Monday, January 13, 2014

Le French bashing

There seems to be a fight of words 
about the downfall (or not) of France
between Newsweek and Le Monde.

An article in Newsweek states several reasons for the 'Fall of France,'
among them those sky-high taxes, the high price of food and living
and the greatest minds leaving to escape said taxes and... Francois Hollande.

France has come back with a few choice words of its own
defending their culture with its high ranking in foreign investment, according to Ernst and Young;
and in its productivity, still behind the US but with a shorter work year; 
its high population growth and life expectancy (both beating the US);

and of course, its gastronomy: the number one employer in France. 

For me, there is nothing anywhere in the world
like eating in France.

You cannot go to any cafe or restaurant in the US
and get escargot floating in butter, garlic and parsley.
Our steaks may be more tender
but the French smother them with a peppercorn sauce
that makes it out of this world. 
(And while that's the most plebeian of fare,
it's one of my favorites.) 

What are your favorite things about France
and what do you think about Le French bashing?

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen
from Restaurant de la Tour in the 15th)


  1. No French bashing from me. Perhaps it is much different if you live there, but I have to say that from reports of friends, I have huge respect for their medical care and would be willing to pay taxes for that alone. The food. Oh, my -- just Saturday we had friends over and got into a big discussion on how the lowliest, even "fast" food in France or lunch at a relatively routine cafe was infinitely better than most of the best food here. Oh, and the arts and appreciation of historical architecture and... well, I think you can see where I stand!

  2. If I were uber wealthy, I'd be out of there in the blink of an eye. 75% tax on the wealthy? I hear many of them are leaving, including the billionaires. The food is probably much better homemade; I paid more than $400. for a meal at a Michelan starred restaurant (just me) and it was beautifully presented and tasted good, but, I must say, it was not worth the price. And, I never wanted pork again after leaving Paris. They eat a lot of it. Having said these things, I love France and wish I had a vacation spot there and could visit all parts of France. I've seen places in the French Alps, south of France and Normandy - all look so interesting and beautiful.

  3. Mary Stephens MitchellJanuary 19, 2014 at 3:42 AM

    Hi Kirsten, I always enjoy reading your blog. As I've only been to Paris so far (and through the countryside at lightning-quick speed on the Eurostar), I can only really tell you a few of my favorite things about Paris: the allee of ancient chestnut trees in the Jardin des Plantes; the way the sun glows off the golden figures on the Pont Alexandre III; the exquisite framboise et pastiche macarons at Le Moulin de la Vierge on the Rue St Dominique; the rooster at the top of Notre Dame. Mostly I love being surrounded by an almost surreal atmosphere of beauty. As to France-bashing? I feel the same way that I do about America-bashing: it's usually done by those who would rather notice the speck of dust rather than the masterpiece.


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