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Cultural Snapshot: 5 Things Found in Nantes [2]

Here is another installment of the “things found in Nantes” series, with the latest pictures!

Little piece used to keep shutters open
Little piece used to keep shutters open

In  many historical buildings, French windows and shutters are often a work of art. Unlike Canadian windows, they don’t shield from the weather that well (French apartments are often chilly during the winter months) and they rarely have a screen to keep bugs out (something that is very common in Canada). But they are pretty! One-side or two-side exterior shutters are often brightly coloured are usually made of hardwood. This little head-shaped metal piece keeps shutters open during the day.

Breizh Cola
Breizh Cola

Many bars in Nantes don’t serve Coke or Pepsi but “Breizh Cola”, a local brand of cola bottled by Phare Ouest and sold in Brittany. This alternative cola probably appeal to consumers who are tired of giant companies and want to support local industries. Does it taste good? Well, I have to admit this is not cup of tea—nor my glass pictured here. I stick to coffee and Coke Zero…

Spelling error!
Spelling error!

French are very picky about their language, and they generally value proper spelling and grammar. The education system stresses on la langue française and until the end of junior high, conjugation tests and dictations are routinely dreaded by students. Yet, yet… spelling errors do creep in here and there. It’s not “piètons” but “piétons”, the accent is wrong here!

Naming wild weeds
Naming wild weeds

A green thumb gave plants growing wild through cracked concrete their (presumably?) proper name. This one is “Oxalis triangularis” apparently. I found the idea interesting and a bit different from usual graffiti and street art!

Funny sign in Nantes
Funny sign in Nantes

Typography, fonts and letter spacing do matter… else it can produce hilariously wrong signs. I did a double take when I notice the name of this store. “Anals”? Nope, presumably “Anaïs”, a French name. Ah bon.

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