Archive for the 'The French' Category

Those Unusual French Regional Flags

The Corsican Flag is one that Americans often mistake for some sort of terrorist or freedom fighter flag (you usually see it in Paris at Corsican food stands in the market). It’s a testa di Moru, or black Moor’s Head with a white bandana, the official emblem of Corsican independence in 1755, but dating back […]

Generous Shopclerks

One of the zillion things I love about France is that very often a shopkeeper won’t, for artistic reasons, upsell you. This afternoon I bought flowers on rue Caulaincourt in the 18th. I asked for 6 stems of gladiolas, to which the fleurist responded, “five or seven–it should be an odd number.” I agreed to […]

Omniscient America?

Many French people have what seems to be a sincere belief that the U.S. government is in charge of things. Watching over the world. Blundering, doing things wrong, but omniscient. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard conspiracy theories based on the idea that the U.S. government had to know. Among the things that […]

Le Brain Drain

Yet another missive about the growing moroseness among young French people. I have to admit I agree with increasing number of articles about France’s top-heavy government and the country’s general bitterness dashing the dreams of hardworking entrepreneurs. Couple that with the Parisian pastime of complaining, and your have a beautiful country full of amazing sensual […]

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That Explains It

A friend explains the reason for one of Paris’s most marked socio-cultural traditions: In Paris, they love to make you run all over town to do paperwork, and when you do 1/3 of the time you arrive at the right place during their (schitzo) open hours and are met with a sign like this. It […]

Purple Reign

“WHAT happened here?” asked my colorist with candid alarm when I sat in her chair at my LA beauty salon. I explained that, to save money, I’d dyed my own hair from a store-bought kit. My colorist, Kim, who grew up in France. As she initiated triage on my tresses, we laughed about the unnatural […]

France’s Proximity to the Arab World

Americans are not very familiar with Arabs and Muslims, on the whole, and tend to regard them as foreign and possibly threatening. But that is not the case in France. For starters, there are lots of “Arabs” in France; ten percent of the population is Muslim, quite a few more than are Protestant (2%). Most […]


France has legalized gay marriage and adoption of children by gay people and gay couples. HOORAY!

Daily Bread

Bread was always the “staff of life” in Europe, from the time of the ancient Romans and their “bread and circuses” to keep the masses happy (the modern equivalent is “fast food and television”). But we Americans, eating our daily potatoes, rice and pasta, may not realize how the “daily bread” of the Our Father […]

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