Caro's notes. November 2004.

Keeping up to date

When we were still living in Amsterdam, we received a
daily newspaper every evening., dropped in the box by
our faithful delivery boy, come rain or shine.

I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think it is common here
'dans la campagne' to have a subscription to a daily
newspaper. In fact, I’m still waiting to see the first
delivery boy cycling by with his saddle bags full of

Now we go to the “Tabac/Maison de Presse” to buy a
newspaper. Even in the smallest of villages the choice
is surprisingly elaborate. Apart from different
regional and national French daily papers, they sell
the most common Dutch, English and German papers. Of
course, if you linger long enough in the smokey Tabac,
chances are that you get free local gossip as well.
Mme. Durant has finally moved out and Mr Du Jardin
asks too much for his old Peugeot.

Recently we have been picking up the Saturday edition
of Le Figaro. It is packed with different supplements
(Madame Figaro, TV Magazine, Figaro Magazine) as well
as a free Film Noir DVD (well, free? you pay 7 Euro’s
for the whole package). Reading French newspapers is
not only a good way to improve one’s language skills
but impresses the locals when you can drop the name of
a French politician into a conversation, or discuss the
latest strike (a French national sport).

Le Figaro has a whole section of international news,
but for this we visit the internet. Perry’s favourite
is the BBC news site (surprise, surprise)
and I usually goto the International Herald’s Tribune’s site,
it being one of my former employers. I admit it is cheating
a bit, but reading world news in English or Dutch is
less time consuming because it doesn’t involve
thumbing through a dictionary every other sentence.

While on the road we often listen to France Info, a
current affairs programme which is delivered in rather
swift French. I dare to say I understand about 75% of
what is being said, just enough to not get it
completely wrong.

Since a few months we have a TV in our pavilon, it's at least
twenty years oldand was giving to us by friends Perry helped
move house. It has at least 4.5 channels!
It hasn’t been switched on more than 3 times since it
was installed, we are not real TV fans. So no news
gathering there, it does a good job gathering dust

And last but not least, there is the personal snail
mail service. A very reliable source of information
provided by my parents. They send a package full of
news clippings and interesting articles from the Dutch
press each week.

The news of the horrendous death of Ken Bigley, the
abduction of Margarat Hassan and the fact that 10.000
people die in Darfoer each month reaches us, even in
this rural, sparcely-populated part of the world.
The news that Theo van Gogh has just been shot dead,
has also not passed unnoticed.
In the end one can make the choice of being aware of what
is happening in the world. Because even in the French
jungle you can choose to update yourself or to stick
you head in the mushrooms.

Until such time...



Caro's notes archive 2004

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© 2004 Perry Taylor and Two Can Productions, France.