L’Essor Savoyard: Local News from Annecy

Mamie had a copy of l’Essor Savoyard from this week lying around, so I read through it to check out the happenings in and around Annecy. (Unfortunately, this local newspaper doesn’t have a website, but the other one does: Le Dauphiné.)

Troops from the 27e BCA, which is located directly across from the lycée I taught at in 2006, will be leaving for Afghanistan shortly. 640 soldiers will leave in November and December for the bases in Nijrab and Tagab. It’s a little surreal to know that the guys I see jogging around Seynod and buying beer at LeClerc will be halfway around the world next month. I remember when Sarkozy announced he was going to send more troops to Afghanistan, but I never thought it would be my boys from BCA.

Second-hand clothing stores are becoming more and more popular since the pouvoir d’achat keeps decreasing and everyone is freaking out about the crise financière. I really need to check these out:

  • Bazar sans Frontières, 3 av. de Trois Fontaines in Seynod
  • Emmaüs, 18 impasse des Bois in Metz-Tessy
  • Scouts des Cluses, 26 av. de Pont de Tasset in Meythet
  • Vestiaire St. Martin, 3 rue des Jardins in Annecy (This place also has showers for 1 €, originally designed for anyone to use a half century ago when many people did not have showers in their homes, but now they mostly serve the homeless.)

A recent survey of Savoyards in the Ligue Savoisienne indicated that 87% would like Savoie & Haute-Savoie to separate from France and become a canton of Switzerland. Complete independence would be better, but joining Switzerland would be easier – and the main idea is to leave behind the “le pouvoir central le plus autocratique et le plus jacobin qu’on ait connu depuis 50 ans.” Even the Swiss who participated voted in favor of Savoie becoming suisse, 43.7% to 37.5%.

L’arpitan, also called franco-provençal, is the original language in the Savoie area.  Many Savoyards are still trying to get l’Education Nationale to recognize it as a minority language so that it will be taught in schools, like they do with le breton, le basque and le corse. Check out arpitania.eu for more information, and you can also download a 1,770 page français-savoyard dictionary in PDF format.

The French expression of the day was: de fil en aiguille, which means “on passe progressivement et naturellement d’une chose à une autre qui lui fait suite.” And the Savoyard recipe of the day was, surprise surprise, Fondue à l’emmental.

Change Your Clocks in Europe

+-*Europeans: Daylight Saving Time has ended and you need to set your clocks back an hour (except in Iceland where DST is not used.) DST will begin again on the last Sunday in March. North Americans: Your DST will end next Sunday; except for those in Saskatchewan, a small part of British Columbia, Hawaii, Arizona […]

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Everyone speaks Franglais.

+-*Have I mentioned lately how annoying English words are in French? Just over the past few days, I’ve heard people speaking French say speed, soft, borderline, bad trip, VIP, people, and flashy when they could have just used French words in their sentences. And of course they pronounce these words with French accents, which is […]

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Colin Powell’s Words of Wisdom

+-*From the only Republican I like, Colin Powell, on Meet the Press, October 19, 2008: …I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period.  And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I […]

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Apéro and Universités

+-*Friday night at an apéro chez des amis, we somehow got on the subject of universities. David mentioned that his mom’s cousin teaches French in Boston, and at the end of each semester, she had to let her students fill out evaluation forms. Everyone but me was surprised and thought it was a bad idea. […]

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Ship or Sheep or Disgust?

+-*I’m preparing the audio files for our Phonetics labs at home, and I’ve been listening to the units in our book, Ship or Sheep?, written by two Brits about 25 years ago. I got to Unit 4 on the [æ] vowel sound and noticed the dialogue they had written using as many words as possible […]

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Pour mes amis canadiens et canadiennes:

+-*Meilleurs vœux pour le jour de l’Action de Grâce! Happy Thanksgiving! P.S. I’m jealous your election is tomorrow instead of 3 weeks away! I ♥ Canada.

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The Story of the Missing Ballot

+-*Once upon a time, there was a young girl who had grown disillusioned with her country. It was too religious, too conservative, too intolerant. I’ll move to France, she thought, and maybe one day my country will get better so I will be less ashamed of it. So off to France she went, and there […]

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Le Retour des Alpages 2008

+-*I just returned from the Retour des Alpages festival today in Annecy. I managed to take more pictures than last year, though I didn’t see much of the parade from where I was standing. Once again, I was constantly reminded why I hate being in Annecy when it is really crowded. Usually it’s the little […]

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I love technology, but I love it more when it actually works.

+-*This week was the start of our language labs at the university (i.e. 9 out of 12 of my classes). They only run for 10 weeks, so we don’t start them when regular classes start. Unfortunately, our brand new computerized language lab is not working properly, so we can barely use it. Instead, we’re running […]

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