Dear Ginny WTH,
I hear that you have moved to Paris for one year. What is the fascination with France?
Far From A Frog
Dear Triple F,
Yes, I moved last week to Paris for one year to soak up the French culture, language and lifestyle. Don’t worry, I’m not going on one of those sabbaticals to take painting lessons from some guy named Pascal while I drink wine, smoke cigarettes and speak ill of the Americans all day. No, I’ll be experiencing France and still doing my Ginny marketing thing.
What’s the fascination with France? Well let’s sum it up with a Top 10 list shall we?
- The language – now come on, who doesn’t swoon when they hear the mellifluous and romantic tones of “le langue Francais.” I’m not talking about voulez-vous coucher avec moi. Everyday speaking is like a symphony with the French who routinely using words like impeccable (ahm-pee-cah-bla) and formidable (for-mee-dah-bla) when describing everyday life.
- Good, cheap wine – two buck chuck eat your heart out; tasty bold red wine from Burgundy or big oaky white wine from Bordeaux for €4 or about $6.
- Cheese – don’t let America tell you how to have your cheese, because the pasteurized, tasteless cheese food we’re forced to eat in America doesn’t hold a candle to the hundreds of varieties of unpasteurized, microbe-filled fromages here.
- The French kiss – not the bastardized American version of the French kiss but the real thing. Depending on your fondness for the person it’s a kiss on each cheek, four kisses if they are a close friend. Not an air kiss, but lips to flesh. Muah, muah, muah, muah.
- Good, cheap food – ok, I like to eat so the food category may take a few spots in the list but go to a large French grocery chain like E. LeClerc, the WalMart of France, and you can find bargains galore, like a 12-pack of Dannon plain yogurt for €1,70 (about $2.35) or a big jar of Bonne Maman jam for €1,02. The list goes on.
- French singers – from well known singers like smoky voiced Edith Piaf, folk singer Frances Cabral and the French Elvis, Johnny Hallyday to lesser well known French pop singers like hard-edged Mickey 3D, and ex-tennis player, Yannick Noah, the French have produced some very talented singers that all seem to bring something unique. Hey even Jean Michel Jarre and Trust have redeeming qualities.
- The bread – okay another food item, but fresh crusty baguettes for less than a buck fifty. Nothing to say.
- Le Metro – this more than 100-year old underground transportation system has 16 lines and traverses more than 133 miles, with 384 stops and carries 4.5 million passengers daily. One can get anywhere in the city within minutes. Pure genius considering the first train launched during the World’s Fair in 1900.
- History – ok it is a given, but from the medieval castles to the more “modern” marvels such as the Eiffel Tower, this country is scattered with the crumbs of history. But pay attention, the French are quick to point out their illustrious history and America’s lack thereof. Hey we were laying tracks in 1900…okay they were above ground, but still.
- Lifestyle/Culture – this could be its own list. The 35-hour work week. The two hour lunch. The complete shut down on Sunday. The cultural conviviality that comes with every mandatory bonjour, merci and s’il vous plait. The employment contract. Universal healthcare. Open markets.
There’s obviously so much more…care to add your own to the list?