Tag Archives: france

paris, champ elysee shut down because of killing of police officer.

20 Apr

london 10.51am 11C sunny thursday 2017

8.48pm 12C night dry. its been a quiet day in london but right now i have the tv on and the news live about the shooting of two police officers in the champs elysees, one died, (9.38pm the other had died too) and the whole place is shut down with no one on the street. people asked to stay indoors. it brings home how dangerous paris is.

a major tourist and landmark street being closed like this. it would be about 9.48pm almost 10pm in paris.  this action is so unusual that it must make people who normally would take these things in their stride, and carry on their normal activities without pause, this one must make them  pause and review their thinking. coming on top of that mass killing of restaurant customers in the past, i think if i were a parisien, i will start to reassess my risk factor.

is it safe to live in paris now? perhaps if i live there, i might still consider it safe to live there… but if i were a visitor, definitely i would not go there to visit. i read recently that the police generally will vote for le pen, because of her hardline security views. this incident must strengthen her position.

 

many tourists agencies have tried to maintain that life is normal in paris, and try to persuade their clients not to avoid going to paris, that the chance of being involved in a terrorist incident is low…but it seems to me the terrorism there is taking on a frightening direction, with terrorists shooting the police, or shooting the public as they eat in restaurants. it is so random and the targets are so unpredictable. that makes it more frightening to me. if the chances of getting killed just by eating in a restaurant in central paris can happen, it would make me avoid going to paris. you might say the chances are very small, but to get killed for something you do for leisure, that your being there is nothing important and not necessary , seems to me not worth the risk. there are plenty of other places in the world where u wont get gunned down just by eating on the sidewalk cafe on the street.

i think they really have to address the security question. every time an incident like this happens will be another nail in the tourist industry for france, and make its citizens more fearful and avoid eating out or going out in paris. 

added. 12.11pm friday 21.4.17. there is a daily express article asking is it safe to go to france, and the poll says 35% will go irregardless, 43% says recent events have made them rethink and not go, whilst 22% (which includes me) says they have no plans to go anyway. 

added. 24.4.17 the french president election first round has come and gone. macron and le pen go on to the second round. both are inexperienced with govt, but le pen have a stronger pledge to do something about security. but i think she will lose the second round, as the voters who have voted for the other losing candidates will shift their vote to macron.

my feeling is that french voters are too scared of leaving the EU. they have lost their own currency and are deeply entrenched in the EU, they cannot afford to leave it. and though they might like the stronger stance le pen takes with security, i think her stance against the EU will frighten them more.

they might accept more deaths from wild card terrorists in their cities  as the price worth taking or not willing to bet that le pen will stop such terror attacks even with her increased security measures.

 

baquette machines in france

29 Jan

london 11.34am 12.9C cloudy friday 2016

this Times article says these machines costing 9000 euros each were welcomed at first at baker-less villages in france. but they have become so popular that they now threaten the bakers themselves.

they are vending machines that make the bread and keeps it at 15C-20C and the 50%-60% humidity. and available all hours. what not to like, right? and they sell the baquettes for 1 euro.

hmm, it must be unique to france, that they dont have supermarkets to sell the bread. here in uk we have supermarkets selling baquettes . 50p each. and supermarkets are everywhere . cheaper if u go at the end of the day.  no one i know go to a baker to buy baquettes . haha how quaint! oh i am sure there are such people, it is just that i dont know any. in france u can see people walking about holding a long uncovered baquette under their arms or somewhere…haha…you never see it in uk.

but i think baquettes are not so popular in uk than in france. people here like their sliced loaf. or i do. haha. baquettes as sold in france are a bit hard , and go stale very quick. the british ones are better in that they are not so hard/ some will say crisp. french people will laugh when they hear me say our baguettes are not so crisp, and that i prefer it that way. they will say i dont know my baguette at all. and i think they will be right. really fresh french baguettes are really nice to eat, but u got to eat them straight away, keep them till the end of the day and they wont be so nice. eat them the next day and they are rock hard.

the same goes for croissants. the french ones bought in france are really very nice.

here the supermarkets sell them and they are quite variable in quality. they are cheaper, and a lot of people may be willing to sacrifice authenticity for the other versions, still edible, and quite nice, for a lower price so they can have it more often.

after all, many have never tasted a real french croissant, and so wont know what they are missing. and those of us who have tasted the real thing in france, forget what exactly it tastes of… it is so easy to forget.

 and now with vending machines making baguettes, maybe the real thing will be even rarer and fewer people will get to eat it, and soon it will be lost to the collective consciousness . and we will all take the supermarket croissant as the  benchmark croissant.

 i think the thing about us humans is that if we grow up with some thing, we tend to like it. so i find i prefer sliced bread as a regular thing, than baguette. a baguette is more as a once- in- a- while thing.  whereas sliced bread is the one i go for as a matter of routine… they make excellent sandwiches and easy to eat.

some pictures and links

 

 

force of nature

4 Oct

london 9.11pm 15.6C sunday 2015

i have seen videos of the flood in Nice and antibes. quite a deluge and in a first world country like france. we are so used to seeing these in developing countries, like india, bangladesh, or thailand that it is a reality check to see it happening in france, and with people being killed too. makes u realise that nature is an untameable force, even if we forget that sometimes.

i saw in the weather map that there were very strong storms over europe, i was checking it because here in uk they were predicting lashing big storms for us, which turned out to be a damp squid. haha. as usual.

i dont know if the weather people  in France foresaw this storm over south of france,  i think they know it is coming, but they wont be able to predict that the river would burst its banks and cause this deluge. if not for the river bursting its banks, i think this storm would pass as another big rain, and that is that. but when the river burst its banks it becomes a big disaster.

tomorrow will be the start of paying for plastic bags. it will definitely make us use less. that is good. i have always used my own bags, so it wont change much for me. haha. but few people do it like i do, so we have to force them to stop using bags by hitting them in their pocket. we should have done it ages ago.

the downside is that we will have to buy rubbish bags, where previously i used shopping bags to keep household rubbish.it will mean more plastic bags used. how to prevent it?  i will try to see if i can use newspapers, but water will go through newspapers.

 added. 20.10.15 i found a website that says there are packaging materials everywhere, the plastic that fruits are packed in, the insides of the cereal packages, etc, so i shall be saving them to line my rubbish in paper and not have to use plastic rubbish bags. 

first world fun

24 May

london 9.43am sunday 2015

its a lovely sunny day out there this morning, and i had been having a chat with my talk talk provider call person. i got a letter from them some time ago saying from 1june i wont be able to get free local calls all day, but only after 7pm-7am and weekends. and from 18july i wont be able to get free calls on 0845, 0870 numbers.  and they are raising the monthly charge from £8.50 to £10 a month. well, i actually am paying only £2.75 a month now. so i called to ask if i could renew the contract but he told me my contract dont expire until 9 aug. so i shall call them then and see. it would be great if i can renew the contract on the same terms but i doubt it. the trouble is simon likes all the catch up tv that this you view box lets him so he wants the service. so i cannot threaten to shift to a more basic service if they wont give me any discounts.

ah well, even if it is £10 a month i suppose it is a good buy. now watching tv is quite joyful, with the high definition and big screen. one of the joys of living in this day and age… and living in london.

added. 9.51pm. i had a nap, slept about 6pm to about 8pm. rather nice sleep. i said that it is nice to watch tv and looking at the tv program tonight i thought they are good to see, but actually i find i got bored with them. i saw the first episode of ‘jonathon strange and mr norrell’, which held my interest, but this 2nd episode did not. maybe it is me, i was just not in the mood for it. ah well, i circled 3 other channels for the 9pm slot, but didn’t feel like watching them. instead saw an old repeat of the rise of the continents which was more interesting. it was talking of the indian continent drifting north and creating the himalayas, and the african continent moving north creating the alps and eventually the mediterranean sea will disappear. it sounds so strange doesn’t it, would anyone believe it that land can move? 

all this technology you know. and still be able to gain easy access to books. the library has got another lot of new books and i borrowed 2. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

the celia imrie one is really interesting, as who haven’t dreamt of living in southern france, at least wintering there and she describes the atmosphere and scenery and way of life there in a very appealing way.

added 5.13pm.

the last of the daily mail lego giveaway. the ninjago.

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

added. 10pm tomorrow is the last of the bank holidays for spring. so many of them that i dont know about u lot but i am getting fed up of them. haha. i mean all those who had eagerly looked forwrd to the bank holiday when easter came, must have made a trip abroad allready by now, and must have got a bit over holidayed and run out of where to go this time. not to mention fighting the crowds who also are lemming like heading abroad. i bet now most of them will stay in the uk. 2 bank holidays in May alone. what a surfeit of it. we have run out of ideas what to do with it. i bet. 

Nicole Allisson♥ Nightmare in Paris- I went to Jail (Part II)

11 Jan

Nicole Allisson♥ Nightmare in Paris- I went to Jail (Part II).

i got this from the facebook page of one of my cousins.

it looks like malaysians are suspects now because it is a islamic country. the french are now so jittery anyone from a vaguely muslim country will get a jittery reception if u give them the slightest suspicion.

it looks like malaysians now have to get a letter of invitation to visit france if u have a relative there. and if u dont have a relative there then u have to have a hotel reservation and enough money (60euros a day it seems) and medical insurance. things are made more difficult because so many malaysians dont speak french.

it seems to me that from what is required, it might be better to just give the name of a hotel and make a reservation with that hotel rather than bother to go through all that hassle with the letter of invitation which has to be signed by the mayor of the town that your host is staying.  and what about those who are using bnb, someone’s home but who are strangers to you. they might not want to go to all that trouble to get a letter of invitation from their mayor esp when u are strangers to each other. i guess best is just avoid going to france. that way all these become irrelevant.

i think once people realise that customs will tighten the requirements for entry to france, people might just avoid france altogether.

i have no intentions of going abroad, but i think this just makes me real glad i dont want to go abroad again. and definitely not france.

can’t blame the french customs for strictly implementing the requirements now, when before they were very lenient about it. i wonder if these strict requirements apply to all muslim countries. or even to all non EU countries.

living in london is actually very nice

3 Mar

London Monday
It’s March already and some might say the start of spring, though most of us will take after the spring equinox for the real spring to begin.

It’s quite cold outside  when I walked to the swimming pool centre yesterday, sunday. 

It’s a huge building slap bang in prime land near the victoria station. It is owned by the Westminster council but run privately. it’s a really nice place to swim, but can get quite crowded esp today (is it because it is the weekend?) when I went around 12.30pm. Though when I left at about 1.30pm the lanes were quite empty. You have to take potluck.
I think the water is warmer during the weekend, though it is not consistent. I have known the water was warm in the weekdays too. But today it was warm.
There was a sign at the desk saying the pool will be closed during some hours on some days this month. So I took note of the days and times just so I don’t go there then. I think there is some kind of gala event happening at those times. Or maybe groups have booked those times.

I thought I will meet some guys who go regularly to swim and make friends that way, but I go so haphazardly that I don’t see the same guys twice. So like the gym I don’t really make friends to find regular swim buddies. But then, swimming is one activity which u don’t need another to do. It is a great activity for introverts haha.
And it is very nice to go whenever I like without having to go at set times; if I have a swim buddy I will have to go at set times. On the other hand, having a swim buddy may force u to go more often to the centre to swim instead of laziness taking over. Though I think I am strong minded enough to go often without the need of a swim buddy to force me.

You may be wondering why I am talking so much about this swimming. It is because it is one of the activities that one can do that is enjoyable , free in my case, and healthy.

I read this article in older hood.com about living in france.
http://olderhood.com/2014/03/03/retired-in-france-mcdo-is-coming-hip-hip-hooray/?relatedposts_exclude=2066

I was surprised that they still adhere so strictly to closing their shops between 12pm-2pm. I read somewhere that they are closed all day Sunday too. In uk, we are so used to everything open all day, we can go into any place and expect it to be open. Not in france it seems. And not in spain too if my experience there is anything to go by. They close their shops between 2 and 4pm I think. That is one thing I cannot stand about living in Europe. This closing of shops just when u are going out. many a time we were left hanging about waiting for the shops to open. 

I am very glad that in uk the shops open for the customers’ convenience and that is another reason to like living in uk.
The writer of that blog said she enjoys the cheap wine, the cheeses, the French food… she says she prefers eating a 3course meal and bottle of wine for 11.50euros, rather than mac donalds for 6euros. I can see why she would , but I was thinking it does make u eat more than u want. And drink more than is good for you. Is there no half way house where for 6euros u can have a cheaper French fix price lunch? Perhaps 2course and a glass of wine?

One thing in uk we don’t have… their fix price lunch menus that is so ubiquitous in Europe. It is good value for money more so if u drink, but it is still a lot to pay for lunch when most of us just want a quick snack.

I think that is why macD is so popular in the uk . Here u can have a macD for £2, get the vouchers given out in the metro or standard … you can get a big mac and u get free chips included too. Of course £2 is still £2… is not as cheap as making your own sandwich which I do… that is why even though I sometimes get tempted by those vouchers, I don’t buy it. I have eaten it once and found it was not as nice as my own homemade sandwich. I thought it was too salty and strangely not very filling. I found I want to eat some more after eating a big mac. ( do u think they put something in the food that makes u crave for it? It is very salty and yet you want more of it…does salt make people wish that?) Whilst after eating my sandwich I am full.

French face fines for buying sex but critics warn if clients are forced underground, prostitutes will too – Europe – World – The Independent

24 Nov

French face fines for buying sex but critics warn if clients are forced underground, prostitutes will too – Europe – World – The Independent.

Added.28.11.13 it looks like this new law is an attempt to control the foreigners who have dominated the prostitute scene. The foreign gangs who traffick the foreign women into france and  according to the authorities force them to work as prostitutes. (knowing humans, quite a few, if not the majority, would be foreign women who volunteer to come and work as prostitutes, and if they are caught, they will say they were forced. of course, otherwise they too will be prosecuted.)

french born prostitutes have lost ground to foreign women. it seems germany made it legal, and saw a huge increase in foreign women coming to work as prostitutes. 

france used to be so liberal about sex, and prostitution. that is in the past, if it ever were the case. not now. the country is confused now. first it says prostitution is illegal and prosecuted prostitutes but not their clients. now this new law if passed will make prostitution legal, but prosecute the clients.

one would wish they will make up their minds. make it illegal and prosecute both client and prostitute. or make it legal and prosecute neither and regulate the industry so that it become like any legitimate business.