Gastronomy: Sarko declared French food the best in the world and wants it recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Umm, how does food qualify as a place? And is anyone else really sick of people saying French food is better than all other food? How snobby can you get? Anyway, if you register on the World Heritage website, you can receive a free wall map of the 851 actual sites. I’m sorry, but French food would not fit nicely on this map.
Cost of Living: The price of some staple foods (bread, rice, pasta, butter, yogurt, etc.) has risen as much as 48% since November. Even the price of one baguette will be 0.90 € soon. (Back when Francs were still used, one baguette cost one Franc, or 0.15 € !!) The price of gas has been rising too, of course. I recently calculated that a gallon of gas in France would cost $7.50 in the US, so no American should ever complain about how “expensive” gas is there. This is why I’m so poor, people.
Education: There’s a new website for French students to rate their teachers, Note2be, which has outraged French teachers everywhere. Teachers are trying to get the site shut down but that’s not really what surprises me about this story. RateMyProfessors.com has been around for like 10 years, hasn’t it? I can’t believe a site dedicated to rating French teachers hasn’t already been created. Yet another reason why I feel like I’m living in the past.
Film: Marion Cotillard won the Oscar, César, BAFTA, every other major award for movies in the world for her role as Edith Piaf in La Môme. She’s the only winner of an Oscar for a role in the French language. En plus, her father is Jean-Claude Cotillard, the mime in French in Action! I love the Cotillard family!
Politics: Gaston Flosse was recently (re-)elected president of French Polynesia (Tahiti and all those other islands that no one knows about) and France isn’t too happy about it. Similar to New Caledonia, French Polynesia is an “overseas collectivity” and the citizens are technically French citizens. However, some Polynesians want full independence. Flosse is actually “pro-autonomy” – he wants French Polynesia to remain French – while his main opponent of 30 years, Oscar Temaru, is “pro-independence.” But that didn’t stop them from forming an alliance that ensured Flosse would get elected. Temaru suddenly withdrew his bid for presidency and gave the support of his 20 MP’s to Flosse, who beat out Gaston Tong Sang by a vote of 29 to 27. France had been supporting Tong Sang because he is pro-autonomy (and not supporting Flosse because of past corruption issues…). As a result of the Flosse-Temaru alliance, the UMP (Sarko’s party) has broken all ties with Flosse even though he remains a member. Doesn’t this sound like a movie???