Tuesday, October 19, 2010


France is in the middle of a strike (again). Long story super, duper short (and without going into the heavy details), citizens are peeved with Mr. Sarkozy, his pension reform plans and retirement age increase.

And because the French are experts at strikes, riots, and revolution (Hello Marie Antoinette! Where's your head at girl?!), they don't just strike by walking around with poster board signs, chanting. Instead they get real creative with it. Like shutting down production at twelve of the country's oil refineries creative.

There's something like a 1,000 gas stations around France that have run out of gas (thank you CNN). No gas! This does not bode well for the American girl living on top of a mountain in the middle of B.F.E. Provence. What am I supposed to do, harness Fifty to a little red wagon?
(Can you imagine? "MUSH Fifty! MUSH!"). 

Check out this video from Paris...
(I'd have shown you a video in Le Petit Village but we don't have a 'fuel station' because we're so petit).

{not cool}

And on Monday, a bunch of cars were overturned and set on fire. But (big but here) according to France24, the overturned and burnt out cars were not done by any of the workers on strike, but school children who didn't know what to do when they showed up at school and the gates were locked due to their teachers being on strike.

{kids will be kids}

PHEW! Well, that's OK then. Just some bored school children who were so disappointed not to have that algebra quiz.
(Oh, and a school in north western France was burned down but since we're not 100% sure if it's related to the strike or not, we're not going to worry about it).

I should probably go and set a car on fire find a little red wagon, 
but just in case I can't, 
does anyone have a helicopter handy?



  1. You know when the French get pissed off they really get pissed off. Oh by the by Fifty informs CNN he is on strike as well and you can pull your own little red wagon. On mon petit I'm afraid he is still a little hurt about the rugby ball post.

  2. 6 strikes for me since september : yeah baby ! i'm a riot girllll

  3. Lol.... I know babe, it is crazy stuff. I am in UK at the moment visiting family and friends. I managed to travel yesterday but if it was today, don't think they would be happening! We were at Marseille on Sunday and were saw loads to tankers in the bay.... beautiful site, apparently there are around 86, we counted 46 where we were. Hope you are ok? Did you receive my email? xxx

  4. Never a dull moment with the French government/protesters. If Sark and friends aren't causing scandals, the people will liven things up with riots. I think it's all a large media ploy to increase viewing/reading. :)

  5. I have to say I just really like you. Maybe Johnny Depp can give you a lift?
    Or you can stay put and drink wine.
    x A

  6. James - Fifty has been in a huff! His inner Frenchness is coming out!

    Morgane - You are a riot grrrl! x

    Claire - I was thinking about you and your travel plans! Glad to hear you got out OK, hope you make it home OK too. Enjoy the UK and chat soon x

    ADOC - nope, never dull at all, but I'm ready for a good ol' dose of vitamins U. S. and A.

    Aidan - drinking wine as I type! But I think the Johnny idea is pretty good, wonder if Angie would mind if I hit him up. Me likey you too x

  7. I usually enjoy the French on strike and seeing how they creatively manage to build it into day-to-day life, but this one is really ridiculous! Would two more years of working really kill anyone? :)

    I suppose the american in me will never really get it...

  8. OMG, that's insane! The French be craaazy! haha

  9. So passionate those French peoples are. Well I guess I'd get pissed if someone tried to mess with my retirement too, but I'd probably kick people in the crotches instead of lighting cars on fire.

  10. Wow! The French really know how to riot. It makes me realize that the US is not the only country with frustrated citizens. Then French just really know how to take control. haha

  11. Ahhh the art of manifestation!! The French strike with quite a bit of grandeur and panache lol. I've been wondering how far these strikes will go, seems like they're having quite q bit of fun. But methinks the whole causing people not to have gas is a bit too far. I mean come on not everyone has a dog Fifty's size, how will they manage?

    Though, I kinda wish I went or worked at school in France- I could really use a day off!!

  12. I'm glad I'm out in the sticks and not in Paris! Not sure how'd I'd go with riots.

    The maternelle school here was closed today, on strike, and I'm happy to report my 4 year old did not set any cars on fire. She did molotov cocktail the local police station, but that's just what we Australians like to do on Tuesdays.

  13. Jeez, that's awesome. I wish we could get it together to foment some civil unrest like that here.

  14. it's awful! the french really do love their strikes.

  15. This looks like the most awful/horrific/scary/annoying thing EVER

    hope your ok + husband + fifty are too


  16. Apathy is not something the French value. Thanks for stopping by my blog - hope things get resolved soon.

  17. Well, I think that Fifty will want more than a few doggy bones to pull a wagon rouge. He may even be joining a union to fight for his rights!

    Well, afterall you do live in BFE, tant pis! (hehehe)

    Be safe,

  18. My gosh, I was watching this on the news last night. Craziness!

  19. In Italy is the same... strikes for all!
    Strange they made strike on friday, why not on monday or tuesday? Only friday?
    In Italy people sometimes are so stupid! Believe me. I see your picture on tv yesterday, in Italy they do same things! Stupid people!

  20. I guess Sarah you didn't have the necessary informations to have this " ridiculous " point of view!

  21. wow! Pray the people that run the internet don't strike! I could live without gas, food, water. But internet? I would die without.

    Apparently a few years back the trash people in Germany went on strike. During the SUMMER. During tourist season. The streets in downtown were piled high with garbage. Can you imagine??

  22. I am 100% with you on the strikes, this one seems to be getting out of hand and the message is getting lost. Torching cars? Burning downs schools? yeah ... that makes sense ...

    My favourite part of the never-ending news coverage is the *slight* difference in rally/march statistics:

    Unions say 300,000
    Police officials AND companies organised to count heads via software so probably pretty darn good at it say, 50,000.

    Someone forgot to carry the one.

    I have a 3/4 tank of fuel and am trying to ignore the whole thing. Bof!

  23. So crazy!!!!! I hope it all gets resolved soon!!!

  24. To be honest the French are ridiculous... they have more vacations, more benefits and more social security than any other nations in teh globe and they are still dissatisfied.... Merde!!! :)


  25. I think it's better in Aix today...I may try and go shopping later on.
    What is B.F.E?

  26. Sarah - yes, I think our Americanness makes it difficult to understand striking like this. It's a tricky situation for sure xo

    City Girl - They definitely are entertaining! Never a dull moment here :-)

    The redhead - your way might be more effective :-)

    Shorty - they sure do! After all, they invented the guillotine!

    Valerie - glad you got that. I wasn't sure if anyone would because it's been years since I've said 'BFE' x

    Habebi - Yet another reason for you to move to France! xo

    Kirsty - ah, sounds like your four year old will fit right in :-)

    Homemaker Man - sounds like you've found yourself a new hobby!

    Clouds - I appreciate civil action but definitely not senseless rioting

    Jersey - oh we're fine! And in event of emergency, Fifty will save us all!

    Genie - I saw Fifty with a group of dogs this morning, he was probably organizing the Union! xo

    Babi - you crack me up! They should be on Mondays only! xo

    Morgane - I'm not sure what point of view you're referring to. My only point of view is that I don't want to be stuck on top of this mountain with no petrol for the car to get me down. Hence the jokes about Fifty pulling a little red wagon and the helicopter. But I guess Fifty pulling me down the mountain in a little red wagon is pretty ridiculous. But pretty funny too!

    Becca - I'm with you! As long as I have internet and wine (lots and lots) I can probably stay inside for weeks and be quite content!

    B - you're so right! The different reports are killing me! And one news channel makes it look like almost nothing is going on, and another like we should be getting out the riot gear! x

    T.M.C.O.H. - my fingers are crossed!

    Gabby - you make an excellent point.

    ditdit - Good luck shopping! B.F.E. stands for Butt F*ck Egypt. It's another way of saying, the middle of nowhere :-)

  27. Yep, I'm a little bit over this strike business as well! Thankfully I've been sick all week & watching all the drama from the comfort of my sofa :) But, lordy, I hope we won't be trapped this weekend because of the gas shortage...if I can't get outta this house, then it might really be time for some car flipping :) xx

  28. Girl, that is insane! I hope everything calms down soon enough. I wouldn't know what to do if I was trapped anywhere without gas! Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. You have the sweetest blog! I love it! xo

  29. sarah louise i was respondind to a "sarah" comment not to your post darling !

  30. I am happy to know you watch France24. I love it. Not even to mention Francois Picard ...

  31. I think the French love nothing better than to strike. I know my cousins get involved in everyone that comes a long.

    I heard on the BBC (not sure what they really know) that supposedly most of the labor unions are actually for the change in pension laws because they fear the system won't be able to sustain itself as is, probably true about not being able to sustain.

  32. I hope you're using your fuel sparingly!! How far up is the petit village?

    The strikes are annoying but what's really bothering me is the riots at the moment. Lyon city centre has become a no go area and is being destroyed. Businesses are loosing out left right and centre, I really feel for some of the small businesses etc that are really being put through hell at the moment. It's so sad and the riots do not create a good image of what's going on in France at the moment.

  33. OMG...what is happning there...I am off to watch that video:)
    Kisses my dear
    Hope you are ok:)

    Ps: I am hosting a $50 gift certificate GIVEAWAY today, so please join in :)

  34. Ugh. Scaryface. You are in my thoughts!!

  35. It's crazy isn't it! and here I am trying to get to Paris.

  36. don't worry ... it's a sensitive post !

  37. Sara,

    I enjoyed this post and your insider perspective, and the perspectives of the comments here. So interesting. From all different angles.

  38. Bring back Napoleon! He knew how to deal with internal unrest.

  39. The first thing people in the UK ask me about at the moment are the strikes, but (apart from immense queues for petrol) things in Paris are kind of business as usual - I think the British news channels like to make out that the French are all hooligans!


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