Have you gone “back to school” yet? (4/9/2021)

Bi-weekly newsletter with odds and ends, and other funny stories from France.
You are currently viewing Have you gone “back to school” yet? (4/9/2021)

The rentrée is here! Also known as “back to school”! I should note however that the rentrée in France is not just for kids. It is for the adults too, even if you don’t have any children.

Of course for parents there are new schedules to deal with, kids’ homework to chase after, new swimming lessons to organize, etc. etc. But for French adults it is also time to start tackling that giant to-do list that you’ve been putting off all summer long because everyone has been on holiday, and what was the point of making that “important phonecall”, anyway?

Suddenly in September you will notice that you start to get replies to questions that you sent off in June, the boulanger is back from his holiday, and if you are looking to change jobs, your apartment, or any other big boulversement, this is the moment.

In France, politicians also make their rentrée. With the upcoming elections in April 2022, every Tom, Dick, and Harriet is positioning their candidacy to become the next President of France.

Current President Macron spent the rentrée in Marseille, much to the chagrin of his rival Mélanchon who parachuted into Marseille 4 years ago. In Paris, Socialist party mayor Anne Hidalgo is hinting that she is going to run, along with the sudden apparition of Mr. “Made in France” Arnaud Montebourg.

On the other side you have all the usual ultra-right candidates Marine Le Pen, Florian Philippot, and Cnews’s Eric Zemmour (aka the French version of Fox’s Tucker Carlson). And then there are Les Republicans, who have so many candidates, I won’t bother to list them all.

Officially however no one, not even President Macron, has declared that they are a candidate. Because then the media would have to start keeping track of TV and radio coverage and offering the same amount of time the opposition.

Frankly, I’m not ready yet to start tuning in to all these excruciatingly long political debates. So I started watching the Parisian Agency on Netflix instead. (In case you are wondering, it is is nothing like its American cousin Selling Sunset. For one, you can actually see houses and apartments in the Paris version, and the only woman looking for a hot date is the 80-year-old grandma.)

In other news:

  • A historic large trial has started in France over the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris on the evening of Friday November 13, 2015. Over 130 people were killed in simultaneous attacks at the Bataclan concert hall, and around Bastille and Canal Saint Martin.Twenty people are being judged for their role in the attacks in the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité (same building where Marie-Antoinette was held.)
  • Speaking of Marie-Antoinette, two of her diamond bracelets are going on auction in Geneva, if you have a few million €€ to spend.
  • Paris has started holding events to welcome the Olympics in 2024 (yes, already), but is running into a few problems when it comes to the Paraolympics and all those people with luggage and baby strollers:

With only 3% of the Paris metro being accessible despite decades of complaints, it is not exactly the friendliest of welcomes.

And new in the blog this month:


Preschool in France: What Maternelle is really like

If you have small children and are thinking of moving to France, you may be curious to know what the French education system is like. It may seem a little alarming, but schooling for all French children is compulsory in the calendar year the child turns 3. This means if your child is born in […]

The Incredibly Old Cave Paintings in Grotte Chauvet 2 (Ardèche)

One of the greatest cultural treasures in the world is located in the heart of department of Ardèche, in the center of France. Known as Grotte Chauvet (Cave Chauvet), it is a cave network which has some of the earliest known…

Visiting the Other Valence in Drôme, France

The city of Valence in central France, may not be as popular with the tourists as the Spanish one, but it is certainly one that attracts a lot of attention by French locals. On the edge of Provence, in the Drôme department of…

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