Friday the 8th of November 2019, a student set himself on fire in front of the Crous building in Lyon to symbolize the financial difficulties which he was facing. Crous stands for ‘Centre Régional des Œuvres Universitaires et Scolaires’ (Regional Center of Higher Education) and is a public establishment created by the Minister of Higher Education for research and innovation of France. Following this shocking suicide attempt, a protest was organized in which many universities participated in. The 14th of November, the official student union representatives were welcomed by the government for a meeting in which they asked for an increase in student loans as well as an increase of student precariousness for the nation. In the annual student’s cost of living report, the UNEF (the national student’s union) put forth an increase of 2.83% compared to 2018, in addition to the previous increase of 1.31% from 2017. The cost of living for students has had a slow increase for about 10 years now, drowning more and more underprivileged students. This news reminds us that although we are all in a private business school, we are still students just like many others in Bordeaux and our hometowns and unfortunately financial precarity concerns more people than we think of, even our closest friends. We owe it to ourselves to have solidarity amongst us in order to not exclude people who want to take part in the fun student life but cannot because of a strict budget. Let’s give a deeper meaning to the value of ‘Fraternity’, which belongs to France’s motto ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’, which seems to disappear nowadays.
On a lighter note, let’s dive into what to do this week with Kedge:
Here, just like in the last newsletter, is the planning of all the upcoming events prepared by the different associations of Kedge. Once again, I can’t promote any event in the exception of Melting Potes’ one’s (which will not fail you ☺). If an event interests you, don’t forget to tune into their Facebook page to get all the information needed!
What to do outside of Kedge?
Here you can find a small list of various things to do this week in Bordeaux:
1) Gastronomy If like most people in France you enjoy food, and more particularly cheese, the brewery BBF, located in the city center, has set up many giant ‘raclettes’ (a traditional French dish which is enjoyed in the colder months of the year) during the 28 to 30th of November.
2) Culture After having tasted raclette and hopefully loved it, you might be interested in a museum outing at the Beaux Arts in Bordeaux. Until the 9th of December, you will be able to see Roger Bissière’s paintings, an artist at the top of the 1950s class of the non-figurative style.
3) Outings/EventsFinally, if you are into thrift shopping and finding your treasures in other people’s stuff, take an hour or two at l’Esplanade des Quinconces in Bordeaux’s city center. You will be bound to find some things fit for your budget worth bringing home.
Finally, a key recipe that is enjoyed during the winter in France: Cabbage Soup! There was even a movie made called ‘La Soupe Aux Choux’ with iconic French comedians like Louis de Funès, Jean Carmet and Jacques Villeret to be watched with your bowl of soup.
For this you will need:
1 medium sized green cabbage (the star of the dish)
3 smoked sausages
A couple leaves of laurier
Salt and Pepper
Boil some water in a pot. Put your cabbage in for 3 to 4 minutes to whiten it. After this, take it out to let it cool.
Wash, peel and chop all your vegetables.
Once your cabbage has cooled a bit, chop it up to pieces.
Fill a big soup pot halfway with water and add to it all your vegetables, the sausages, the laurier, the thyme and salt and pepper.
Let it simmer for an hour and a half on low to medium heat. After this you can choose to blend it or not. And enjoy, it’s that easy!
We offer you to help through our partner So Energie.
Indeed when you arrive in your apartment, you will have to open an electricity contract. We therefore propose to you to open an electricity contract with So Energy which offers you prices cheaper than the other energy suppliers and those in the respect of nature because they are green energies!So Energy Website
The So Energy team will be present at the beginning of the school year and you will only have to provide these documents :
Payment method : cheque, credit card or bank debiting (with IBAN)
Statement electric meter
Number of the point of delivery : you can find this information on the lease, on previous tenants’s electricity bills, with the real estate agency.
IF THE DELIVERY POINT CAN’T BE FOUND : So Energy will need a picture of your electricity meter, your exact address and the name of the previous tenant.
Top 8 tips about French culture, behaviors and habits :
First we will do a little list as it’s written in the title, then we will talk about what to do the two following weeks in bordeaux.
Talking about food while we are eating :
I know it can sound crazy to you, but we French people always talk about food, even when we are eating, it can be about what we are eating, about what dishes we like most or even what we are gonna eat the next time we meet !
That’s how much we love food in France !
The 15 minutes of politeness :
Even if we are really strict with timing for formal meetings in France, it’s can be considered as rude to arrive exactly on time to a dinner or a party at a friend’s place for example.
We advise you to arrive approximatively 15 minutes late (that’s why we call it the 15 minutes of politeness). But you shouldn’t arrive to late! Call your host in advance if you will be more than 20 minutes late.
The kiss on the cheeks :
In France when we say hello we kiss each other on the cheeks, and we’ve noticed it feels quite strange to some of you (even if most of you have got used to it). We usually do it twice (one on each cheek) but, depending on their native region people sometimes do it one, three or even four times !
So don’t be offenced if someone approach his cheek to yours when you meet it is totally normal.
We always complain :
Some of you may think that our national sport is soccer, rugby, or whatever,… but you are all wrong !
There’s only one sport where we can’t be beaten, complaining.
We always complain ! Sometimes it feels like we were meant to do so, we complain we it is to hot but also when it is to cold, we complain when it rains but also when it is too dry.
But our biggest complaining subject is, food (again). We are never happy about what we get in a restaurant and even when we are there’s always something we don’t like about the service or the restaurant itself!
The French shrug :
I don’t know if you’ve already noticed but we often shrug our shoulders, and actually it can mean a lot of things : “I don’t know…”, “I don’t care…”, “it’s not my fault…”,… and probably missing a lot of them.
And depending on the emotion we want to transmit we also move or hands, eyebrows, lips,… in various ways.
Fake English words
When you will start to understand French, you will notice that we use a lot of English words, weird considering most of us don’t speak English isn’t it ?
Well, actually the English words we use don’t exist or are not use in a good way. For example we use “tennis man” for “tennis player”, “parking” for “car park”, “car” for “bus”, “people” for “celebrities”, “talkie-walkie” for “walkie-talkie”,…
Chocolatine or pain au chocolat ?
Ok, that’s a big one.
Some of you may not understand why there is such a debate on something like that but still, this is very important to us. It’s a kind of different dialect depending on or native region, some of us will always say chocolatine and some of them strange people will always say “pain au chocolat” (in Bordeaux we say chocolatine by the way).
So to understand it better here is a map of France on which we can see where we say pain au chocolat or hocolatine.
The “goûter” :
In some of your country you only have three main meals (poor you) : Breakfast, meal and dinner. Well, we have a fourth, the goûter, and maybe it is the most important of all.
But what exactly is the goûter ?
Well it is a meal we eat at exactly 4pm (the timing is really important) only composed of sweat things such as bread, chocolate, snacks,…
What to do this week with kedge ?
Here is the planning of all the events made by the different association of kedge.
I can’t promote any event instead of other excpet the melting-potes ones so i’ll juste let you with the global planning.
Don’t forget to go on Facebook to check the page of the association to know everything about events !!
What to do without kedge ?
Here is a little list of differents event happening this week :
1- If you like the Gin you will be happy :
The brand Old Lady release a new receipe this week, so the brand will organise degustation in several bars, here is the list :
Tuesday 5 : Le Dick Turpins, 72 rue du loup Bordeaux Wendesday 6 : Le Swing Marine, 151 Cours Gambetta Talence Thursday 7 : Les Mauvais Garçons, 23 rue Neuve Bordeaux Friday 8 : Le Connemara, 18 cours d’Albret Bordeaux Saturday 9 : Au Hangar, 340 Avenue Denis Papin La Teste De Buch
2- An exposition about Da Vinci at the Musée Mer Maritime Wednesday.
More than 120 models made on the basis of the original codices by Leonardo da Vinci are to discover. Created for a team of Belgian artists, historians, graphic designers and craftsmen, an exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci.
3- This week-end : The birthday party of the Halles de Bacalan.
From 8 to 10 of November i twill be the second birthday of this place. So the party will be nice with some DJ set, good food a great cocktails !
I know, you’re saying to yourself “Oh God I have been living here for several months and I still need to discover french traditions ?” OF COURSE ! 😜
France culture has plenty of aspects to discover !
So let’s see what you MUST DO BEFORE LEAVING FRANCE ! 😎
Eat french “crêpes” !
Wait, wait… You’re in France and you haven’t tried the “crêpes” yet ?
living your last moment in France and if there is one easy french recipe that you can make handmade is the CRÊPE !
really nice is that you can eat crêpes whenever you want ! For a brunch, as a
dessert, at 4pm… At any moment !
actually 22 years old and I haven’t heard during my whole life “I don’t like
No, never. Why ? Because you add whatever you want on it : sugar, Nutella, jam, fruits… and it’s always delicious !!
And most of all : it is really user-friendly ! Making crepes with others is a unique sensation : you’re waiting for THE moment when you finally have the opportunity to roll it and say your most beautiful “Mmmmmm ” with love in the eyes 😍
As you may
have seen, France is surrounded by one ocean and one sea.
And you are
lucky : Bordeaux is near the ocean !
The sun is going to be more present and the temperature higher and higher !
Most of you
are thus going to the beach, right?
about this day. Apparently this seems to be a good day, lying down between
friends on the beach… but when time comes to leave the beach, you are often
wondering what you can do next aren’t you ?
To extend the most your chilling day, the best idea is to find a specific place next to the beach (or a restaurant) where you can eat SEAFOOD !
prawns, lobsters… you can find whatever you want for an affordable price !
A perfect end of day after the beach would be : seafood with white wine, with the sunset in the background 🌅
If you haven’t done that yet, this is clearly a MUST DO 😉
Eat a canelé !
You must have been told about it : this is the iconic cake of Bordeaux !
Little cake with a soft batter flavored of vanilla and rhum, with a
caramelized crust. It has been a very
popular pastry in Bordeaux since the 1930s.
If you want to be a true Bordelais you must have tasted it. With a coffee or a tea you will live your best life, I swear !! 😁
I recommend « Canelé
Baillardran » they are true canelés made with the original recipe.
Again this is about food (i’m a food lover, sorry not sorry haha). The Macaron
is also an iconic pastry but not especially of Bordeaux this time, this is
globally a famous french pastry from
The macaron is a little cake made of almond, it is a bit crunchy on top
and so soft inside… actually this is a derivative of the meringue.
The macaron is a very ancient
pastry indeed the first macaron appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages. But the
very known Parisian macaron, with butter cream between the two sides of the
macaron, appeared in the 19th century. You could have find it in Paris since
1880 particularly in the Quartier
Belleville or the Quartier Latin.
Today, the most popular bakery who produce Macaron is Ladurée, who nowadays colors it with pastel tints to indicate the flavor 🙌
One word you’ll hear all the time around French locals is “apéro”. It’s short for “aperitif” and according to one survey on the custom, as many as nine out of 10 French people engage in these pre-dinner drinks, that often turn into dinner itself.
As French author Paul
Morand famously put it “L’apéritif, c’est la prière du soir des Français.”
or “The aperitif is the evening prayer of the French”.
And obviously being in France, the pre-food tradition involves food.
The apéro is a just another opportunity to enjoy the French way of life 🍹
The apéro is one of
the many French traditions around food. And as a true francophile, you
understand that food is sacred to French people.
You have to know that in a French aperitif there may be wine, beer, rosé and little things to eat like chips, cheese, toasts …
Camembert roasted with honey is also very appreciated! (image just below)
Drink a cocktail on the rooftop of Bordeaux !
A great welcome with a smiling and available team, a relaxing time in a bar with the best cocktails according to your wishes.
If you are not afraid to find yourself on the roofs of Bordeaux and have a 360 ° overview of all the Bordeaux monuments, then do not hesitate ! 😉
The marinière “ma chériiiie” as Christina Cordula a famous french professional stylist would say is a basic, timeless chic and trendy wardrobe! And no, it is not essential to go to Brittany to find the authentic sailor in sweater mode, cotton T-shirt one size, traditional or with a fashion twist.
So how did it come in the wardrobe of Parisian chic – or more precisely the chic woman, Paris or not? If it was necessary to designate a single culprit, it would be Miss Chanel, who from 1917, wears this striped knit that she buys in the shops of the port in Deauville!
But beware, Yves Saint Laurent is also involved, as for each of the upheavals of women’s clothing and it is he who introduces the first of this garment in his collection “sailor” of 1966. The marinière enters and in our dressing rooms for never come out again!
This THE most French clothe you can wear ! If you are invited in a costume party, don’t forget your “marinière”, you’ll be the most classy person 😎
Visit the « Chateaux de la Loire » !
No more food, but some visits of the amazing french heritage. The chateaux de la Loire are 22 castles :
the castle of Chambord, Sully-sur-Loire, of Angers, Nantes and others…
Each one represents fondamental chapters of the French History. There is beautiful architecture, gorgeous gardens, everything in the Val de Loire landscape, registered in the UNESCO heritage.
Here you will find the most used expressions by young French people in order to use them more easily in your daily life and to be the boss of French expressions
Someone who likes flirting with girls.
For example a girl can see a man flirting with several girls during a party and telling him “t’es vraiment un charo” which means litteraly “you’re really a charmer”
“T’as pas un 06?”
Expression to ask a number in a familiar way.
It is usually used in a funny way but you can also see people asking you seriously that in the street. They would say “excuse moi tu as pas un 06 ?”. Usually at the end they don’t get it..
Expression to say to a girl that she is pretty/well dressed.
It is very familiar, don’t say that to someone that you don’t really know. Avoid this expression in a professional workplace.
You can say it as “t’es fraiche ce soir” which literally means “you’re well dressed tonight”. Girls will appreciate that.
“Péter un câble/ un plomb”
This expression means that we are fed up, that nothing happens as planned. We lose control of ourselves, we go crazy. We crack psychologically, nervously. We get very very angry. However the French don’t “go crazy”… they “break a fuse”
“Se prendre un râteau/ Se faire recale”
This expression means to be rejected by someone with a seduction approach, to get a negative answer. Fail in the attempt to seduce someone. The French don’t “blow you off”… they “give you the rake” . It looks a little like the friendzone.
“Ca me gonfle”
The French use this expression when something annoys them. The French don’t say “this is annoying me”… they say “I’m getting swollen by this” (Ça me gonfle)
“S’en battre les couilles”
You say that when you do not care about anything, sometimes when you are angry like « laisse moi, j’men bat les couilles ». It can be just to express that you really do not care, for example about something: « Does it bother you ? » to say « No it’s okay I don’t care » you’ll say « Non c’est tranquille, j’men bats les couilles ». Tt can be funny too: your friend tells a story that everyone does not care about, and you say “On s’en bat les couilles” or “Qui s’en bat les couilles?”.
It’s very very familiar, only use it with friends.
“Avoir le seum”
It’s the term you use when you’re reeeaally disappointed about something, « J’ai le seum, j’ai cours à 8h demain » means « shit ! I have class at 8am tomorrow ».
If your crush does not answer you (sorry) you can say « j’ai le seum il/elle me répond pas » “shit! he / she does not answer me”.
“Se taper des barres”
When you are laughing a lot because something very funny happened. Then you say « on s’est tapé des barres »
it can be ironic too, something gets on your nerves or seems illogical to you, you can use “des barres “
“Etre en roue libre“
This expression corresponds to a situation where you no longer have control over yourself. For example, let’s imagine that you are in the evening and you are just having a series of drinks, let’s say « j’suis en roue libre » because you can’t stop anymore. Or if you say crazy things that no one expected they will say “T’es en roue libre!!”
Ps: Alcohol abuse is harmful to health.
“Être en bombe”
« Etre en bombe » means that you’re on fleek. If you come at a party wearing your best clothes or makeup, people wil say to you that you are “en bombe” because you slay girl !!!
This expression have different meanings, it could be a way to say hello to your friends like «wesh bien ou quoi? » (hey what’s up ?), or it can be a form of provocation to show your dissatisfaction like « wesh il est sérieux lui ? » (wesh is he serious ?).
The expression michto refers to a girl who take advantage of a guy, she uses her charm and kind of seduce him to have drinks, cigarets, etc… These are examples when there is a « michto » in a student party for example.
But there are « professionnal michto » (if we may say lmao) like women who use their charm to seduce rich men and so, take advantage of their situation, gorgeous gifts, travels etc… Generally this is a funny word, you can say it to tease your friend who in a party doesn’t pay anything and just enjoy the party thanks to another.
Originally, the word « miskine » comes from arabic, it means « the poor ». But nowadays we use it in french to talk about someone who is pathetic, it’s a pejorative word, even a mocking word. For example, if your friend is in a very ridiculous situation because of something stupid he did you can tell him « miskine » (for example in a party if he tries to impress a girl and he is actually being ridiculous, like he finally fell down or something like that, you can tell him « miskine »)
“En avoir ras le bol/le cul”
This expression is used when you are fed up with something. « En avoir ras le bol » is much more polite than « en avoir ras le cul » so, little tips : pay attention in which situation you would employ one or the other .
You usually can use it when you are bored with your work, about something that you are doing for one week for example and you can’t see the end.
Thank you a lot for reading this newsletter, we hope it will be useful for you. Have fun reusing these expressions in their context with your friends to train or make them laugh, or seduce girls but trying not to be a charo ..
Here are some tips that can help you to decide where to go for the next few weeks, France is full of treasure, feel free to discover some … 😊
Best means of transport : by plane (1h20)
Nice is a wonderful place to visit. Situated on the French Riviera, it has everything you need for a great time – stunning beaches, sensational bars and restaurants, amazing views, and wonderful culture. Here are some reasons to visit this city during the next weeks.
Nice has a wonderful selection of public and private beaches. Either head to the public beaches of La Réserve, Coco Beach or Villefranche-sur-Mer along the coast. If you want to lounge around in style, however, head to one of the private beaches where you can order your drink of choice while you recline on a wonderful sun lounger close to the beach.
The Panoramic views
There are a couple of places in Nice where you can get some amazing views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Head to Castle Hill in town, where – after climbing the stairs (or taking the lift) – you can relax with a little picnic. If you fancy a hike, head out toMont Boron where you can walk in the greenery, just outside of town.
The promenade des Anglais
ThePromenade des Anglais is one of the most iconic roads in France, starting at the airport in the west and continuing all the way around the Baie des Anges (‘the bay of angels’) to the headland in the east, by the castle.. It is full of bars and restaurants, beach clubs and ice-cream stalls.
Admire “La belle époque” Architecture
“La Belle Epoque”(meaning ‘the beautiful age’) was the period of time in French history between the Franco-Prussion War in 1870 and the First World War in 1914. It was when France went through a lot of changes, socially and culturally. The architecture of this period reflects this in the grand boulevards that were laid out and the beautiful houses that were built.
Best means of transport : by plane (1h10)
Le Parc de la Tête d’Or
This park one is of the top parks in France, maybe even Europe! It starts off as a fairly standard park with a greenhouse and extensive flora display. But as you keep making your way into the park, the beautiful flowers and magnificent trees take a side view to the animals.
Le “Vieux Lyon” (Old Lyon)
Vieux Lyon is the perfect place to get a feel for the history of Lyon. With stunning buildings and churches dating back thousands of years, Lyon’s past really shines on this side of town. Take the long, but totally worth it, walk up to the Lyon cathedral – here you’ll get unbeatable views of this beautiful city!
Come nighttime and those boats along the Rhône turn on the disco lights and pump up the music. Dancing the night away on a disco party boat in Lyon is just something you gotta add to your to do list, as it is one of the best places to party in Lyon!
The traditional Lyonnaise Food
Lyonnaise food is a distinctive feature in their long standing culture. Keep your eyes peeled for some of these top traditional foods at a restaurant or cafe:
Gâteau de Foie – Liver Pâté Cake
Cochonnailles – a dish made from pig, including the tongue and feet that apparently tastes better than it sounds!
Cervelle de Canut – Cheese with Garlic and Herbs
Praline pie – Just yum!
Gras double – Tripe Cooked with Onions
Salade Lyonnais – Warm Bacon and Egg Salad
L’ILE DE RE
Best means of transport : by car (3h)
L’Île de Ré is an island of the west coast of France near La Rochelle. The 2.9 km (1.8 miles) Île de Ré bridge, completed in 1988, connects it to La Rochelle on the mainland.
The area is a popular tourist destination. It has approximately the same number of hours of sunshine as the southern coast of France. The island has a constant light breeze, and the water temperature is generally cool. The island is surrounded with gently sloping, sandy beaches.
Oysters and fresh fish are always available. There is also a tradition in which the fishermen, upon returning from the sea, sell a small quantity of their catch directly on the quays, enabling them to buy a drink.
Markets are open on a daily basis in the main towns and are a popular place to shop, taste and chat.
L’île de Ré has a famous lighthouse called Phare des baleinespeaking at 57 metres. You can visit it and climb at the top after the 257 steps.
LE MONT SAINT MICHEL
Best means of transport : by car (5h30)
Le Mont Saint-Michel is an island and mainland commune in Normandy, France.
The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times. The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it : on top, God, the abbey and monastery; below, the great halls; then stores and housing; and at the bottom, outside the walls, houses for fishermen and farmers.
One of France’s most recognizable landmarks, visited by more than 3 million people each year, the Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Over 60 buildings within the commune are protected in France as historical monuments.
The parish church, little edifice of the XV and XVI centuries is dedicated to Saint-Pierre, patron saint of the fishermen.
The most incredible spot to visit isle chemin des remparts, indeed it enables you to see the bay all around the Mont Saint-Michel.
And finally, l’ascension du Grand degré is a path with 350 steps that lead you to the Abbey.
Best means of transport : by bus (2h, the cheapest) ; by train (2h30)
The Surf spot
In Biarritz, the surf culture is everywhere, as proven by the Cité de l’Océan and the number of surf shops and board rental outlets.
From April to November, 18 surfing schools welcome beginners or experienced surfers, for a few hours of tuition or several days.
Biarritz, the home of golf: 16 courses within 100 km, at 1 hour driving from Biarritz. A prime golfing destination, Biarritz boasts the second oldest golf course in Europe. Created in 1888, le Golf du Phare, is located right in the town centre.
Wellness and Thalasso
Each centre offers customised treatment and therapy to meet your needs, including seaweed body wrap, body sculpting, relaxation, massages, body scrubbing, balneotherapy, beauty treatments, post-surgery therapy, post-natal care, treatments to combat smoking and stress.
Sites and Museums
You can discover :
The Biarritz Historical Museum
The Aquarium of Biarritz
The Musée Asiatica
The Imperial Chapel
Best means of transport : by train (3h) ; by bus (3h20)
Cap breton is a commune in the Landes, department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. The town is situated about 40 km north of Biarritz.
The town is a popular holiday destination for sailors, surfers, and beach-goers.
Near the ocean, there are typical narrow streets in the town center, you will be surprised by a heritage built through the centuries and mixing.
Finally, l’Estacade, the emblem of this marine city, from where all Cap breton can be seen (colored hulls of fishing boats…). And obviously the fish market, where vendors and sellers are willing to distill valuable secret tips and recipes.
Best means of transport : by plane (1h20) ; by train (5h15)
Oh my beautiful Strasbourg…« Strasbourg mon amour »
Strasbourg, the European capital, combines picturesque charm and cultural and artistic abundance. In the city center, the Grande Ile, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes you to its cobbled streets and lively areas. Stroll to the typical district of Petite France with its canals and half-timbering, or stock up on cultural discoveries with our many museums, theaters, concert halls, the capital of the Alsace region of France and is most widely known for hosting a number of important European institutions like European parliament or Human Rights.
It’s also the capital of Christmas, there is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe with its mulled wine and lights throughout the city. A wonderful show…
Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries, especially through the University of Strasbourg, currently the second largest in France, and the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture.
So Strasbourg is right next to Germany, you can get there by tram in about fifteen minutes. The nearest town is Kehl where everything is cheaper: cosmetics, alcohol, clothes…
You can also go to Europapark from Strasbourg. The cheapest way to get from Strasbourg center to Europa-Park is to bus which costs 2€ – 5€ and takes 1h 21.
If you do not know it (are you serious?) Europa-Park is a theme park, the largest in Germany, and the second most popular theme park resort in Europe, following Disneyland Paris.
It is a 760-metre-high peak in the Vosges Mountains in Alsace in France, immediately west of Barr. The mountain is named after Sainte Odile. It has a monastery/convent at its top called the Hohenburg Abbey, and is notable also for its stone fortifications called “the Pagan Wall.” In 1992, it was the site of an Airbus crash.
Le château du Haut-Koenigsbourg : 9 centuries history
Since its construction in the 12th century, the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle has been a constant witness to both European conflicts and rivalry between lords, kings and emperors.
A number of illustrious owners each left their mark on the castle’s history, and successive events even led to changes in the castle’s structure… There is also the black forest, the Volerie des Aigles, Cascade du Nideck and lots of other amazing things to see.
Thanks for your reading, we hope that it helped you and that you enjoyed it 😙
From the provincial Catholic bourgeoisie, are rather « old France » parents but they always had to be open-minded. However, the pills were very difficult to swallow when their first daughter married a Muslim, their second a Jew and their third à Chinese.
Their hopes of finally seeing one of them marry in church therefore crystallize in the younger one, who has just met a good catholic.
Everything opposed them and it was unlikely that they would meet one day. Philippe, a rich aristocrat who became quadriplegic after an accident, will hire Driss, a young man of Senegalese origin, who has just been released from prison, as a home assistant.
Why him ? Quite simply because he does not look at Philippe with the same pity look as the other candidates. Two worlds will give birth to a friendship as crazy, funny and strong as unexpected, a unique relationship that will make sparks and make them return UNTOUCHABLE.
Le diner de cons (1998)
Pierre Brochant, a Parisian publisher, attends a weekly “idiots’ dinner”, where guests, who are prominent Parisian businessmen, must bring along an “idiot” whom the other guests can ridicule. At the end of the dinner, the evening’s champion idiot is selected.
La Tour Montparnasse infernale (2001)
Eric and Ramzy are working as window washers at the Montparnasse Skyscraper in Paris. Thinking that he has a date set up with beautiful executive Marie-Joelle (who actually hates his guts), Ramzy stays at work late while Eric hangs around with him.
As a result, the pair witness a gang of terrorists seize the tower and take its late-night occupants (including Marie- Joelle) hostage. Knowing that only they can save the day, Eric and Ramzy swing into action.
La vérité si je mens ! (1997)
“Eddie” Vuibert is a young unemployed man walking the streets of Paris looking for a work. While trying to escape two tricksters after winning their game, he meets Victor Benzakhem, a Jewish boss of a textile warehouse in the Trail District. Seeing a necklace which represents a star of David on the ground, Benzakhem hires the young man by mistakenly thinking that he is Jewish while the necklace belonged to one of the two tricksters
First a simple handler, Eddie becomes a salesman and progressively go up the ladder. He gets closer to the boss’s daughter, Sandra. Pretending to be a Jew with his friends and Sandra, the young man ends up starting his own business with the help of Dov and Yvan, but Benzakhem doesn’t like the idea …
Les visiteurs (1993)
In 1123, victim of hallucinations due to a spell cast by a witch, Count Godefroy de Montmirail kills the father of his bride, Frénégonde. In order to repair his mistake, he asks the wizard Eusebius to go back in time, a few minutes before the tragedy. But the wizard said the wrong formula. Godefroy de Montmirail and his squire Jacquouille the Rogue find themselves projected in 1992.
Astérix et Obélix mission cléopatre (2001)
Astérix and Obélix go to Egypt to help architect Numérobis who is building a palace for Cleopatra: In defiance of Caesar, Cleopatra promises to build a majestic palace in three months. In charge of the miracle, the architect Numérobis thinks to appeal to the Druid Panoramix. Despite the vicious plans of the rival architect Amonbofis and Caesar himself, our friends the Gauls, Asterix and Obelix, will maybe succeed in time!
A casting with very famous french actors for a very funny movie !
La grande vadrouille (1966)
When a British bomber is shot down over Paris during the Second World War, the crew members become separated as they parachute into the Nazi-occupied city. One lands on the scaffold of an amiable painter and decorator, Augustin (Bourvil). Another lands on top of a concert hall and is rescued by patriotic conductor Stanislas Lefort (Louis de Funes). The third ends up in the otter enclosure of a Parisian zoo. Meanwhile, the Germans are hot on their trail as they attempt to make their escape into the neutral zone of Southern France.
A Classic of french films, with monuments of French cinema that were Bourvil and Louis de Funès
La guerre des boutons (1962)
Each year, the schoolchildren of Longeverneand those of Velransare at war. A pretty lively war when the big Lebrac commanded the troups of Longeverneand l’Aztec des Gués »the troops of Valrans, both for the first time.
After the first battle, the children of Longevernekept someone prisoner. Then Lebrachad the idea that their prisoner could get his butt kicked by his own parents.
To do so, the troops remove the buttons of his shirt, keep his belt and his suspenders. The result is brilliant, the parents are mad at him, so the enemy starts doing the same.
The solution is therefore to fight naked but there are too many drawbacks (stings of insects, scratches…) The parents start to react in front of that damages. A reconciliation is eventually inevitable.
Our parents know it but we also saw it when we were young, this is a cross-generational film.
At the « Camping des flots bleus », there are a lot of people from all around France. As usual, at that time in summer this is the moment for reunion around the famous apérofor the regular visitors.
Except that this year the Pic family do not have their usual spot, the Gatineauare separated and Patrick Chirac, the playboyofDijonis getting dumped by his wife.
This is in this camping that Michel Saint Josse, plastic surgeon in Paris, end up despite himself. Thus Michelwill have to deal with a new species unknown so far : the camper…
This is a funny film with a lot of humor and catchphrases like « Alors, on n’attend pas Patrick ? »
Thank you to have taken some of your time to read this Newsletter, if at one moment you’re wondering “which film can I watch?“, just have a look on this list !
As a brand-new expat here in France, you might have
heard or seen people wearing yellow jackets striking (and sometimes breaking
everything) every Saturday.
So who are the gilets jaunes? How did the movement start? What consequences does it have?
The Gilets Jaunes are people protesting against several governmental measures and bills. The movement was named “gilets jaunes” because protesters wear the fluorescent yellow high-vis jackets that all motorists must by law carry in their cars.
In fact, initially the discontent was triggered by the government’s measures to keep increasing a direct tax on diesel, a fuel commonly used by motorists in France, as well as the carbon tax. Protesters see this as disproportionately affecting those who use their cars to get to and from their jobs every day, lowering their purchasing power and changing their living conditions.
But what began as a fuel tax protest is now having wider claims and part of the movement has morphed into an anti-government movement…
The first national day of protests was held across the country on Saturday 17 November and the protests have continued every Saturday since then, including roadblocks barricades on roundabouts and the blockading of fuel depots.
Worries of violence on both
Violence has escalated at the weekly Paris protests held on Saturdays. While thousands demonstrated peacefully on 1st December, about 3,000 people fought, running battles with police. They burned more than 100 cars, set fire to several private buildings and smashed bank windows and shopfronts on some of the most expensive streets in the capital.
Authorities blamed extreme-right and extreme-left “professional” rioters and delinquent for infiltrating the peaceful demonstrations. The Paris prosecutor said than 300 people were held in custody after the Paris violence on the first Saturday and most of them were men aged between 30 and 40 who “had come to fight the police while claiming to be part of the gilets jaunes movement”.
After these first excesses in Paris, provincial cities
also reached high peaks of violence, especially Toulouse and Bordeaux.
What other demands does the group have?
In a statement sent to media outlets, the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement made public a list of 40 demands they were planning on presenting to the government. Here are some of the key ones (we tried to make it as simple as possible but several issues are even more complicated than that):
No more homeless on the streets
A freeze on rent, especially for students and vulnerable employees
Higher taxes for bigger corporations and less for smaller entrepreneurs.
No taxing at the source.
Salaries and pensions
Salaries and inflation should be adjusted to inflation.
More permanent contracts known as CDIs in France, less CDDs (fixed-term contract) , which lead to more precarity.
Maximum salary fixed to €15,000/month.
Protect French industry — say no to offshoring
Same social security system for everybody.
A rise in handicap allowance.
End to austerity politics.
A decrease in the price of gas and electricity and to renationalise both utilities.
What is the government’s answer?
After all the violence and protests, the government started by postponing the fuel tax increase to try to calm people down.
After that, at the end of the year, the president Macron called companies and bosses to give their employees an exceptional bonus that wouldn’t be charged up to 1000 euros. It was not compulsory. The aim was to help people having a little bit more purchasing power.
The government is trying to answer the claims submitted by the movement but it is a tough job: the government tends to want to ask people to make efforts, to restrain themselves, in order to reduce public spending and our debt, to improve the ecological transition, to keep on building Europe and democracy, whereas the people is pulling toward the other side.
A Great National Debate was launched by the president Macron in mid-January to initiate a consult on a large scale until mid-March. This debate will be organised everywhere in France by mayors, on stands in public places. The aim is to explain and discuss 4 big current themes:
The public spending and fiscality,
The ecological transition,
The democracy and the citizenship,
The organisation of the State and public services.
By the beginning of March, various stakeholders randomly selected will gather in civic conferences to “take part in practical avenue formulation, give their opinion on what stands out after weeks of debate and provide input to the thought”.
To sum up, the government tries to involve the people in the thought by providing
information, explaining and opening the debate.
What consequences did the movement have?
CONSEQUENCES ON THE ECONOMY:
For many people, Saturday is not a working day in France so shops and restaurants use to make most of their benefit on this day. The gilets jaunes prevented people from going out (because too scared or because shops had to close because of all the violence) so a lot less purchasing on Saturday. Moreover, the movement started just before Christmas and this is the time of the year when most of the business is done as people buy presents for all their friends and family.
A lot of people bought everything online and on foreign websites.
As a consequence, shops and restaurants lost a lot of money, smaller
ones are even shutting down and the French economy suffered a real drop.
Besides, all the damages on the streets in Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse,
etc will have to be fixed with public money, meaning using the tax money…
The more the movement
goes on the less people are striking but they are equally blocking the
situation. People don’t go out on Saturday afternoon, foreign people and
tourists are scared and doesn’t always understand. The movement is decreasing
because many people don’t see the point anymore and are pissed of it.
The gilets jaunes still
on strike gathered in a small community: some of them are getting married on toll
booth or gathering to drink beers in shelters on roundabouts.
The government is
pressured and especially the president. The gilet jaune are screaming “Macron demission!”
which means “Resign Macron!”. They don’t have much room to manoeuvre.
The police has been having tough times with the movement and especially the violent part of it. Huge and violent confrontations took place and we can imagine they might be really tired.
To conclude, the Gilets Jaunes crisis is not over yet. We will probably have a few more ‘gilets jaunes” Saturdays to come. Life goes on still!
Don’t be scared, the gilets jaunes are not all violent (not to say not at all because violent ones are not real gilets jaunes) and won’t do you any harm. Just be cautious and avoid being in the middle of the confrontations between the violent ones and the police: at Place de la Victoire or Place Pey Berland especially, on Saturdays. The procession is pacific. We would also recommend you to organise yourself in advance if you have something planned on Saturday because trams are more likely to be interrupted!
If you were new to this movement or if you were wishing to have further information about it, we hope we contributed to enlighten it for you.
See you in a fortnight guys!
Based on our own understanding and observation of the movement.
Hello there! The Melting Potes are back with a fresh newsletter with VERY GOOD TIPS!
We are really happy and proud to present you our collaboration with the association:
Le Cannelé d’Adresses
Le Cannelé d’Adresses is a Kedge association writing and publishing a free city guide of our beautiful Bordeaux for Kedgeurs but also all people of Bordeaux. They try out restaurants, shopping adresses, chateaux and activities around the city to give feedbacks and comments and help you make the most of your Bordeaux exploration! We will let them give you further details on their wonderful project and advise you the best places to go…
Hi there! Le Cannelé d’Adresses is proud to collaborate with Melting Potes to give you most of Bordeaux’s good tips!
As said above, we are one of Kedge’s associations. Our goal is to come up each year with a free city guide of Bordeaux. We test and taste everything to select the best for curious people willing to discover the good life in Bordeaux!
To make your new French adventure a bit easier, we gladly decided to give you some of the best addresses Bordeaux can offer, with the help of Melting Potes. We mainly focused on restaurants and a few bars…
To sum up… Read, Discover, and Enjoy!
GOOD TIP: you may tell the following bars or restaurants that you’re coming on the Cannelé d’Adresses‘ advice (showing them the paper guide or the application that is translated in English) CAUSE THEY MIGHT HAVE PREFERENTIAL PRICES FOR YOU GUYS 😉
Les bonnes adresses du Cannelé – Restaurant addresses recommended by Le Cannelé
I. To discover THE tasty French food :
Le Hâ($$$) : 50 rue du Hâ / +33 5 57 83 77 10
It is time to go out of your comfort zone and try some French gastronomie! Indeed, you just pick your menu format… and then the chef concocts its best dishes made of fresh fish, meat, vegetables of the season, that are definitely exquisit!
Le Comptoir Fromager ($$) : 27 rue du Parlement Saint Pierre / +33 9 81 17 17 08
Le Comptoir Fromager is the good place to discover the right mix between food and cheese. There, you will taste a sublimation of cheese through sophisticated dishes. Actually, we can’t even recommend you any of them, since they are all so delicious (even if the Ravioles or the Reblochonnade are quite something)!
Reservation highly recommended.
Chez Mémé ($$): 51 rue Saint Rémi / +33 5 56 48 03 20
Chez Mémé is the ideal place to eat a good meal made with love, like our French grandma would. Simple, rich, fresh and tasty food only! For a real French tasting, we recommend to try the Oeuf Cocotte as a starter, and the Lemon Tarte as a desert. Because the main dish of the day depends of what Mémé just bought at the market in the morning, let yourself be surprised by what the menu can offer.
Loulou. ($$-$$$): 16 rue de la Cour des Aides / +33 5 56 48 21 28
At Loulou, changing is the mantra! This restaurant is to be tried immediately since its menu changes every two weeks – still always proposing really tasty food. Every single inhabitant of Bordeaux would only tell you to go… but with a reservation, cause it is often a victim of its own success.
Au Couvent ($$-$$$ ): 23 rue du Couvent / +33 5 56 52 85 80
Oh Gosh this is a good one! Not only does the decor look like a dream with its mix between old and modern, but the entire menu is a no-fault. Definitely worth going to the Chartrons neighborhood.
Le Petit commerce ($$-$$$):
Considered as an essential in Bordeaux’s to-be-tried restaurants, go taste a bit of the sea at this restaurant that does nothing “petit”. The iodized courses are served over several forms : tapas, planks, or simple dishes.
South West of France cuisine:
Le Petit Bec ($$-$$$): 14 rue de la Cour des Aides / +33 5 57 83 58 85
Perfect place to eat with complete peace. At Le Petit Bec, you’ll find a short menu with the exact local products of our beautiful region, especially concerning wine ! Best recommended for lunch – still book a reservation though.
La Brasserie Bordelaise ($$-$$$): 50 rue Saint-Rémi / +33 5 57 87 11 91
La Brasserie is specialized in making planks of good charcuterie and excellent meat (that you can actually see being cooked in our traditional way!). But as it is one of the most famous places in Bordeaux, you’d better book a table.
Corse (Corsican food):
A Cantina($$-$$$) : 14 rue des Bahutiers / +33 7 87 04 28 97
This restaurant is a real trip to our Island of Beauty! A Cantina is quite authentic and offers you to try some of its typical tapas (that aren’t really Spanish actually!), or its marvelous dishes. We highly recommend you to try its Lasagna made with a particular Corsican cheese… you won’t regret it!
Welcome to the paradise of Croque Monsieur ! There, the menu offers the most classical version of this French kinda sandwich, the Croque Madame, but also some really original ones, made of salmon for example, that are nonetheless delicious. The main drinks are artisanal beers that you should definitely try!
Oh, by the way, all products can be eat-in or take-out!
Chez Dude ($-$$): 10 rue des Augustins / +33 6 51 67 68 19
Go there to try our very French version of hot-dogs. There are no words to describe how good they are! But be quick, because the shop is supposed to close down by the end of the year (managers moving abroad)…
THE ideal place for the veggies or vegan among us! At Le Café Kokomo, you’ll find healthy dishes made with fresh and organic food only. The burritos and bowls change everyday. We also recommend it for a brunch, since their pancakes are worth it!
II. To discover some international cuisine (again?):
Asia, Latin America :
Bibibap (Korea – $$): 46 rue du Pas Saint Georges / +33 9 50 68 85 65
Bibibap is more than a crush. Originality: Bibibap’s Korean cuisine was imagined with a Franco-Asian vision. Literally “Bibimbap” means “rice mixture”. This dish is therefore composed of a rice base covered with marinated vegetables, meat, sauce and fried egg. It is the flagship dish of the restaurant but a nice tapas card accompanies it. Crispy chicken, Korean tacos (pure invention of the Chef)… All the food offered there is to take you directly to Korea.
Le Café Japonais (Japan – $$-$$$) : 22 rue Saint-Siméon / +33 5 56 48 68 68
My, my… This Japanese restaurant deserves our certificate of Excellence! Bento, Maki, California Rolls, Udon soup… not a single complaint about all the food served there! Sincerely, if you are looking for a good sushi restaurant, be my guest, go to Le Café Japonais!
Le Hutong Bordeaux (Singapour- $$): 1 place Général Sarrail / +33 9 67 61 81 99
A real stopover in Singapore, whether you are a fan of Asian gastronomy or just curious to taste typical Singaporean dishes, this restaurant is a must in Bordeaux. All you will find there is generosity put in a dish, and really tasty food.
It is quite simple, the nerve center of Bordeaux is the place Fernand Lafargue. On this square, there are several places to eat but only one reign: the Santosha. This Thai canteen is always full and serves continuously: its success does not go away. Their dishes are delicious and will satisfy even the voracious among you. Their large hall and small prices make it the perfect place to eat at any time.
Anh Kha (Vietnam – $-$$ ): 48 rue Saint Sernin / + 33 5 56 81 02 59
Anh Kha creates a clever mix between Vietnamese flavours and French influences in cooking among its generous plates. All along our moment there, we could only say one thing : “Oh my… this is delicious!”. Book a table before going !
Saveurs Latines (Latin America – $$): 3 Place Saint Pierre / +33 5 56 51 02 75
Let’s go for a night caliente! First thing to try there: its famous sangria made in front of you. Then, try its nachos with an exquisite guacamole, its fajitas or burritos, or even other spicy dishes. Royal moment: sharing the plank proposed with the best of its cooking, sit down on its terrace with a beautiful view of the historical Place Saint Pierre.
European Gastronomy :
Bodega El Pata Negra (Espagne – $$-$$$): 16 rue des Argentiers / +33 9 53 45 98 69
A little moment in Spain yet in Bordeaux! La Bodega El Pata Negra is the place to go to try some real good tapas, little delicacies eaten by Spanish people, usually on Sundays. This is the place to share a moment with friends in a Spanish way, especially while eating some Pata Negra (a specific ham made in Spain which melts in the mouth), or croquettas.
Capperi-Pizzaioli: 3 Rue de la Cour des Aides / +33 5 56 90 93 05 (organic food only)
Peppone: 28-44 Cours Georges Clemenceau or 9 quai Richelieu / +33 5 56 44 91 05 (no reservation there!)
Osteria da Bartolo: 15 rue des Faussets / +33 5 56 81 48 38
Sicilia des quais: 17 Quai Louis XVIII / +33 5 57 30 99 05
All these Italian restaurants are Le Cannelé’s favorite. Indeed, all of them are providing dishes with products coming from Italy, or Sicilia, and are the addresses we go to the most. Best pizzas? Capperi. Best pastas? Peppone. Best Sicilian food ever tasted? Sicilia des quais. Best Italian starters (& pizzas)? Osteria da Bartolo. No hesitation needed here!
Koeben (Scandinavia – $$-$$$): 32 rue du Palais Gallien / +33 9 86 15 02 20
Lucien and Peter will make you enjoy new and unexpected flavors from Scandinavia. It is in fact in a calm and sleek setting that Lucien will serve you the savoury and sweet dishes made by the good care of Peter, the Danish: herring for all tastes, cinnamon rolls called kanelbullar and many other unsuspected specialties. They will welcome you with open arms for lunch, snack or Sunday brunch.
This French restaurant with Japanese influences makes you work on your different senses while enjoying dishes of rare quality! Once you have settled down, choose among the various “blind” menus available, and specify your allergies to the waiter. He then brings you your dishes, as beautiful as they are, and it is up to you to play! Everyone give way to their feelings and imagination and the result is astounding… Everyone is aiming for flavours, colours or revisited shapes.
By far the best place to brunch in Bordeaux! A small tip: arrive around 11a.m. to avoid waiting too long outside because they do not take reservations and the restaurant is small.
Contrast is very cosy, you eat really well and copiously for the modest sum of 22€ (brunch formula including 2 toast, a fresh juice, a smoothie bowl, pancakes and a hot drink). As for the service it is fast and warm.
To sum up : excellent value for money!
Le personne n’est parfait P’n’p ($$-$$$): 57 rue des Ayres / +33 9 81 60 06 57
Fresh, nice and healthy are the three adjectives to describe the P’n’p. Two types of food are served there: snack or dishes, both salted or sweet. What you will find there are the finest pancakes of the city (especially recommended with its almond butter). Of course, you will also find the classic component of a brunch: avocado toasts with eggs, bacon… but all of them are associated in the best possible way! Last but not least, P’n’p serves French toast that are really delicious, and healthy juices. All made with local and fresh products.
Original point: the day to brunch there is on… Saturday !
This place perfectly mixes chic and trendy, with originality and history.
Evening couples will be thrilled with its romantic view of all the illuminated docks. Amateurs of good meats, we can only tell you to try the tartare, the rib or even the huge rib of beef to share. The wine cellar is also full of surprises that you should not be missed. For those who prefer the day no worries, the Siman offers its panoramic terrace to brunch in the sun.
III. Where to have a drink?
Going out at night is very popular in Bordeaux: due to the generally warm and nice climate around there, people usually like to go out at night to have a drink with friends in one of the numerous bars and terraces.
Walking by the little streets in the center (Rue Saint Rémi, Rue du Pas-Saint-George…), you’ll see lots of nice little squares, known for their bars and atmosphere at night…
Here are some good ones we selected for you:
The Wine Bar – is a small wine bar at the heart of the Saint Pierre district, with a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, whose passionate wine patron makes your palate vibrate with Italian wines, but also international ones, of great quality. Careful, the choice is hard between the many accompaniments that can transform your tasting into a quality aperitif with fresh products, from Italy. We love the small (but well furnished) deli plate at 8€!
House of Parliament (not a Cannelé partner) – a very nice place to have a drink in an Anglo-Saxon atmosphere. The waiters will speak to you in English. Located at the heart of the city center, you can watch big sport games there.
Le Vintage Café (not a Cannelé partner) – a good place to have a drink or eat some aperitif with your friends. Located on the docks, you can seat inside or outside.
Le Saint Aubin – located on the famous Place de la Victoire (one of Bordeaux’s main squares), this bar offers a huge terrace for you to liaise over some beers or wine with your friends. Very convenient for big groups!
Good tip: This is not a Cannelé partner but the Saint Aubin has a partnership with KEDGE, tell them you’re from Kedge for preferential prices!
Last but not least… Le Bodegon (not a Cannelé Partner but a KEDGE one, you may tell them to get preferential prices). Located on Place de la Victoire, the Bodegon is always full of Kedge people! Wonder why everyone’s here? The partnership with Kedge offers preferential prices (especially on beers…)! Don’t wait anymore!
DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK MELTING POTES’ MEMBERS IF YOU NEED ANY MORE ADVICE ON BARS!
That’s it for this newsletter guys! Hope you enjoyed it!
Melting Potes would like to thank Le Cannelé d’Adresses for its awesome work and for bringing such great discoveries to us…
In this newsletter #4, we wanted to tell you more about Xmas here in France and to talk a little bit about how to spend Christmas away from home as an expat.
In the world, Christmas is mainly known as an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion. It’s observed primarily on 25thDecember as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
However, if many cultures celebrate Christmas, there are various ways of celebrating it.
In France, here is what Xmas is like…
I. Dear French Christmas…
Santa Klaus in France is called ‘Père Noël’ (the literal translation would be ‘Father Christmas’).
Like in any places celebrating Christmas, the French Father Christmas wears a red suit and hat with white fur trimming with a broad black belt around his waist. He is tall and large, with ruddy cheeks and nose, bushy eyebrows, a white beard and moustache. His big brown sack is packed full of toys that will be delivered to every household at midnight, using his sleigh pulled by reindeers. He is a myth for young toddlers and children who believe he exists for real until a certain age.
Funny fact: Children are often told that they will have presents provided that they are wise.
Thanks for your beauty…
The French markets are among the most beautiful and largest in Europe. They are mostly in Eastern France with the oldest one taking place in the pretty city of Strasbourg.
Colmar and Mulhouse’s Christmas markets are also highly recommended and are wonderful places to immerse yourself in the French Christmas spirit.
Every town is decorated with Christmas (often light) decorations.
In churches and in some believers’ house, you can also find the Crèche which is a small reproduction of the Jesus’ birth scenery made of miniatures.
Thanks for your warmth…
Although every culture feasts during the Christmas period, French people go all out when it comes to Noël and the shelves and stalls of supermarkets and markets are stocked with festive fare.
Foie gras, oysters, snails, frogs legs, truffles or scallops all appear in preparation of the French Réveillon. The idea is to eat differently than the rest of the year and to splash out on luxury ingredients. Yum!
Thanks for the fact that you bring the family together…
Of course, there is a commercial side to Christmas in France (people are buying presents for their friends and family) but the celebrations are above all a time to get together. Families will often travel far to visit relatives from both sides of France. Gathering is usually really important for French people.
Christmas is the time of the year everyone uses to buy presents for their family and sometimes even friends.
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR YOUR « BÛCHE DE NOEL »
During the period running up to Christmas, the front windows of bakeries and pastery shop turn into beautiful displays of glistening cakes and colorful pastries. The centre of attention however are the ‘bûches de Noël’ made of every type of chocolate or with fruit and cream.
These decadent cakes consist of a light sponge coated in chocolate or cream which is then rolled to make a log. Then, it is iced with more chocolate or cream and decorated to look like a log. It’s the usual dessert during the Réveillon.
To conclude, not every town in France will have a Christmas market, but you can be sure that they will all have some form of festive decoration, whether it’s a big Christmas tree on the main square, a life-size Crèche or lights illuminating the streets. People also take great care in decorating the outside of their homes, ready to host family and friends, the Père Noël… In two words: the Christmas spirit!
…All of this shows how important Christmas is in our country!
II. Expat life: spending Christmas away from home
Did you ever spend Christmas away from your home? We all are more likely to spend Christmas abroad once in our lives. What is Xmas like in your country? How is it to spend this time away?
Some students from various countries in the world agreed to answer a few questions about their experiences: some already spent Christmas far from their family in a foreign country and some are about to do it.
How is Christmas like in their home countries? How was their experience or what do they plan for their first time away for Christmas? What advice would those who went away for Christmas could give you to spend a good time?
Here are some accounts to give you an insight of what it’s like to be away from home and family for Christmas according various nationalities.
Marco from Mexico:
Where you were when you passed Christmas out of your country for first time? In London.
What do you do during Christmas in your home country (what does it represent for your culture)? Typically it’s a season where you get together with the entire family. Mexico is a big country, sometimes it’s complicated to see each other, then during Christmas people travel to spend a couple of days altogether. In the morning of the 24th, we go to the house of a member of the family to prepare the food and have lunch together. During the night, we go to the church and go back to dinner around midnight. Sometimes you exchange gifts and after that we dance, sing or play board games.
How was your experience of being abroad during Christmas? It was not that bad. However, in London stores close around 7 p.m. and there is no public transportation, so I had to stay in the hotel eating the special menu. The good thing is that they also had a live concert and Netflix can turn into your best friend in those days.
How did you feel about the idea of being away of your home/family during this season? You start to feel homesick when you see that most of your friends go back with their families. Sometimes we take for granted the time we have with our families, but at the same time this experience helps you to appreciate them more.
What are you going to do during Christmas while you are in Bordeaux? I’ll have lunch with international students from my class. Everyone is going to prepare something and during the night, we’ll look for a place to have dinner together.
What does Christmas represent for French people in your point of view? It’s seems it has the same meaning as in Mexico— a time to spend with your beloved ones.
What advice would you give to a student that will spend Christmas away from his home/family? There is always a person with whom you can spend this time. Be open, call your family to tell them how much you love them and overall enjoy this experience.
Yuchen Lin from China
It is my first time away from China!
How is Xmas in your country? Actually, we don’t celebrate Xmas in China because we are not religion believers. However, some merchants will organize some Xmas activities to sell their goods. Xmas is not an important festival in my culture.
How do you feel not spending Xmas in your country? I feel really happy because it’s a chance for me to get closed to your culture and I also believe it’ll be a fantastic period of travelling time.
What are your plans for Xmas in France? Nothing special ahah! I’ll have a bit of travelling: I’ll go to Strasbourg, Colmar, Luxembourg, Brussels, Hague and Amsterdam!
Abhishek from India:
I am going to spend Christmas away this year.
What is Xmas like in India? Lightings everywhere! India is a very diverse country so many parties, festivals, cultures, religions to celebrate. In some places you’ll see Santa Klaus and kids around. Christians are celebrating on the 25th: many greetings and celebrating a little bit. It is quite similar as here but in India it is really commercial. There people want to sell their stuff, whereas in France in much closer to your heart. That makes it special and important here, it’s more a family thing.
How do you feel not spending Xmas there then? I miss the Festival of Lights, the festive feeling, doing shopping, meeting friends and family, going out just to see the lightings. As it is not a family celebration, it is not a major problem being away from family.
What are you going to do for Xmas? I am going to celebrate Xmas at a French friend’s house with her family. My brother is here too, so I won’t be alone. I definitely want to go to the marché de Noël before Xmas.
Julia from Spain
I once spent Christmas in Philadelphia, USA.
What does Xmas represent in Spain and how does it occur? It’s very good! Spanish Xmas is a family festival: with a family diner on the 24th, a lunch on the 25th, and even other celebrations on the 31stand in January (6th is the day you receive presents).
How did you feel being away for Christmas? It wasn’t easy to be away as my family is very important for me and Xmas is the occasion for gathering everyone. But my host family made it easier and it’s good to know a different culture and the different ways of celebrating Xmas there.
What would you advise to people spending Xmas away from their home? Try to make it the best! Try to hang out with people from that country because they’ll show you what is a real Xmas in the foreign country. It is always good to meet new people and not to spend Xmas alone.
So, are you ready to meet a new culture for Christmas now? 😉
Merry Christmas everyone!!!
We’ll see you in two weeks for the next newsletter 😉 !