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Thursday, July 1 2010

Soccer World Cup

Sport The French soccer team has been eliminated from the World Cup in South Africa last week... After another defeat against the host nation our team, coached by Raymond Domenech, came home dead last in the group A and that's not the worst part of it. In fact I don't know what's the worst part of it : having one of our good players (Nicolas Anelka) excluded from the team for having insulted the coach in private ? having the team refusing to perform their daily training session to protest against this exclusion ? having our coach refusing to shake hands with the oposite team's coah at the end of the last match ? seeing our national team playing the worst soccer ever whereas all the players are individually good ?...I don't know.

But I do know what's good about all this (there's always hope !) : After six loooooong years Raymond Domenech is finally fired and will never ever coach our national team again !!! Maybe the French team'll start playing soccer again now. Moreover having our team eliminated from this world cup brings a second little piece of joy : I don't have to hear vuvuzelas anymore :-D !

Sunday, July 26 2009

Little trips to come

I think I've never talked to you about anywhere else in France then Paris, right ? I did talked to you about the main train stations in the town, but not quite about where you can go from there, and I think it's the right time to do so :) For this first "out of Paris" post I won't go very far as I'll stick to France (no Europe overview yet ;) ), so don't be too afraid to get lost ;)

Vendee - Region of France The first place I'll introduce : Vendée. "Vendée" is a costal region of the West of France you can see in red on the map beside (Paris being in the middle of the green dot, if you've forgotten). The two main reasons you would want to go there (in my opinion) are : historical monuments and beaches.

In fact, those are two of the reasons I'm going to spend a weekend there next week :) !!! Me and 3 friends of mine are leaving Paris (by car) at around 6pm, and should arrive there before midnight to be ready to enjoy the "puy du fou" and the beaches for the whole weekend ! I know, you're wondering what the "puy du fou" is, don't worry I'll explain : it's kind of a park which theme is the history of this region of France, so if you like middle-age, kings, knights, vikings, and peons, you'd like to go there (sometimes it's cool to live in an old country ;) ! ). After a whole day at the "puy du fou", we'll spend the second one at the beach I think, and we'll then drive back to Paris before the end of the weekend :)

Vendee - What I'll see there

It will definitely be a busy weekend, and I'll have to really get motivated to wake up on the following monday and go to work but it'll be cool to have a "beach break" with friends :) ...and after all it's not going to be my "real" holidays : I'm going to a special place of Brittany in august for 5 days, and to a town in the south of France for 3 days...but that's other stories (soon to come on this blog ;) )

Saturday, July 18 2009

14th of July

French Flag Yeap, you read it correctly : it's the fourteenth of July I'm going to talk about, not the fourth of july, and even if we're the 18th. Why ? Because the 14th of July is an important day in France. In fact it's the French national holiday (funny it's so close to the US one right ;) ?)

So, what happens in France in the 14th of July (which was last week) ? First of all : we do not work :D As this year the 14th was a Tuesday I let you guess how many French people decided to go on vacations "only Monday" ;) ... : this Monday we were only two at work (in a team of twelve). Second thing that happens every 14th of July : a Firework :) !

I know all this may sound a little bit like "it's a national holiday, end of story"...but hey, I can't do anything about it lol ! One more thing that happens every 14th of July : military parades ! That's something you can't miss if you ever end up being in France a 14th of July. By the way if you're in Paris and you planed to go on the "Champs Elysées" (most famous avenue in Paris[1]) try not to plan it for a 14th of July : that's were the parade takes place so no shopping's possible ;)

Last big event taking place the 14th of July : "Le bal des pompiers" (i don't know any translation for that). It's basically a ball that's organized by firemen (usually one ball per firemen station) for "everyday people" (nothing formal :) ). If I translate it word by word it's "firemen's ball" :) Usually young ladies like to go and have a dance or two there because firemen have quite a lot of muscles (true story), and young men like to go there two because...ladies are there :) !! So in the end a lot of different people go and have a dance or two there, it's quite a friendly atmosphere :) !

Well...that's it. We've seen the biggest events happening the 14th of July in France :) ....Oh no ! I almost forgot one : there's usually a big concert around the Eiffel Tower in Paris, just a couple of hours before the beginning of the firework. This year it was a concert by "Johny Hallyday", whom you can't have heard about if you're not French, or at least European, but it's a big big big star here in France (even if I must confess he's a little old fashioned and I'm really not a big fan...).

And to conclude : If you want to know what we celebrate the 14th of July go check wikipedia, I'm not in the mood for telling you that ! Just kidding lolllll : long story short we celebrate a storming battle around a fortress-prison (called "La Bastille") during revolution (18th century), which in the end allowed France to switch from monarchy to republic[2].

Notes

[1] It's in the middle of the green area of this map

[2] As you can see, I'm not always in the mood for History lol. Sorry about that.

Friday, May 22 2009

Holiday (tiny one)

Jesus Christ Today was a day off. It's a national holiday in France to commemorate the Ascension of Jesus. Lucky us : today was also one of the warmest day of the last pasts weeks so it was VERY pleasant to hang out in the town (and I sure did !). That was the good part of this post ;) For the sad one : I will not blog during the coming days.

Don't worry, "the coming days" means until Monday only :) ! So no reason to freak out. It won't change you a lot anyway as I barely post more than once a week lol. In fact the only thing that changes is this very post :) Usually, instead of this pathetic little post of apology, you should have had a normal post (i.e. longer, with facts and good tips in it). Oh by the way, I apologized about not posting anything interesting instead of this little text but I did not tell you why I haven't the time to post a real thing here. Let's do that :

As we (me and my friends) knew ages ago that this day was holiday we planned a lot of things to do. In fact we planned so many things that I'll have less free time than when I work lol ! By the way I should go to bed now because we have a 48h non-stop planing starting tomorrow, I'd better be in good shape lol.

Once again sorry for this very little thing (at least you'd have learn that the Ascension of Jesus is a day off in France ;) )

Thursday, April 23 2009

French Wine : Bordeaux !

Glass of white wine I guess you all have, at least once, heard the reputation of French wine but how many of you know anything more than "it's supposed to be good" ?...Don't answer ;) Let me make something clear before : it's a legend that in France everybody's a wine expert. Most of my friends barely can make the difference between a good wine and grape juice ;) ! (that's okay now, you can confess you know nothing about french wines)

So today I'm gonna teach you some little things :) (yeah, I forgot to tell you : I know some little things about wine ... I've been in a club :) ). First of all you must know that there are three (let's say four...) types of wine :

  • Red
  • White
  • White
  • Rosé (<= hey, that's a french word :) It means "pinked")

I know I typed "White" twice, that's because it's very common to distinguish sweet white from dry white. And I know I initially wrote that there were only 3 types of whine : that's because I don't consider Rosé as worth drinking so for me there are only Red, Sweet White, and Dry White :)

What's the difference between the three ? Easy : red wines are...red :) ! White wines are...white :) And Rosé wines are.... (let me remind you that it's a french word meaning "pinked") ....pink :) !! Therefore I'll let you guess where's the red, white, and rosé in the picture above :

Wines

Oh yeah, the other difference is : they do not taste the same, at all (see the end of the article for more about that)

Now, we finally arrive at the explanation of the title of this article : What the f*ck is "Bordeaux" ???...Little suspens here....it's a region of France. It's the region producing the more wine in France to be precise (and it's the region which produces my favorites wines too ;) ). In the region of Bordeaux there are :

  • many red wines
  • quite some sweet white wines
  • a few dry white wines
  • ...oh....yeah....they also produce quite a lot of Rosé (but I don't care about those ;) )

Knowing this you have much more knowledge than you had at the beginning of the article I bet, but nothing very useful yet. So I'll conclude this first article about wines with some useful tips :

  • if you see a sweet white bordeaux you can buy it :) I've almost never found an untasty sweet white bordeaux !!! That's the kind of wine you can drink with ladies at the apéritif and be sure everybody'll enjoy it.
  • if you find a red bordeaux (even if bordeaux are the best at quality/price) just do not buy it if it's way cheaper than 9€ (9€ in France, which should be about...way higher in others countries as the prices of French wines skyrockets when the bottle cross the borders :( ). Unless you know what you are doing you should not drink red bordeaux at the apéritif, and not with ladies (they usually don't like it this way). You should drink red bordeaux with meat, or (even better) cheese (I mean real cheese, not those weird plastic things labeled "cheese" you may find in the US)
  • And finally dry white wines : drink those during the aperitif if the weather's hot, or even better you can drink it while eating seafood whatever the weather is ;)

Tuesday, April 7 2009

Ludicrous !

shadockI apologize for this post, because it will certainly not be very interesting to you, but I do feel the need to write it ! Last Thursday the parliement voted a new french law called HADOPI, and this law sux

To summarize the thing : this law says that private firms will have the right to track down french people who illegally download musics and films, those firms will have the right to demand the name behind any IP address which they suspect of illegal download (as long as it's a French IP, don't worry foreign friends ;) ). Then, those private firms will have the right to send a warning e-mail to the concerned person. If this person's caught again it's a paper letter that is sent, and if they are caught again they have their internet access shut down for a year (or so)...Yes, it is fucking stupid.

  • Cracking a WEP protected wifi network can be done by my 7 months old nephew...hard luck for his neighbors, they might have their internet connection doomed by the law (and let's not even talk about open wifi networks...)
  • To track down p2p traffic the firms providing internet connection will have to invest in their infrastructure for better performances, therefore they'll raise their prices (yeahh, I love the idea of paying more for my internet connection in order to finance this whole shit)
  • What will they do if we just crypt our downloads :) ?...maybe some magic trick I guess...or maybe they are just to damn stupid for having thought about ir !
  • How the hell will they track down non-p2p download ? Oh yeah : either they can't, or they'll ask for the listing of every website we visit...man we're not China for god sake !
  • In France it is legal to make a private backup of any film or music you legally buy. But how will they know, seeing me downloading a song, if I have legally bought the CD or not ? Because if I have bought it, it's legal for me to download a backup of it you know...Answer : they don't give a shit about it, we will now be presumed guilty (nice isn't it ?)

And do you know the more frustrating about all this ? The thing that really pisses me off ? It's that the population knows, since the beginning, that this law is a piece of shit, and there've been demonstrations, petitions, and associations created just to denounce it...but the big firms who want this law to pass were stronger (well, at least they pay more) so this law was finally voted at the parliement.....at 11pm, by the 16 deputies which were not in there bed at that time (they are supposed to be more than 500 in this parliement !!!...They just were not warned that the vote was planned this day by the government..... at 11pm......bastards !)

Well, it's time for me to apologise for this borring article...but I really needed to write it down :) It cools me down ^^ ...Time to go to bed now (I hope they'll not vote allegiance to Russia while I'm in bed ;) )

Friday, October 10 2008

Ice cream anybody ?

Ice Cream I know winter's coming but, at least in Paris, the weather's still warm enough for me to eat an ice cream while walking around the town. But where do I buy ice cream in Paris ;) ? I guess some spots are the same worldwide, but maybe not all of them so I'll tell you my spots :D

To start with something you may know (so you don't feel too lost ;) ) let's name a worldwide brand : McDonald's ! I already told you there where a lot of McDonald's in Paris, and that's all spots where you can have a little McFlurry :) (my favorite one's with crunch :D ) Mc Flurry

Second tip about where to find ice cream : Ben&Jerry !! There are quite a few shops in Paris, but it's worth seeking them. I simply do love their ice creams ^^ ! Ben & Jerry

Third tip : Häagen-Dazs :) It's the most famous ice cream brand in France, it's fucking tasty, you'll find shops easily, but it's a bit expensive :( Anyway if you want to eat a good ice cream (especially if you want to seat at a table while eating) ask for the nearest Häagen-Dazs. Haagen Dazs

Fourth tip : Amorino. It's relatively new, but it's definitely the rising brand for ice cream. There's always a huge queue in those shops, I guess that's because the ice creams very good there (at least, that's why my friends say). And bonus point : there are many shops, so just like for Häagen-Dazs you can ask anybody in the street for the nearest Amorino you'll certainly end up with the good direction and a shop close to you :) Amorino Shop

Fifth tip : Well...no fifth tip. There are no more places I know where you can buy good ice creams...but I does not matter : with the four first, you have way enough to become fat ;) !

If you have any other spots tell me I'll had them :) But for now this post's over as you have enough tips to know how you'll conclude your little pick nick : with a nice ice cream :D !

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