In The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, the following sentence has prompted much speculation: "There were rebilhous, who called out the hours of the night, 'cinderellas', who collected and sold ashes used for laundering clothes, men called tetaires, who performed the function of a breast-pump by sucking mothers' breasts to start the flow of milk, and all the other specialists that the census listed under 'trades unknown' and 'without trade', which usually meant gypsies prostitutes, and beggars." So, uh, tetaires? [more inside]
need some pointers as to research strategies/leads to find out about the state of the art knowledge about the moon in 1878, with particular reference to things arising in or popular in the French scientific community. First thoughts are Times digital archive and to look for an encyclopaedia of similar date. Any leads appreciated.
Can anyone explain this sign? [more inside]
Currently there is a lightning storm on the France / Spain border which is oddly circular. It looks like this as seen on lightningmaps. Why is it this shape?
I've been watching the Tour de France (thinking of starting a Phil Liggett drinking game, with phrases like "dancing on the pedals" and of course "lactic acid". Anyway, among the bunches of cars and motorcycles in various roles I've noticed one with the AG2R logo on the fairing. As they are also a team sponsor, that got my attention, but I can't figure out what that motorcycle is doing. No passenger, just a pilot on the motorbike, and no obvious role like medical, law enforcement, support*, or cameras. [more inside]
I need to request a police report from a French city. The USPS doesn't sell International Reply Coupons anymore, and I can't mail coins. I can send a €5 bill (about US$7) to cover the €2 postage, or nothing at all. I have included my email and fax in the letter as well as a self-addressed envelope. Is it a good idea or bad idea to include the five Euros?
It is my understanding that French high school students take a year-long philosophy course in the last year of the lycee. So what's it like in this course, anyway? [more inside]
I'm looking for THE forum for peeps like me (mid-30s, freelancing creative professional, not a backpacker) making a go of settling down overseas. I figured the hive must know the good sites with relevant info. [more inside]
In Paris with new husband, atrocious French skills. Haven't seen my Brit sister in over 15 years and she booked us hotel in Deauville-Trouville to meet tomorrow, 15 June. All I know is the train leaves from Gare St Lazare. The NCSF site requires Europe billing address so we couldn't buy ticket online, and train listings appear and disappear. We are getting frantic about what is happening. Train strike appears to be renewed, from what I can glean. Can anyone help?
Any mefites knowledgeable about the French transport situation at the moment? Two of us have booked train tickets from Paris to Caen tomorrow and it seems that almost no trains are running. [more inside]
I always found the answers to travel questions here very interesting, so here it goes: At the end of August/beginning of September, we want to go on a little post-conference vacation in the south of France. Our plan is to rent a car in Lyon and fly back two weeks later from Marseille. Do you have any tips and recommendations for us? Anything special we should keep in mind regarding to renting a car? We thought that the area of Languedoc-Roussillon is not as crowded as the Cotê d'Azure, so which cities should we visit? Primarily visiting some interesting places and relaxing at the beach is planned but tips for some short hikes are also highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Some freinds and I are going to take a train from Amsterdam to the South of France this summer and we need some ideas for places to check out on a budget and with interesting places/events/people to check out. [more inside]
Where can I view a specific tourist road sign design I saw in France? [more inside]
I'm a Canadian/UK citizen living in London and I'm going travelling in Europe for three months. What's the best way for me to manage my money/cell phone plan while I travel? Requirements and details over the fold. [more inside]
What shaving creams were popular in France in the '60s?
Flat for entirety of June in Paris, with my British sister meeting me in Deauville for two days. I haven't left the USA since before 9/11, and my partner hasn't since he was a kid. I need ALL THE ADVICE: apps to help, other day trips, is Italy feasible sans car, June weather, language sites -- I am combing MeFi but am just overwhelmed, and fearful older content is out of date. Help! [more inside]
I am booking a trip where the most cost-effective option will have me spending about 24 hours alone in Paris with nothing much to do. I've been many times before, done all the tourist stuff, and honestly, don't really like the city. Some bad memories plus something about France just doesn't sit right with me. What's the least Paris-like place in Paris where I can enjoy my day/evening? [more inside]
What’s the best website for finding traditional buildings in France? I don’t mean the architectural gems that everybody knows about, the chateaux, cathedrals, and other grand buildings. It’s fine if the website includes those, but that’s not our focus. Our interest is in seeing the traditional buildings in different regions--manor houses, town houses, farmhouses, mills, dovecotes, maisons a colombage, granges, lavoirs, and so on. We’d like to find one or two websites we could use each night that would help us discover what might lie along the next day’s route. The websites should offer the ability to search by map and ideally cover the whole of France. [more inside]
In summer 2016, we'd like to take a major trip to France, probably a month to three months. We have about 2.5 years to save up. What's the best credit card for accruing miles? (and any other tips you have for saving, besides sticking $20 in a jar every week…) [more inside]
We'll be in Paris on March 13th and 14th. We're staying very close to the Musée d'Orsay but we're willing to travel off the beaten path. Currently we've found Les Climats which seems highly regarded and right up our alley in terms of menu. However... [more inside]
My friend is a French expat living in the USA and is almost finished writing a play--in French. She is looking for some feedback on her work from people who are decent speakers of French and know enough about writing for theater, or fiction in general, but it's been surprisingly difficult to find such people. Do you have any ideas for helping her find such people? [more inside]
There was a one-person food blog/website with gorgeous photography. At point, he went to France and came across a food that roughly translates to 'baby Jesus'. It was not a variant of a King cake. Does anyone remember this website?
I'm looking for daily local video news from Paris, France, in French, online. [more inside]
I will be in the Brussels area over Easter weekend and I need tips on where to go. [more inside]
Looking for advice on cost of living in France (South of Paris, Nice or Toulouse area). Partner and I would be making €120 to €140,000 combined household, before taxes. Another option is California where we could make way more money (at least $200-$220k combined, and less taxes). What is the cost of living in California (Irvine or San Diego) as a comparison? Is it expensive to have kids in the US? [more inside]
Going on honeymoon in June to Paris. I have a friend who runs a business renting apartments in Paris for a month at a time, and he's just sent me the first two options. One costs 1390 Euro, the other 1250 Euro. Both are crazy good locations with crucial amenities like bathrooms. Is this about right, or should we ask for cheaper quotes? [more inside]
Yes, it's another France itinerary question. My husband and I are traveling to France this summer (late June) and I need some itinerary advice. I am trying to figure out how to fill four days of travel between leaving Annecy and arriving in Paris. On Day One, we check out of our hotel in Annecy. On Day Five, we have to take a train or drive from wherever we are and arrive in Paris by the afternoon. So, we have four full days of itinerary to fill. Specifics inside... [more inside]
A friend of mine is going to Paris, France in the next two weeks to visit family. He's fine with figuring out the touristy stuff, but is wondering if there are any food-related events going on.. i.e. openings, festivals, cooking shows, etc, that maybe locals would know about? Or, maybe to know where to look for such things?
Looking for movie recommendations that feature French scenes, spoken French is good too. [more inside]
Hi, my last questions have been about learning French, then skiing in France (thank you for all those answers to those questions)...and now I'm thinking "what about working in France"? [more inside]
Hi, I am looking for tips or advice on how to ski cheaply in France. [more inside]
I'm in the middle of In Search of Lost Time. It's interesting me in French history. It's better to learn about it from non-fiction, though, since Proust mixes real figures and facts with ones he made up. What good books are there about any period of French history between 1789 and, say, 1939? Popular or academic books are fine, and they don't have to concern themselves with wars, arms races, and treaties, either. Cultural histories are good.
I will be in Paris for a week and some change between Christmas and New Years. I've been before so I know all the standard tourist spots- but I know the holiday season will mess up openings and closings so I'm interested in fun, interesting things and places ...that will be open. Ideally looking for performances, music, English-language theater, etc. I'll be traveling with a classical musician with a fondness for opera, so looking for things along those lines. Any seasonally specific events or things I shouldn't miss?
I'm head to Europe from the US for a week with my brother. We're visiting a friend who lives in Toulouse, France, who will be driving with us for a week through southwest France and southeast Spain. Looking for ideas of fun, exciting, and beautiful things to see, eat, and do -- while avoiding bigger cities and exploring the countryside/towns. [more inside]
Looking for guidance and travel tips on a trip I am planning - driving from Paris to Toulouse and then heading over to Italy. Where to stay on the way down to Toulouse for one night and what's the best way to get to Italy from Toulouse? [more inside]
I'm traveling to France (Paris and Provence) in a couple of weeks and I would like some good France-themed plane reading. I like both fiction and non-fiction, though if its non-fiction it should be some sort of narrative. Ideally I would like a book set in or about modern France (no Les Mis, no Tender is the Night, etc). Thanks!
If you have attended the Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights) in Lyon, do you recommend it? Even for a non francophone, who is also not too fond of cold weather? [more inside]
I'm going to be doing two medium-long (6-8 hour) layovers in Paris soon and I want to spend them riding around on a bike using the Velib bikeshare system. What are the best places to do this, using one of the RER B stations as a jumping-off point? [more inside]
Recently, I purchased a complete set of Balzac's Human Comedy for my Kindle. At roughly the same price as my morning coffee. Balzac was a infamously productive writer. So I'm asking for some recommendations to help me navigate this hyoooge corpus. [more inside]
I'm an English teaching assistant who will soon leave for France with no housing pre-arranged for me and no help from the schools employing me or from any other government organizations, despite numerous polite requests for assistance. How can I find low-cost and secure housing in Strasbourg as soon as possible? Are there reputable agencies to help individuals in my situation? [more inside]
I have an ageing relative who lives in Paris, France. He is highly functional and cognitively intact, but he has lost a lost of muscle mass in his legs and has fallen twice in the last year. How can I find a physiotherapist for the elderly in Paris? More beneath the fold. [more inside]
Traveling to France and want to visit Paris and Provence. Has anyone tried the new Ouigo train? (10 EUR from Paris to Lyon in 3 hours). How is it? Worth it? Anything to look out for? I'm leery because the website has no English version, and I've heard some tales of non-French credit cards being declined as well as something about needing a French mobile phone number. Someone to tell me what I need to know! [more inside]
I'm going to France for seven months to teach English to French high schoolers with a program through the French government. I'm incredibly excited to try my hand at teaching and improve my French. As someone with a chronic medical condition, I'm also excited to be enrolled in the Sécu and the MGEN - I imagine my medical costs will be some of the lowest in my life! Anyway, my question is what to bring to France for seven months, 1) for general quality of life, and 2) as teaching materials for my high schoolers. [more inside]
I'm cat-sitting for a few weeks in a small village 20 minutes south of Aix-en-Provence. Because of the cats, I am limited to daytrips, but I do have use of a car. I'm looking for interesting or quirky places to visit. These could be in a city, town or the countryside. [more inside]
I am in the early planning stages of a trip to Paris and Brussels. I'd like to find a place between the two (or at least not too far out of the way) to spend two nights or so in the middle of the trip. I'd prefer a small, walkable town on the coast or with some kind of natural feature that you can just sit and stare at. Calais? Lille? Bologne-Sur-Mer?
Due to some ill-advised scheduling, we (Americans) are travelling from London to rural Brittany, then back to our reserved room in Paris three days later. Rennes is the closest major city to Plumieux, the village where our friends live. All of the stuff I see online says to take the Eurostar from London to Gare du Nord in Paris, then transfer to Montparnasse to take the TVG to Rennes. From there we would catch a bus to get us near Plumieux, close enough for our friends to pick us up. [more inside]
Looking for Parisian hotels in Monmartre or in central Paris with US-quality wifi or Internet access during the Christmas season. No wifi tokens or credits or anything like that, looking for flat fee wifi within guest rooms for at least one device. That the hotel be nice to stay at is a plus.
Is there such thing as an English-language, available in the US, version of "livres de poche" (pocket-sized books)? [more inside]
Native or longtime speakers of French, as it is spoken in France: How does my spoken noob French come across? Link to embarrassing sound file inside. [more inside]
Looking for recommendations for going surfing and seeing caves in Basque Country-- Details inside! [more inside]