Category Archives: france

FEAR OF HEIGHTS By Peter Nolan Smith

At the end of the summer in 1989 I hitchhiked north from Perpignan by the Spanish border over to the Provence to visit friends before heading north into the Alps. Two resistance fighters in their 60s gave me a ride to Col d’Iseran. At 2,764 metres the Haut-Alpes pass is the highest mountain crossing in […]

Bastille Day 1789

2 July 1789 The Bastille – Paris A prisoner cried from his window 2 July 1789 The Bastille – Paris A prisoner cried from his window. “Ils tuent les prisonniers.” The guards subdued the inmate and the incarcerated Marquis de Sade was transferred to the insane asylum at Charenton. His words were a spark for […]

Les Frogs

Most Americans have an unfavorable attitude toward the French. This antipathy is based on the abuse many US tourists have suffered from dismissive Paris waiters during their weeklong summer vacation. Few of my countrymen realize that these garcons are rude to their own countrymen as well as any estrangers. That is not to say that […]

Speedos pour Le Cote d’Azur

I love the South of France. Women go topless and no one really gawks at them. The food is sublime and the Mediterranean changes color throughout the day and night. Pure paradise, except during ‘le Grand Depart’, when tens of millions of French and Germans and Scandanavians and Brits pile into their cars for a […]

To Speedo Or To G-String

Yesterday my old-time drinking buddy Dave left for the South of France. The Dreamliner carried him from JFK to Casablanca to Nice, where he was met by his friends living in a villa above the Cote d’Azur. His plane had been delayed after the TSA found organic hair spray in an old wrinklie woman’s purse […]