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NewsletterSeptember 2011

The Little Cars that Can

This little car is sometimes called a Voiturette or more likely a Voiture sans Permis, a ‘car’ that can be driven without a license - sans permis. There’s been a boom in Voiture sans Permis in France the last few years. A dealership recently opened in my town.
A Voiture sans Permis by law can only go about 50 kph (31 mph), so you don’t get anywhere fast, but you do get there faster than walking. The cars are very loud and can be heard from a distance. Due to increased demand, those buying a voiture sans permis now have more choices. Our local dealership sells 'sport cars' and 'trucks'.
It’s debatable why Voiture sans Permis are now so popular. The best guess: many who lost or couldn’t get a driver’s license use the cars for work and limited travel. Another factor, very good gas mileage. But pound for pound the cars are expensive: new starting at about €7,000. On the higher end up to €20,000.

La Roche Bluegrass

As I said in my last newsletter my town’s Bluegrass festival was in early August. The music and weather were great. You can see highlights here.

European Heritage Days

Don’t forget Journées européennes du Patrimoine - European Heritage Days take place in September. For this year the dates in France are September 17th & 18th. This is a great way to see attractions that you normally can’t, like the Château de Sercy or do some sightseeing for free or reduced admission.

World Cup

As with most countries, watching sport in France is seasonal: football (soccer) from September to April, cycling in July during the Tour de France, tennis in late May and early June with Roland-Garros aka the French Open and Rugby from January to March during the Six Nations Tournament. During Olympic and World Cup years time frame may change. Case in point, this year the Rugby World Cup from September 9th to October 23rd in New Zealand.
France has yet to win the Rugby World Cup. France reached the finals twice, 1987 and 1999 and the semi-finals on three other occasions including 2007, when France was the host. This year’s team is considered a dark horse but France does have a knack of beating world power New Zealand. France and New Zealand are in the same group this time around. This should make for an interesting match when the teams meet on September 24th.

From the Mailbox

Everyone knows about the Festival d'Avignon but did you know there is also a Blues Festival? Well there is and it takes place October 7th & 8th.
I received this email from a reader looking for help in Guadeloupe.
I live in Guadeloupe and wish to open a center to welcome French children from 3 to 5 during the week. I am looking for people to speak English to the children as if they were abroad in order to make them speak English before they start primary school. I am looking for contacts. Please tell me if you could help me to find students or even adults interested in the experience. .
Here’s a new web site for French news in English -

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