Category Archives: France

Tagine and Pizza

It’s my birthday today. What’s a better way to celebrate it than to spend it in our two favorite countries! For birthday lunch, it has to be in France! and for dinner, of course – Italy!At lunchtime, we went to Trans-en-Provence, 10 minutes by car from home in the Var region. It was another discovery! A typical provençal village! The architecture, the stonehouses, the old fountains.. all overwhelming! What’s more, the food was absolutely delicious!… and ridiculously cheap! It was a chicken tagine…a Moroccan food which, from now on, will be added to my list of favorite dishes! And do you believe me if I tell you that the whole menu… entree + main dish + dessert + wine cost 12 Euros only? Incredible, isn’t it?

For dinner… at 8pm, we drove towards Italy, at the Palanca, one of the many Italian restaurants we adore. We have dreamed of having a good time there tonight because its excellent cuisine is well-known! But, gosh! it was closed! We decided to go to Airole, another small village nearby. Again! closed! What is happening? Just two weeks ago, this village was very lively with tourists. It was here were we attended an organ concert, but tonight, at 9:30pm, it looks empty except for some noise on TV. Ah! I know! It’s football tonight… France vs Italie! Finally, I understood! Each game of football – especially if the two countries are playing, all roads are empty, all restaurants are closed!

But, is it really? Maybe it’s only the case on small villages but in big towns, it’s always lively. Anyway, we were lucky to pass by a pizza restaurant, still open, hence, for my birthday dinner, we had pizza….but don’t laugh… it was the best pizza we have ever eaten!



Cooked on a wood-burning oven like this one, the pizza bakes for only few minutes!

Concert in Saorge

We went to another concert again tonight. It’s a violin and piano duo by two very talented musicians. It was held in a church in Saorge, a hilltop village just 5 minute drive from Fontan. The church itself, in Baroque style, despite its peeling off old mural on the ceiling, is magnificent! The columns, the ornate designs and everything are a marvelous work of art! C’est dommage that my digital camera is still at the repair shop, otherwise, i would have attached loads of photos here, but I have the website of Saorge for you to browse on!

The performance – music of Mozart, etc, gave me the goose pimples. As always, everytime i listen to a classical concert, I feel like sobbing with joy! it’s like I’m in a different universe! And this universe is free! …. no entrance fee, as half of the concerts organized by the Mairie (town/village hall) are free so everybody – with money or no money – can enjoy one of God’s beautiful gifts… the musical talent of other people.

War documentaries

This month of August, a lot of documentaries and films on French TV have been dedicated to the liberation of France from Germany 62 years ago.

It is very emotional to see hundreds of thousands of civilians and resistance fighters killed in cold blood and beautiful centuries-old architecture just decimated into dust – both by the enemies and the allies (Americans, British, Canadians). If not for that German military officer appointed by Hitler to be the Governor of Paris, Paris would not have been as it is now – it would still be Paris but sans the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Pont Neuf, etc. The Fuhrer’s orders were to burn Paris and turn it into a complete debris. But von Choltitz, like all of us, fell in love with the city and its magnificent monuments and works of arts that he completely disobeyed Hitler (who he admitted has lost his mind…i.e. gone crazy!)
He surrendered to the French who, after learning how von Choltitz actually prevented the destruction of their city, even attended his funeral at his home country. He died of war-related illness.

To the Puces

Yesterday, it was a lucky day for me! We went to the Puces Provençale (a place which sells antiques and second-hand items) and I found a very old book.

It’s a book on stories of the bible published by Hachette Bookshop in Paris in 1875!

What’s more, I bought it for only Euros 1.50….. or 112 Philippine Pesos!

It’s more of a collector’s item which might cost a fortune someday!

But, the only problem… it’s (the language is) in Latin – French!


Nowhere in Europe people-watching is as an exciting pastime as in France! It has become an institution that even infects the non-French. Why so?France is a giant catwalk, a stage, an outlet where you can freely express yourself (within reason) without the worry of being ridiculed or laughed at.

Who are the players?

1. The Frenchwoman

The French woman seems to always manage how to look like a model without a single speck of imperfection! My own words to describe the french woman – she is unique!

Each one creates her own style of dressing, of donning accessories, of fixing her hair or manipulating a scarf or a belt. It always amazes me to find a different beauty on each French woman. The only few things they have in common are – a slim figure, a nicely done-up pair of eyelashes and an accessory either to emphasize a nice part of her body or to divert attention away from the not-so-nice part.

She only wears clothes that show the silhouette and the curves of her usually slim figure plus a bit of skin to seduce but in a subtle way. She doesn’t wear the micro-mini nor the blouse that shows the cleavage. In fact, it’s usually a long skirt or knee-length dress, but the seduction shows in the slits, in the holes, in half-exposed backs, in mini-tops that show the navel or the lower abdomen, as well as low-waisted trousers that show the upper half of a thong (string monokini) in red, or any colour!

She wears her makeup that you start to wonder how did she do it when you cannot see so much a speck of the rouges and the blushes but only that something is there that made her face looks so perfect!

She wears footwear which tend to enhance her femininity… not what i call sexy because i find the word too vulgar to describe a Frenchwoman… but shall I say elegantly charming.

She speaks and laughs like you wouldn’t hear anything at all, for she is so discreet and always conscious of propriety.

She walks with grace that you might wonder if she learned it in a finishing school or that her mother taught her that way.

That she doesn’t really follow a certain fashion fad but just an expert in mixing and matching colours and accessories.

Her hair, be it looking like she didn’t comb it all or just tied it in a knot, makes her look like a seductress.

2.  The Frenchman

What makes a Frenchman look so stylish?
 He wears perfectly fitting clothes, be they the formal wear, the blue jeans or the panta-court (half-trouser, half-shorts). His shirts , whether formal or the casual tees, have to fitly hug his body.He dresses in style, choosing only good quality clothes and shoes, not necessarily expensive, but certainly not cheap-looking!

He is usually slim, always conscious of his macho-image, and that includes a good pair of biceps and a flat stomach!

He carries a shoulder bag or a sac-a-main (clutch bag)! While his British brother would not be seen with one for fear of ridicule, in France, even little boys, or teen-agers carry them and i really find it cute!

He looks like he just came out from the hairdresser. Even just to go to the Tabac to buy a cigarette, he is handsomely groomed. He makes sure that his hair is well-combed, his nails clean, he is smelling of expensive perfume, his clothes well-ironed and shoes, well-polished. His moustache and beard perfectly contoured and his hair is usually worn short and looking very neat.

He wears jewelry or accessories to boost his image.

He looks at attractive women passing his way, be they your mother or your grandmother…. as long as they are looking very feminine and seductive! Mind you, only few Frenchwomen wear jeans…. they usually wear dainty dresses or skirts with raffles, laces and flowery designs….isn’t that feminine enough?

He flirts with his eyes, he is a master in sending signals by eye contact. A woman should consider it as a compliment. By the way, to smile back to a Frenchman means she is accepting the challenge so expect the eye contact to be followed by sexual advances….

He is very proud of his chic girlfriend, shows her off like a trophy, and nothing would prevent him from turning the world his stage in showing the different ways to caress a woman for all the world to see!