Articles in Trends
In France, the saying goes that “le client est roi”. But in fact, the customer is anything but a king: at best he is an idiot, a minor annoyance in your day. As this funny article on “How to play the French service game … and win” explains: “The customer is king. But we all know what they did to their royal family. The guillotined head of Louis XVI bounced across the Place de la Concorde as a few thousand Parisians laughed at it”.
The more I attend classes at university, the more I feel like I belong in a museum. The big museum of failed and forgotten ideals. Move along, nothing to see here.
After shooting the torch relay, I decided to stay downtown and to have a look at the night festivities on Parliament Hill. By the time I got there, I learned from two ladies (pictured below) that they would only start after sunset… I wasn’t going to sit on the cold waiting, like them, for a few hours. I headed to Chapters and grabbed a hot coffee.
Today, the Olympic Torch of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics arrived in Ottawa and it traveled all over the city. I walked to Bank Street and waited patiently with the next torch bearer for the current bearer to arrive.
When I stepped outside the house for a last smoke, right after midnight, I caught sight of a shadow on the sidewalk. A young woman was standing there, looking in my direction.
I was absolutely unaware of our reputation abroad until I started traveling. Then, I realized that the French were said to have this little je né sais quoi. In plain language: French were libertine, were doing it all the time, routinely had several mistresses and lovers and had a god-given talent for romance.
The news caught my eye on Monday morning. Maybe it is because we are travelers, maybe it is because we were going to fly from Rio de Janeiro to Paris a just few months ago (we eventually bused back to Buenos Aires), or maybe it is because it was an Air France flight.
To me, going door to door trying to explain people they are going to hell is about as useless as a telemarketer who is calling at 11:00 pm to sell AIG stocks. How does shoving your beliefs in my face is going to make the world a better place?
Until now, I had always kind of avoided medical dramas. First of all, close-up of a brain surgery is not a great way to start your dinner, and second, well, it’s too much drama.
This is my last week of work at school, and I’m facing what is perhaps my most tricky mission so far.
I arrived Monday morning wondering how to deal with the whole situation. How much French could I teach in three days, and how willing would the employees be to learn? How would they handled the fact that they were losing their jobs?