Monthly Archives: August 2007


Crap TV can serve a purpose

By |2017-01-06T11:16:53+01:00August 6th, 2007|Strasbourg|

Enjoying TV in France can be a difficult task, particularly if your understanding of French is anything less than native, and your TV is too old to display subtitles. Subtitles are the key to unlocking your French vocabulary via the wonders of terrestrial television. Without subtitles - all you'll hear are the occassional word or phrase that taken out of context could mean anything. Take the recent news bulletin about the visit by le President to Lybia for example: Sarkozy ... Gadaffi ... nuclear ... wife ... hostage ... weapons. So what's the story? Gadaffi has taken Sarkozy's wife hostage at a nuclear plant and wants to exchange her for some guns? The truth is - you'll never know for sure. So subtitles (in French) help to fill in the essential bits of information that you might miss, as well as introduce new words you might not know. However, the trick is to watch shows that have been designed for an audience with a low IQ and/or attention defecit disorder. That way the words and phrases will be such [...]

A thousand Frenchmen can be wrong

By |2017-01-06T11:16:53+01:00August 3rd, 2007|Strasbourg|

Like the migrating wildibeast of Africa, the Strasbourgeois instinctively take to their vehicles every Saturday for their weekly excursion into Germany. The Pont de l'Europe, which bridges the Rhine between France and Germany at Strasbourg's eastern limit, is thus guaranteed to host a permanent traffic jam throughout the day, due to it's frankly laughable capacity. The reason for this mindless migration is (apparently) due to economics. The people of Strasbourg believe that shopping in Germany is a money-saving activity. I have had more than one person swear to me that prices are generally 20 to 30 percent cheaper across the border, and judging by the weekly traffic - it must be true - right? The fact is - there is no way to tell. It maybe sheer coincidence, but very few of the stores in Germany actually stock any of the goods that you would normally find back across the border in France. So there is no way to do a like-for-like comparison. Generally speaking, what happens is your average French family, who turn their noses up at shopping [...]

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