Economy and Exchange rates, Understand France and the French

Can you believe this inflation in Paris: postage, gas, electricity

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.

POSTAGE

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.

Travel with Kids, Un peu différent

Paris treasure hunt 2010 – July 3!

We'll miss it again this year, but sounds like great fun!

Come and hunt Paris treasures. The treasure hunt is free and open to all. You can enrol here or in front of the town hall of the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th and 20thdistricts and Saint ouen on July 3rd. The surreal adventure organized by Paris City Hall will be a unique way to discover the city, its secrets and its inhabitants.

[From Les Trésors de Paris 2010 - In search of the eternal roses - Rules of Paris treasure hunt]
Food, In the News

Monkey on menus in France

PARIS: The traders sell an array of bush meat: monkey carcasses, smoked anteater, even preserved porcupine.

But it isn't a jungle market in Africa - it's the heart of Paris, where a new study has found more than five tonnes of bush meat slips through the city's main airport each week.

Researchers suspect similar amounts are arriving in other European cities in an illegal trade raising concerns about diseases ranging from monkeypox to Ebola, and is another twist in the struggle to integrate a growing African immigrant population.

[From Monkey on menus in France]
In the News, Travel, Un peu différent

French air enthusiasts hope to restart Concorde engines

Though I know post 9/11 and a cratering air travel market didn't help, the Concorde flew without incident for 30 years before tarmac debris brought the first one down. ... I hope that despite the claim that they only want to see the Concorde roll on it's own power on the Le Bourget tarmac, that someone has a plan to get the bird back in the air. It's nice to think that technological marvels of the space age could still come back, and in finding the past, we could sew the seeds to a more hopeful future. LE BOURGET, France — A French aeronautics association Saturday examined the engines of a Concorde passenger jet at an air museum outside Paris to determine if they could be used again. "The objective is not to get it (Concorde) to fly again but to get the engines working again, hoping one day to see it taxi on the tarmac for the pleasure of visitors to the museum," said Frederic Pinlet, head of Olympus 593, named after the Rolls Royce/Snecma engines used on the aircraft.

Culture, Museums and Monuments, Shopping, Understand France and the French

Hôtel Drouot is pure theatre

The auction rooms at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris date to 1852. They’ve been modernized since then, but the general atmosphere probably hasn’t changed much. On any day of the week, a throng of characters straight out of a Maupassant novel can be found bidding for dusty treasures straight out of the proverbial Old Curiosity Shop. Annually, about 800,000 lots…read more