May 19, 2000 |
Friday, 10 p.m., Place d'Italie. Francis Thomas, a.k.a. "Fanta Boy," is here with his wheels on, ready to roll. All week, the lanky, unmarried immigrant from Cameroon has waited for this moment. It's what he daydreams about while working as a security guard: the wind in his face, the pavement under his feet, the thrill of streaking downhill at 30 mph. "Once you've tasted the Friday night ride, you become impatient for Friday to roll around again," says Thomas, 25. "You can't live without it."
April 22, 2000 |
McDonald's in France has faced the ire of ransacking peasants and the scorn of a president known for relishing calves' heads more than cheeseburgers. This week, the attacks on the U.S. fast-food giant crossed a threshold when a bombing killed one of its employees. Denis Hennequin, president and CEO of McDonald's France, begged his countrymen Friday to stop thinking of his chain as anything other than restaurants staffed by industrious employees.
December 12, 1998 |
A series of polls and studies has dished up some real dirt on the French: Fewer than half take a bath or shower each day. What's more, 40% of French men, and 25% of women, do not change their underwear daily. Fully 50% of the men, and 30% of women, do not use deodorant. Why is this so, in a nation that has done so much to set modern Western standards for polite behavior? It is not for want of means--almost every French household is equipped with a shower or bathtub.
January 30, 1998 |
The French military, looking for a few good men and women, has begun headhunting on the Internet at http://www.defense.gouv.fr "Our site is going to constitute an essential aid tool for recruitment," army Capt. Pascal Lebraun, who is in charge of the venture, confidently predicted this week. Before the end of 1998, young people who want to join an army, navy and air force in the throes of professionalization will be able to send their resumes via e-mail.
January 2, 1998 |
Harriet Welty Rochefort, an Iowan married to a Frenchman, once made the colossal blunder of making her father-in-law a sandwich for lunch. He gazed at the bread-encased object as if it were some unknown life form. When told he would have to pick up the thing with his hands to eat it--like a caveman with his kill--the elderly man rebelled. "Well, why don't we just get down on the floor and throw bones over our shoulders while we're at it?" he asked.
October 31, 1997 |
To learn how the Grinch stole Christmas, you can look it up in a book. But how have the French now gotten ahold of that quintessential American holiday, Halloween? Tonight, as darkness settles on the French capital, they will be pouring special "evil death cocktails" at the Ho-La-La cafe near Les Halles, the old market district. At Le Lutece, a club in the Latin Quarter, the traditional student neighborhood, costumed monsters will storm onto the dance floor.