Friday, March 16, 2012

on the ninth day in paris

16 - March - 2012

Dear Reader,

it's not that the Reporter doesn't like to write on even days, it's only that she pretends she is very busy.

So this will be a short post as she has soon to leave to go see a friend for a late afternoon tea. Friendship in france, is a very important thing. It's sort of amazing coming from a national collective group who is so easily grumpy, complaining how much it is impossible to live in france now, the food is not what it used to be, the baguette is a mockery of what it used to be, the weather is not what it used to be, anything dealing with city ordinances and its red tape has them in semi cardiac arrest. Parisians will lift their eyes to the heavens and exclaims, "L'Administration" with an admirable display of disgust. L'Administration covering anything that has to deal with government employees.

So you would think that the French and above all the Parisians, are completely depressed people. Well, not at all. They are not, because they have ' L'Amitie"
which is Friendship. Friendship along with wine tasting is what makes life completely livable for a French man.

So when a Frenchman takes some time off from work, he will have a cup of coffee, or a drink, or a lunch or a dinner with a friend and there he will be able to depict all the ills of his life, the weather, the baguette, his wife, his children, his mother, the Administration, the weather, and so on. And in fact if by a nice warm spring day, you check people at the terrace of a cafe having a cup, or a glass of something, you will notice that they are never silent. They speak eagerly to their friend across to the table, sometimes they both speak at the same time. So after one hour or so of this talk, they will both shake their heads, say together that this a terrible place to live in, they will complain that everybody complains, and that people are so negative, and then they pay for their drinks, and then they hug or shake hands agreeing to meet again soon like tomorrow, and then they part and they walk home happily.

And that, dear Reader, is the reason why the French do not go see a therapist, because they would have to repeat all over what they just said, and that would be terribly boring. What is more, therapists in france do not offer you wine or coffee or such amenities so there's really no reason to visit them, and that is why you have so many cafes in france, they are of national therapeutic value.

In a future post, there will be some pics from these therapeutic places, the Reporter didn't have time to do any as she had today and yesterday to meet three friends in three different cafes and there was a lot to discuss.

There is another thing that keeps the french happy and healthy, and that is books.

People in france love to buy books, and sometimes they read them, but the most important thing about the books they buy is that after they buy a book, they can go to a cafe with you and debate for a minimum of an hour the book they have just bought and explain that you shouldn;t buy it because they could have re-written that book so much better.

So Book Buying is a very big thing in paris. As a matter of fact, yesterday was the private opening of the Salon du Livre. Which means the Book Show. That in paris is a grand happening. On the first evening it opens, you can only go there with an invitation, so you walk there like the Reporter who had an invitation, and you arrive thereand you get into that convention hall, Porte de Versailles, and there you are swamped with about 10,000 people who were invited too, because books are important in france. So you can go from one publisher stand to another publisher stand. Each stand has its own little private buffet and bar, and everyone is engaged into a very serious conversation how they would have written that book so much better, it's pretty exciting.

So the Reporter stopped to have a look at the Moscou Cafe, but there, it was full of Russians who looked to be very absobed into re-writting Russian books too.

then there was the stand for a television weekly Telerama, who had also a very nice little buffet, where people were explaining how they could have shot themselves that little tv series so much better :

Then there was a lot of very important people who were walking really fast,

And then there was that publisher called Albin Michel and the Reporter took a picture since she liked their poster a lot :

And then the Reporter met her friend who works for l'Institut Francais, and since she is an awesome wonderful friend, the Reporter paid her homage,
and then the Reporter went to have dinner to another friend's house, because friendship in france is the thing to be involved with.

And as the Reporter walked through the Place du Trocadero to her delightful friend's house, she saw that all the cafes were full, the temperature at 8 pm was like 80 degrees, people were having dinner outside, and the Reporter remembered that Voltaire had said " The Weather is not what it used to be. ' And Voltaire wrote this in a letter in 1756.

So the Reporter felt really good.

With love,

the Frog

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