Friday, October 28, 2011

R U in France?

How do we know this woman is French?

Baguette - check

Scooter - check

Alice in wonderland long hair - check
+ Scarf bien sur...

The French start taking tests from day one.
Their whole lives are focused on taking their bac for college, so really it's no surprise you must take a test at Salon du Chocolat before tasting? Your skills of discernment will always be tested and sharpened if you are French.

We know this chef is French because his arms are folded across his chest.
True at times a French chef may stand with his hands on his hips. And on occasion with his hands behind his back. These are the 3 positions to look for when identifying a French chef.
No matter that the British probably created the 'Bed Head' several years ago. The French have embraced this sexy hair style whole-heartedly. You will pay good $$ to achieve this look...

I've mentioned before the French love a good silhouette. The straight-legged French Walk as well is illustrated on this tiny expresso cup...

Oh why is it when we name a street after bread it doesn't sound as romantic..?

The French can scribble a few words on a black board/ardoise in the street and get you drooling...

I love that the prices of French pastry are always clearly marked.

Maybe it's the law. There is none of the unspoken snobbery of the US, where 'if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it'. Prices are front row and center in France.

Yet you can go into a French shop, admire the items in the window/vitrine and find out they are not for sale nor does the vendeuse have a clue how you could buy them!?

How do I know this dog is French? You can tell from his look of discernment bien sur. His j'e ne sait quoi...

Well this is a give-away.

These are my stereotypes and I'm sticking with them.

C'est comme ca..

Bon Weekend PBers!


  1. You sure know your paris well..

    Tout est si charmant !

  2. Thank You Carol for the "primer" on all that defines the "Frenchies."
    My American snobbery will now be reflected in an air of superiority backed by a supercilious sense of authority, thanks to your shared insights.

  3. My French sense of authority makes me remark that there may be a slight "problème" with the woman pictured on the expresso cup. She may have a good silhouette, but If she is holding a cup and drinking while walking in the street, she can't be French ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  4. Haha! Carol, cute post. Bien sur. That little dog is adorable. Hope you're rid of your jet lag now and enjoying being back home. I read this just now at Midway airport in Chicago, and it made me smile. Have a great weekend!

  5. Dear Bienvenue,

    I am sorry to inform you Fr ppl are walking around clutching paper cups of coffee just like us :(
    Dommage but it's true.
    That's why the cup is paper too.
    Ahem...I admit to dumpster diving to find this little cup since I don't really drink coffee...

    HERE is a pic of a woman in the Metro clasping a can or cup.

  6. Ms. Pain10:52 AM

    Your comment about the name of the street right away brings few thoughts…..

    My maiden name is PAINSECQ ….
    Same as for the street it is not romantic and I did get quite a lot of friendly abuse during my younger time..

    PAIN MOUILLE when it rained

    PAIN BENI - when blessed with a good grade….

    PAIN became also CROUTON sometimes …. Or MICHE ( round bread in French, you probably know) miche also is slang for buttock for a women

    PAIN PAIN …. Not far from TIN TIN ….

    A very gastromic name hard to carry sometimes… but it was all in good fun usually …
    C’est la vie!
    Your comment brought back those memories that make me smile right now .
    Thank you Carol

  7. Julie,
    There is snobbery and snobbery.
    The French are not embarrassed by how much things cost.
    For some reason we are.
    Inquiring minds need to know.
    c'est comme ca
    c'est tout

  8. And how can you identify the deeply-observant-discerning-almost-French-traveller? She has "Paris Breakfast" at the top of her blog!

  9. You've been there so many times, how do you blend with them? Do you think you still look like an American? Or now you are this "mutant" neither American nor French?
    How does it feel Carol? Like a French in NY and an American in Paris?
    Tell us!!!

  10. But I don't 'blend' at all Simony.
    I am just an observer..
    A visiting ET of sorts.

    "I am a camera"

    from Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin/or Caberet

  11. Do you score better on a chocolate test if your mouth is stuffed full of chocolate?

  12. Amy,
    I'm not French so I wasn't required to take the test.
    I don't want to have to answer questions with chocolate melting in my mouth.
    I always failed in wine tasting too...
    fruity, earthy, barnyard bla bla bla

  13. It is ridiculous, but one of my favourite things was when I told people that I had been pleasantly surprised that Parisians had been very nice to me on my visit, they said, but you look French. I dont really know what that means, but it must be good, right? *L*

  14. absolutely adore this! So happy to have found you today.

  15. Love the very charming post. Thank you Carol!

  16. Tests or no tests, we'd all like to be there!
    As always, I love the pastry shots, and the dog is so cute!
    Speaking of cute - that "Bed Head" girl will pass the checlist :)
    The chefs with attitude, hmmm, they could be American TV news anchors.....
    I hope that you've caught up on your sleep.

  17. Very clever post! I Know the dow is French because he is looking from inside the window!!!!xo Maryanne

  18. Another fun post. I love that little doggy. I loved the last photo of the couple kissing. Romance in a Romantic City a perfect photo. As for the French carrying paper cups.. They arent just ordinary paper cups. They are classy French designed paper cups. :))

  19. Oooh, la la. I do love (perfect verb?) that last photo.

    We had a friendly French couple in the shop this afternoon, and although they did not embrace, their sense of style revealed to us that they were from la belle France. The gentleman even wore a beret.

    (Let the record show that I also wore a black beret home this evening on my subway ride home.)


  20. Laurence12:33 AM

    Je découvre votre blog! Quel régal, j'ai beaucoup ri! Vous avez l'oeil et c'est très drôle de se sentir ainsi croqué... j'adore votre vision de la vie parisienne! Laurence de Paris!

  21. i totally agree with you regarding pricing on items. That bugs me to no end here!! Great post:))

  22. So, how can we recognize American Chefs ? How do they stand ?

    always impressed by your subtle remarks on the French by the way !

  23. Sherie in S.Africa7:21 AM

    I discovered your beautiful work today ... all the way from cape town, south africa.
    I just want to say I cannot wait to spend time and enjoy everything.
    You are so talented. Blessed with amazing creative.
    Congratulations Carol and have a fabulous weekend.
    take care

  24. Oh the unmistakable, always-moving signs of Frenchness. Your posts lately have been just the doses of Paris I need!

  25. Hevin Lover9:58 AM

    On your latest post, that woman could be an assimilated American
    woman - i.e., decked out in French attire with the long, bleached
    blonde hair and the scooter in tow.
    There are many of them on the
    streets and with coats on you can't tell if they are French or
    Without coats, the anorexia of the French gives them away
    for sure.

    Finally: c'est comme ça needs an accent on the c and weekend is
    masculiine - bon weekend.

    If you are a true Francophile as you profess to be, you would correct the French or have someone else do it.

    I am still improving mine after 45 years now

  26. Dear 'Hevin Lover',

    Take another look at the 1st photo and you'll hopefully notice the woman is rather pregnant. In my humble opinion she IS French but qui sait?

    I don't do accents in PB blog post text because it's another thing to mess up among the multitude.
    Just getting a post up and out in a resonable amount of time is my objective.
    French girl has absolutely no interest in vetting or editing my posts.
    And thanks for your offer in your email but I will have to pass.
    c'est comme ca

    Nowhere on ParisBreakfast do I profess to be a true Francophile (whatever that is). If anything I poke more fun at the French than adulate excessively.

    So far none of my French readers seems to mind my lack of accents, Fr errors or my personal point of view.

    One can not do everything right when blogging, particularly when when posting 5 x a week.
    It's a casual format.
    I do my best.



  27. Dear Carol, We love you just the way you are. You need to put a disclaimer on your blog post front and center so you dont have to keep addressing this issue over and over AND over for those that dont understand its not an issue for the majority of us faithful followers if you spell or say something the wrong way...Heaven forbid...Just keep blogging as you do and we will keep coming. :)

  28. Love the shade of blue & yellow together in the shop with the so cute doggie!

  29. Anonymous2:23 PM

    French women and scooters? Had no idea this was a trend. Delicious post!!!

  30. Perfecto ~ except most of them I could say, look ! that is here in Buenos Aires :)
    The dogs, the kissing, the long hair and shopping bags, bread etc.
    I watched a lady get on her bicycle today and ride away, with high heels. I was in awe.
    I am so sorry to see the nasty posters here. . obviously it is nothing you have written but their own little insecurities that have to be brought to our attention.
    Your blog is lovely and I always feel that if I see something that bothers me in a blog, it is amazingly simple for me to just not read it anymore.
    Besitos, C

  31. Lovely, funny post, Carol.
    Hevin Lover, your repeated comments on - and corrections of - spelling are becoming tedious and are really rather rude. This is not a French language teaching website, and I've never noticed Carol pretending to be French or anything else that she's not.
    I think of the many non-native English speaking bloggers who nonetheless write in English, often entertainingly and interestingly, but with many errors. Should we be leaving comments for them suggesting they improve their English before having the presumption to publish blog posts in the language? I think even you might find that idea offensive.

  32. cparisgirl7:15 PM

    Such a sweet post... Merci! Especially the discerning chien ;-) I'm so glad I found your blog - I'm enjoying it so much! Bisous!

  33. those scooters should be banned. kids are always bumping into the back of my shoe on those things!


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