely, don’t take your horse across this bridge.
Posted in daily life, Dordogne, photos, signs
We wondered if people walking down rue de la Sagesse (Street of Wisdom) in Perigeux realize there are words of wisdom at their disposal right under their noses.
To be more accurate, the words are right under their feet as they stroll down this tiny ruelle. If you see this statue of a very plump woman (actually, her face looks a lot like Jar Jar Banks with shorter ears from Star Wars), then you can take a walk down wisdom lane.
This was the only street in Perigeux that had these cute tiles.
Liberté = Freedom
Sagesse = Wisdom
Paroles en l’air = Idle Talk
Tout est Poésie = Everything is poetry
Nu comme un vers = Nude like a verse (which is more poetic than using the real saying of nu comme un ver / nude as a worm )
A vous de jouer = Your turn / It’s up to you.
Good thing we stumbled up them. The tile messages give you something to think about. (especially worms) So now we’re wiser. Maybe.
tags: france travel dordogne perigeux perigord hotels in dordogne
Posted in Dordogne, signs, travel and places