Category: "Peculiarities"


09:25:45 pmCategories: Places, Distinctions, Peculiarities

Adieu again

The clouds hang low over Oslo Airport. Typical nice autumn weather, the captain called it. The weather is not necessarily so nice in Paris either, so I’ll not jump to any easy comparison…

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09:02:13 pmCategories: Peculiarities

In praise of the French bakery

Perhaps the single best thing of living in France is their local bakery. During an ordinary week, I normally go to four different bakeries – all within 5 minutes walking distance – depending on what I want to eat. Now, I’ve just had what a particular bakery calls a pizza, but what is actually more of a quiche bottom filled well-cooked, sweet and tasty tomatoes, perfect amount of melted mozzarella and loads of basil (but without eggs as in a real quiche). They’ve got it at a quite big, old and prestigious looking bakery one block away from République. For dessert, I’ll have a spectacular green pistachio macron filled with raspberries and raspberry cream. It’s actually even better than it sounds!

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03:06:10 amCategories: Spaces, Politics, Peculiarities

Vivre ensemble after school time

The playground 10 days ago, before spring came for real

Le square français was the second post I wrote on this blog, but as I've spent a sunny spring afternoon on one again, I just have to share my enthusiasm once more.

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Art in the suburbs

Slameur and musicians in a forum culturel in the suburb

Following the Parisian slam scene immediately led me to the suburbs. During my 9 months long first stay here, I crossed la pheripherique (ring road) only five times (except to go to the airport). Three times in the summer I attended open microphone slam events; two in Saint Denis (by Stade de France which one can se on the way to the airport) and one in Fontenay-sous-Bois (to the south east). Saint Denis is well connected to the metro system, Fontenay-sous-Bois is not, and it was a true galère to get there, according to one I travelled with. (One of our adventures dans la galère, I recounted here in Nouvelle France).

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12:57:22 pmCategories: Peculiarities, Music, literature, arts...

Theatre: “In our full conscience and honesty”

Sunday I went to see a poetry performance at a theatre: AC! En nos âmes et consciences (“In our full conscience/honesty”) – Since the audience don’t participate and perform their own texts, it’s not slam, as the two poet performers explicitly told us yesterday. The distinction between slam sessions (democratic and interactive) and poetry shows is important and stressed by many artists. However, many of the recent newspaper articles on slam don’t seem to get this distinction for some reason. –

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01:07:48 pmCategories: Places, Peculiarities

Saturday food market

See more photos from the local food market here.
It’s around midday a sunny Saturday in October. The terrace of my regular café-cum-office is still in the shadow, so I decided to take a stroll up the food market which is situated in the middle part of the boulevard. I’ve probably written about these foodmarkets before, but I’ll do it again – this time coming straight from Eastern Oslo and I find their abundance even more striking.

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02:45:00 amCategories: Places, Peculiarities

Marseille (communications)

I’ve spent Easter time in Marseille. In 3 hours and 10 minutes the TGV takes you more than 800 km south from Paris to the Mediterranean city, through the French countryside, past a few villages, a castle or two on top of a cliff, a viaduct, blooming apple orchards, the river Rhone and loads of white cows. “Quite why, you might wonder,” the Guardian wrote in the heat of the CPE-affaire, “is a country with wonderful infrastructure, beautiful towns and countryside, world-class companies and highly productive workers tearing itself apart again?” I do find that paradox intriguing, and the comfort of the Train Grande Vitesse was an apt opportunity to give the transportational part of it a thought. Most major train itineraries in France take around 3 hours, an infrastructural feat I – perhaps because I come from a country made of massive granite - find very fascinating. I wonder how people can bother to take domestic planes at all from the capital in this country, not to mention to London, when they can just jump on the efficient metro to one of the grandiose railway stations and get on a double-decker TGV, and get off at an equally grandiose station at their destination a few hours later. (Public transport in this country is one of the very few things that run on time – after 6 months here I still haven’t figured out exactly when the TV news starts, and I’m still not sure how delayed the conference, demo, meeting etc. will be – but public transport is reliable indeed, as long as there isn’t a strike or a manif blocking the way).

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02:47:18 amCategories: Fieldwork, Politics, Peculiarities

Busy week

It’s been a busy week. While the youth in this country have been blocking and occupying schools and universities – or protesting against those blocking their universities – or been out in the streets demonstrating, burning paper cars or real cars, tagging, breaking a few bus shelters and windows or robbing demonstrators for their mobiles, I’ve been indoors at various prestigious Parisian venues listening to people discussing discrimination.

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