Monday 4 February 2008


On days when things aren't quite working out right, when your pain au chocolat is a little too dry, when a smelly man in the metro stands on your toe and the waiter looks at you in a funny way, and you have to queue for 30 minutes in the Post Office to receive a letter telling you that your tax return is overdue and it's a cold drizzly day with no end to winter in sight. On these kind of days I often reflect that life's not so bad. I live in Paris, I've got a great boulangerie and a fromagerie opposite my house, I can walk to the Place des Vosges in 20 minutes and I don't do a 9 -5 any more (halle-bloody-lujah) in a job I don't like sandwiched between 50 minutes of stressful commuting either side. Yeah! life ain't so bad.

If you play the clip make sure the sound is turned up.

Saturday 2 February 2008

Brasserie des Petits Carreaux Paris

Having spent more than four years in France one gets used to the odd bit of impoliteness from waiters. After a while you tend to let it pass with a shrug of the shoulders.

But the other day I was subjected to rudeness that went far beyond anything you might come to expect even in Paris. The Place in question is the Brasserie des Petits Carreaux Paris,
(17, Rue Petits Carreaux, 75002 Paris Metro Sentier) and I was thrown out for merely saying bonsoir!

I wasn't drunk, nor was I was I heading a party of shaven headed football hooligans chanting anti-French slogans and I definitely wasn't defying the smoking fan. I came into the cafe just to grab a quiet drink with a female friend when I got accosted by the manager who raised his voice opened the door behind us and pointed outside. I can't understand why this stupid little man took a dislike to us perhaps it was my foreign accent, perhaps I'd contravened some unwritten rule of French etiquette who knows but whatever it was he took an instant dislike to me (or my friend) and asked us to leave.

So my advice is not to go to Brasserie des Petits Carreaux Paris. Unless you like being insulted by idiotic managers.