Sunday, 17 October 2010

say cheese

whilst watching the tv i like to count the number of adverts for cheese in any given ad break. i feel a genuine sense of achievement for a 3 cheese ad break. this sounds ridiculous (my sense of victory is) but there are on average two per ad break, which seems high. in france, a country where cheese will be bought whether or not it's de rigueur this season, i find it really unnecessary.

nectar of nature? it's just cheese!

it's like this ad currently plastered all over the métro... why? why is "nectar of nature" taking up serious ad space on the métro? this wouldn't grate on me so much if there was a small spark of originality to these campaigns but no. money is changing hands in the advertising world over pictures of cheese on a flowery background. there's another tv ad for some sort of roll of goat's cheese where the campaign manager clearly saw the diet coke adverts of yesteryear, thought to himself; "sex sells" and has a woman rushing down flights of stairs to chase the window cleaner who is seductively (i suppose) unwrapping a roll of goat's cheese. it's truly cringe worthy. another of my least favourites is a dad in front of his son who is sat in a highchair, there's no clear message but i like to subtitle it "now do you want to grow up and be a proper frenchman like your dear old dad?". other cheese ads go for an upbeat humourous spin that makes me put the tv on mute: "you like fromage? we sell fromage! fromage!". something must be done.

in other cheese related news; i was poorly the other day and craving my feel better recipe for a delicate tummy which is boiled rice, grated cheddar and maggi all mixed into a comforting glutenous lump. the frenchman gallantly went out to find me some cheddar but to my disappointment came back with this:

plastic cheese. i'm surprised they even sell it in france, surely it's some kind of blasphemy. i was too ill to explain and not mean enough to send him out again (do it better!) so in a desperate measure i made said recipe with emmental. quivering bottom lip of the spoilt child... it's... just... not... the same!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

paris, france

i've always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about americans. there are an absurd amount of them in paris. when i arrived last summer i think the ratio of americans per square metre (that's right, i'm metric) was higher than that of the parisians. i'm not going to go off on some xenophobic rant because i'm not that way inclined, i have some very good friends who happen to be american and i assume that what with writing a blog in english, the majority of the anglophone blog reading population are most likely to be american.

my bias is limited to the not thinking before speaking arrogant americans. i was privy to a conversation with a girl from new jersey the other day which started "i like paris because..." and went on "'s like washington d.c".

now i've never been to washington d.c. and no doubt some comparisons can be drawn although certainly not architectural, cultural or historical. i was intrigued to hear how she was going to follow on from this statement. to my disappointment she proceeded with a goldilocks theory to back up her arguement "it's not too big, it's not too small".

i can be very polite when needs be, as i was with a nice, exceptionally un-patronizing (all things considered) smile. but on the very same evening i found myself talking to a different group of americans. i should point out i was not at the american embassy or wearing a big smile and an i  NY t-shirt under the eiffel tower. anyway, this group thought themselves very well versed in the world of sociolinguistics and after a brief discussion i was on my way to agreeing when this happened:

american guy to me: "you speak very good english".
me to american guy: "i'm sorry?"
american guy to me: "i said you speak very good english".
me to american guy: "... i am english".
american guy: "oh."

no gentle laughing it off from him, i found it quite funny. it explained why he kept cutting me off in the conversation, it wasn't that he disagreed, he just wasn't listening. douche.