Sunday, December 07, 2008

France is better than England!!

  1. Champagne costs half as much.
  2. In the Socialist party split, the left (ok, -ish) won. Just. But still.
  3. The trains are twice as fast and half as expensive. And the price of a ticket is still calculated in relation to the cost of the journey (to an extent).
  4. Edith Piaf.
  5. The cost of cigarettes; although I should maybe think about moving to Belgium. Or Andorra.
  6. Skiing is not a sport reserved for the privileged few, but the domain of the fairly-privileged many.
  7. Everyone has a healthy disdain for all institutionalised power. You don't hear people here saying 'Well, they may have shot that Brazilian guy, but they're only trying to make the streets safe for decent people.' Distrust of institutions is good for you!
  8. Asterix and Obelix.
  9. Freshly baked bread.
  10. You can still have jokes with the people in the ticket booths at the station. They're in no hurry.
  11. Christmas markets with vin chaud at 80 centimes a gobelet.
  12. Gad Elmaleh.
  13. My council rates are one seventh of what they were in bloody Newham.
  14. Fresh vegetables are less likely to have been flown in from Paraguay.
  15. Thierry Henry.
  16. Students still live on a budget here, and therefore have some inkling of being careful with money... a Mac laptop is not an essential of life! Bière and clopes are!
  17. Because of this, no one wears heels and make-up to school!
  18. Zizou.
  19. Verlan- c'est ouf!
  20. Proud to be part of Europe. And in French politics when people are proud, you can be damn sure they're getting something out of it as well
  21. Proper mountains, proper beaches, proper countryside, with appropriate climates, all within a couple of hours of each other.
  22. Recycling bins on the Paris metro.
  23. The French film industry is still making a token effort to make films that have not been made before.
  24. People are POLITE! (see post below)
  25. People in this country had actually heard of the last Nobel prize for literature winner. And even if they hadn't, they wouldn't have written a load of facetious articles in the weekend colour supplements boasting about it.
  26. There is only one weekend colour supplement per newspaper.
  27. Stupid little dogs.
  28. Stupid little dogs' hairdressers. I could look through the window for hours.
  29. Women (often the owners of said dogs) who don't let old age stop them dying their hair magenta.
  30. Traffic light systems that allow cyclists to proceed legally while cars in the same lane have to wait.
  31. Petanque- kicks bowls' arse.
  32. Marianne- kicks Britannia's arse.
  33. La Marseillaise- kicks God Save the Whatever's arse.
  34. Bugger the Etats-Unis!
  35. The 35 hour week.
  36. Strikes!
  37. Free gynocologists for students.
  38. World news consists of more than American politics, African disasters and humourous stories about Arizonans getting their penises stuck in things.
  39. Republic.
  40. Condom machines outside every pharmacy.
  41. No one raises an eyebrow if you race up to said condom machines at 3am dressed in winter coat and slippers and ask SDFs and/or gendarmes for change for a 5€ note.
  42. Johnny Depp lives in Provence
  43. Almost free education
  44. Table mats and napkins as standard in every household, even student flats.
  45. Even French Cosmo is rather less heartbreakingly offensive than its English and American counterparts.
  46. Dom-Toms mean that in any government job you might be suddenly 'forced' to transfer to a tropical island with only a 40% salary increment.
  47. Libé instead of the bloody Guardian.
  48. Trams instead of bendy bloody buses.
  49. Nostalgie!
  50. Nightclubs with chairs and tables, that stay open till 5, not 3.
  51. Bidets are fun.
  52. Decent coffee.
  53. Coffee as accepted part of every meal.
  54. No VAT on tampons.
  55. Wine in pichets- catering to people who like eating nice food in restaurants but couldn't give a crap what they're drinking, as long as it costs 7€ 50 for a litre.
  56. Le Tecktonik
  57. Louis and I are here.
However, would like to add a few words in praise of- bacon, cheddar, proper tea, beer in pints, an egalitarian second person and magic fm.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

England. Off-Licence. Me: Alright? Man from shop: Y'alright? Me: Twenny Camels please. (Man hands over cigarettes. I hand over money.) Me and Man: Cheers. (Leave off-licence.) France. Café/ Tabac Me: Bonjour Woman: Bonjour Man: Bonjour Me: Bonjour Monsieur! (Have been coming to this shop twice a week for two months now, so now ask...) Me: Comment-allez vous? Woman: Très bien, très bien, et vous? Me: Très bien merci. Woman: Il fait froid encore Me: Mais au moins il ne pleut pas (This exchange now a ritual) Random woman in queue: Mais cela ne va pas durer; il y a de la pluie prèvue. Woman: Alors, que sera-t'il aujourd'hui? Me (as always): Deux paquets de Camels, s'il vous plait. Woman: Alors, Camels, Camels... Random woman in queue: Vous etes americaine? Me: Non, anglaise Woman: Deux paquets de Camels; ca vous fait... ca vous fait... dix euros et quarante centimes, s'il vous plait. Me: Merci beaucoup. Woman: Merci Me: Ah, j'ai peut etre les quarante centimes, s'il vous aide. Woman: S'il vous plait, merci. Me: Merci encore. Woman: Merci à vous. Me: Alors, bonne journée, au revoir! Woman: Bonne fin de journée, au revoir! Man: Au revoir! Me: Merci, au revoir! (Leave shop) Random man smoking outside shop: Au revoir!