Archive for June, 2011


Yet Another Grève

Today’s strike is brought to you by the taxis of Paris. The drivers were not granted the meeting they requested with the Minister of the Interior, so they are not working today, and may even block traffic to make their colère known.

French Office Life

So, you’ve done it! You’ve moved to France and by some miracle, landed a job that will give your life meaning and line your pockets cash! Yay, good for you! That, already, is some feat. Before you get too excited, be prepared for some cultural differences, good and bad, that will make this experience unlike […]

Vandalizing the “Post No Bills” Sign

I previously wrote about the ubiquitous ‘Defense d’afficher’ signs that can be seen painted on municipal walls around France, but my attention was drawn recently to another variation on this message. This one was a small white plaque screwed into a brick wall in a non-descript back street, but what particularly stood out was the […]

How NOT to Flirt

It all started when Mr. Potato Thief tried to chat me up by asking me whether he should order fries. As a potato-lover, I scoffed at him and responded affirmatively with a resounding, “OF COURSE.” Mr. Potato Thief ultimately opted out of fries, citing the fact that he was “on a diet.” Again, I scoffed at […]

Will the Louvre Loan out the Mona Lisa?

The painting is often described as the most famous in the world. Official statistics show that in 2010 8.5 million people visited the Louvre, where the Mona Lisa is on display. Of these 7 million had gone there only to see the Mona Lisa. (In 2009 7.8 million people had visited the Louvre which has […]

81° (or 27°)

Either way, it’s hot!

The Cave Squatter

Many, if not most, apartments in France come with a basement space for storage. They are called caves. I discovered last week that someone was squatting in my cave. Not in person, but with their junk. How did someone get into the nook, which was locked with an industrial-strength serrure? She simply ripped the hardware […]

Aw, Poop

Castorama is the Home Depot of France. With two main differences. The stores are smaller, and the staff is totally useless. As I wandered aimlessly around the Nation location yesterday–the clerks are far to busy chattering with each other to answer customer questions–I noticed this video display built into the lid of a toilet seat. […]

The Dukan Diet: Effective or Dangerous?

Eleven years ago, I bought the book Je Ne Sais Pas Maigrir by Dr Pierre Dukan and published by Flammarion. I thought I had to lose weight although everyone said: “Marilyn, you are not fat!” About two months into the diet I felt like a million dollars because I’d lost weight: a few kilos. Then I thought, […]

Balcony Scene

The painter Gustave Caillebotte and his brother, photographer Martial Caillebotte, loved balconies. They frequently painted and photographed people standing on ornate balconies overlooking wide boulevards, gazing down at the passing scene below. And sometimes they set up an easel or a camera on a balcony and captured what they saw from that viewpoint. One of […]

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