What a Difference a Month Makes
This photo is of the Arve Valley, the same Arve Valley featured in last month's newsletter. If you look at last month’s photo you can see the change: the arrival of winter!
As the New Year is ushered in so is my favorite French food tradition - Galette des Rois or Kings' Cake. In a Galette des Rois is a fève (small trinket). Whoever get’s the fève is the king or queen. In the tradition when a Galette des Rois is cut the youngest person gets under the table and calls out the names of the people to be served. I guess this helps with randomness but it sure was strange the first time I experienced it!
Guess what book was most likely to be under a French Christmas Tree? Indignez-vous! By Stéphane Hessel, a 93 year old former member of the French resistance during WWII. The title translates roughly to “Be Outraged”, as in get mad and take action. The idea of the book is that the French need to get back to the values of resisting and most importantly the program of the Conseil National de la Résistance. According to Hessel today it’s not Nazism that needs to be fought - nonviolently but, inequality between the rich and poor, treatment of immigrants and consumerism, to name just a few.
My good friend Jeanette Malleval and I will be giving a free webinar (online seminar) - France 101 on February 3rd 2011, time TBA. As the name suggests, France 101 is an introductory tutorial on France. Topics include: healthcare, culture, schools, bureaucracy, visas and real estate. If you are interested in attending France 101 please contact us. We are still working on the outline (so topics might change) and would like your input on what you would be interested in learning about. Please contact me with your input.
Only in France II
Last month I mentioned that fast-food chain Quick (a rival to McDonalds) offered its customers a foie gras burger during the middle of December. Well I tried it and it reminded me of the "Where’s the beef" commercial from the 80’s. You can see what I wrote on my blog and see a photo of the foie gras burger.
Paris Expat Expo: If you are in Paris from February 4-6, there is going to be an expat expo at Parc Floral. Advertised as having 75 exhibitors and what I find interesting, 50 speakers.
Soldes d'Hiver 2011
The winter sales (Soldes d'Hiver) in France start in most departments on January 12th and last five weeks depending on the department. These departments start earlier - January 3rd: Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges. January 5th: Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques.