When it comes to food I am always ready to try something new. However, since accidentally ordering whole, cold, curried squid for breakfast in Yogjakarta some years ago, I do now at least make a point of knowing what it is I'm biting into first. My gung-ho days are long gone. It is with this spirit that I approached a recent takeaway menu shoved through the door from Strasbourg's newest Sushi restaurant: Planet Sushi. [...]
I took these pictures outside the International school last week: some posters pasted on the official election boards outside what will be the local polling station for France's legislative elections. I can't vote, but if I could - it would be a difficult choice as there are candidates from the whole political and philosophical spectrum: [...]
The arrival of the amiable Jo-Wilfred Tsonga on our screens, as Roland Garros graces us once more with two weeks of top-notch tennis, is a welcome sight ... for once. While his boyish charm and and sporting prowess make JW one of France's best-loved sportsmen, his role in a seemingly never-ending TV campaign for Kinder Bueno make his face a less-then-welcome sight for the rest of the year. The creatives in adland have decided that Beuno is great for sharing - because it is formed of two sickly-sweet bars of chocolate. So, each ad features Mr Tsonga sharing his Beuno with an attractive girl. OK, so the idea is not bad on paper. However the scenario is excruciatingly contrived, the production values are lamentable and the acting is about what you'd expect from an Australian soap opera. To cap it all the choice of music that accompanies the outro is Lilly Allen's "22" - with the wildly (in)appropriate lyrics "It's sad but it's true how society says, Her life is already over" - implying that the girl who is forced [...]
Learning to speak French like a native is a perpetual challenge. While I may have been complimented, numerous times, upon my abilities in the language, unspoken criticism in equal measure is not far behind. For example, one of my immediate neighbours, whom I occasionally bump into in the entrance hall, has an unforgiving ear when it comes to my English accent. The signals arriving at his auditory cortex from his outer ear seem, perpetually, to have no relation whatsoever with the soundwaves emanating from my voice-box. A typical exchange might go like this ...