Are these the current postage rates in France?
Standard first-class letters (20g or less) and postcards within France cost €0.56; to continental European countries (from Scandinavia to Portugal), Baltic states, Greece, and the British Isles €0.70; to other European or Eurasian countries (Iceland, Russia, etc.), Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand) €0.85.
We will be in Paris next week. I can hardly stand the long times between being there, the place where I feel the most "at home." Well, at home, because it's all so familiar and doesn't change like everything here does. Through a viewfinder of any type, it still looks like the black and white images from the first Truffaut movies I saw 30 years ago.
Good article here from today's NYT on Paris in the movies. I don't have a 16mm, but may bring a big Nikon for once, now that I'm not carrying little kids in my arms half the day.
To the dismay of everyone in the travel industry other than hotel executives, Gov. David Paterson of New York has signed legislation outlawing the rental of apartments in New York -- which means primarily New York City -- for periods of less than 30 days.
This is very bad news for family tourists everywhere who've recently discovered the joys of renting an apartment for the week, rather than a hotel room. As parents of two small children, I wouldn't say that the availability of apartment rentals is the difference between going or not, but it is often the difference between having a good time versus a nightmare of four people crowded into an over-priced hotel. Not only do apartment rentals mean not paying for a lot of hotel amenities that go unused by families, they also provide a kitchen, which helps families stay away from hotel restaurants and the dreaded $10 glass of orange juice.
The movement to more aggressively change admissions standards and affirmative action strikes at the very heart of what France is and will be. We in the United States, despite our seemingly endless racial issues and divides, are far more used to the pulls and pushes of the new global economy. Sure, we are all scared of losing what we thought we had in some lost golden time we remember, but we do have 50 plus years of addressing hidden inequities. That's not to say that we have solved them, by any stretch of the imagination, but we have tried numerous approaches and most of us know as Americans that our history has and likely always will be in a diverse population.
At the same time, this evolution is fraught with with the same pulls of meritocracy versus affirmative action, "standards" versus opportunity. And this is felt the most strongly at the Grandes Ecoles in France, where accepted students are almost guaranteed a life of success, even more so than one would expect from a degree from Harvard or Yale. For years, students at these schools were social and economic class-selected because entrance exams were not only intentionally culturally biased, but because some kids just didn't get the early education that would allow them to even be considered.
Wow! This is like post-war inflation, just when the European economy can least afford it. When I see 10-!%% increases in gas and electric, i wonder how this will get passed on to the consumer. Already, these charges looked more like the utilities bill of a 6000 square foot house in the United States.
Pre-buying stamps in Europe is always a good investment.
Buy your stamps today at a bargain -- the ones with no monetary amount printed on them, because tomorrow, the postal rates go up (information thanks to Eric Tolbert):
Letters within France increase from 56 centimes to 58.
Letters/postcards to US increase from 85 centimes to 87.