France Miniature

Two posts in one day! Unheard of.

Wednesday, it being Vacance Printemps or Spring Vacation, Aidan, Angèle, Suzanne Yoder (good friend here in Paris) and I took a trip to the southwest of Paris to an amusement park called France Miniature. Didn’t know quite what to expect, but I had been told that you can see all the important sites in France in one day. Everything from the Alpes to the Ile de Rey is in miniature, and I have to say it was amazing.

Of course, it rained.

But we all had umbrellas and capuces (sp?) (the equivalent of hoodies), and it didn’t POUR, so we happily wandered all over France. The detail was incredible. Kids were fascinated and Suzanne and I had fun recognizing things we have already seen and noting the places we haven’t that looked interesting.

Pictures are worth bunches of words, so here you go:

  

  

  

Elections in France

Well, it is almost time to elect a President of France, and no matter who you are rooting for, observing the French election process is pretty interesting and very different from that of the US.

As in the UK, there seems to be a relatively short “I am running for…” time compared to the campaigns in the US which start almost as soon as the elections are over. I have to say I find that very civilized and a huge relief from the relentless primaries, commercials, and fundraising in the States. I always get to the point where I almost don’t care who gets elected – just get it done, for crying in the sink!

One thing I think is brilliant over here – the way they handle campaign literature during election time. About three weeks before elections at each school and Mairie (City Hall), they put up a “wall” of metal upon which you can hang posters. These are the only legal places you can do so! Graffiti is at a minimum, and except for the occasional mustache, the posters remain untouched. For a city where dog poop litters every sidewalk, it is kind of strange to me that campaign literature is so purposefully kept off the streets.