Down & Out in Paris (Washington Post)

Old Apr 29th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Maybe the croissants and newspaper are hand delivered?
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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Thank you JeanneB!

You gave me the ultimative idea to get rich!!!

I am going to start a bakery in Paris. And next month a bistro.

But I am afraid, I have to focus on American journalists as customers because no one else pays 50$ for six croissants.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Yes, you can call it Marie Antoinette Patisserie!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Let Her Eat Cake!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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"$4 for newspaper?"

I wonder if that's maybe for the imported US newspaper she mentions reading.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 12:33 PM
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You could call it the American tourist bakery, I guess, as she insisted that's what tourists had to pay for croissants.

Regardless of whether you feel sorry for her or any expats (and I do not, unless they are forced to live someplace and I don't consider voluntarily working for someone to be forced) -- such as dependents of military, but they get a lot of stuff free -- what bothers me about the factual errors is that she must know croissants don't cost that much in Paris (doesn't she?). And articles like this are what scare people when they read them and think they cannot travel, and then they may come on Fodors and repeat things like that.

She says "the newspaper" costs $4. She says she reads Le Figato and IHT. That's two, but I know Le Figaro doesn't cost that. THe IHT is not imported, it's printed in Paris, I believe. It is expensive, I agree newspapers are more expensive in France than the US, but they are not $4 each. I think the IHT is very expensive and caters to wealthy expats -- it costs about twice as much as French newspapers like Le Monde. I think it is about 2.50 euro per day. YOu can get either one by subscription for around 25-30 euro a month, though, including IHT, or a euro each per day. If she is using "the newspaper" to mean the IHT only (of course) and if you bought it on the newsstand, that would be close to true.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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Isn't IHT online free?

I can only imagine Americans who have never been to Paris reading this article ~ and yes, they would be scared of going there. Afterall, who can afford a $8 croissant and $100 dinner at a corner bistro?

I guess, in the end, the article benefits us here since we know the real facts. Perhaps Paris will get fewer American tourists because of this article! All the better for us.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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The IHT is an expensive subscription but it is free on-line. I spent four years overseas happily reading the IHT on-line. That seems like a good cost-cutting measure to me.

Complaining about a New Yorker subscription seemed silly to me -- it's only $39.95 per YEAR and it's a weekly -- that seems like a bargain, especially when you consider it's about four croissants.

But -- on the other hand, to be fair, I used to work in book publishing and am willing to bet she doesn't make that much money writing her novels. You don't write fiction to get rich. But she should consider herself very lucky that her books get published.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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I haven't read her books, but I have seen the Merchant-Ivory film adaptation of "Le Divorce" several times on cable. Don't much care for the storyline or the characters, but I enjoy seeing Paris (and Naomi Watts) when it comes on cable and there is nothing else to watch. Judging from the article, it seems that she lives the kind of expensive lifestyle depicted in the movie.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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Newspaper assumes Little People enjoy reading about the trials and annoyances of high society folks, as in Depression era movies. Message: your job is uncertain, but at least you don't pay that much for a croissant.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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As usual, Jeanne, you have expressed my views better than I could have done myself! We're off to Paris and Provence in less than three weeks, taking our 12 y/o niece on one of my patented cheapo trips. No $7 croissants for us!
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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it's called exaggeration and just about all expat writers and writers who comment on differences in cultures do. it is annoying, misleading, and anyone who knows anything about the culture in question will not be amused by it as it just seems cliche.

the underlying problem is that writing about 'the expat experience' is very worn out. we've seen a zillion 'witty' anecdotes, laboured through zillions of 'funny misunderstandings', been bored to tears by yet another story about the 'french builders', etc, etc.

i'm always suspicious of people who make their lives out of being an expat. what a bore.
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