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NewsletterMarch 2005

What have I learned lately?

  • There are only 15 three-star (highest possible) restaurants outside of Paris according to the 2005 Michelin Red Guide. Due to a mistake this year's Red Guide was delivered one week early. This pleased a lot of restaurant owners. About a month before the Red Guide is published rumors fly as to who will get or lose a star. When a restaurant achieves just a one star'rating its gross income increases by about 40%.


  • It's the time for traditional France to shine: the 25th Salon international de l'Agriculture (International Agricultural Show) takes place from February 26th to March 6th. For more info there is a site in English - Salon Agriculture.
  • Bookworms are warned! The 25th Salon du Livre (Book Fair) 2005 will be held from March 18th to the 23rd.


Things aren't going very well for the present government. Here is a list of a few problems: a national one-day strike date is set for March 10th. This will cause major disruptions to most public transportations system in Paris and other big cities. The strike could close government offices. High school students each week are taking to the streets. They are protesting a planned education reform that will cut back staff and affect the range of subject's students can study. The Finance Minister, Hervé Gaymard, just resigned because he was using state money to pay for his 12,000-euro a month Paris apartment. There was nothing illegal in this behavior. The fact that Gaymard owns four other apartments and could have easily found a cheaper apartment was too much. The new Finance Minister, Thierry Breton, promised to remain in his current Paris apartment. Breton seems to be good cover for the government. He is taking a large cut in pay. Leaving his position as CEO of France Telecom, Breton, will make seven times less as Finance Minister than as the CEO of France Telecom.


This has to be one of the snowiest winters in recent years. Not only are typical locations getting a lot of snow: The Alps and environs but also coastal cities like Caen and Nice are experiencing much snow. Even Paris was hit by snowstorm. I saw on TV that one motorist had to put chains on his car to be able to drive. What was funny was that he was heading off on vacation to the Alps, where there was less snow than in Paris. Also on one hilly street, cars were stuck, as most could not climb the short hill when the pavement turned to ice.
Here in Reignier things seem under control. When it snows the plows are out in force. The only trouble seems to be is our apartment parking lot. After a few days the snow turns into an ice ring. No one removes the snow; over time the snow melts during the day and then freezes at night. This along with cars driving over it means our parking lot is turned into a sheet of ice. Not nice to walk on or try to stop a car!

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