I found this video clip because I know the musician whose music is playing in the background. His name is Karmameleon and he used to play in the square outside our apartment in Lagos, Portugal. He’s a lovely guy and an outstanding musician … it’s a nice video clip too. I hope you enjoy it.
My son’s experience in a French school was not a good one
“As a new book lays bare the inadequacies of the French education system, Emily Barr relives her own disastrous experience of trying to settle her son into a French primary school: ‘I felt sick with recognition’.
“In his first year at his new primary school in Cornwall, my son Gabe gave a talk to the class about his experience the previous year at school in France. “The teacher shouted all the time,” he informed his fellow pupils. “She wrote a ‘naughty list’ on the board. She waved a bamboo stick around. And the reading book was really boring.” To emphasise his point, he ripped up a picture he had printed from the offending book and threw it into the air, concluding: “I like English school.”
“France today projects a sorry picture of a stagnant nation where little has changed since the 1970s, a country in dire need of a policy update” ( News 24 article).
More than 40 years ago, eminent French sociologist Michel Crozier summarised a diagnosis of what he believed was France’s main malady. “Society does not change by decree,” he noted in his 1971 book, “Society Blocked” (La Société bloquée). Crozier proceeded to roundly denounce the archaic nature of the French administration and the inability of the politicians to reform the country at a time of great upheaval.
If anything sets alarm bells off in your head about moving to France, then the fact that SurviveFrance.com has set up a support line should be setting them off loudly and clearly.
Having said that, while I am tempted to say that France is to blame here, I think this would be misleading. Putting on my seasoned traveller hat (I’ve lived in more than 20 cities in quite a few countries) I can say this is not just a symptom of France, it is true for anyone who moves abroad and leaves behind what they know and love, regardless of where they move.
Survive France says “Many people who make the move to France will at some point experience feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress and for some these feeling can become overwhelming. Often with little or no support network from family or friends it’s easy to find yourself in a situation that can seem insurmountable.
“Bereavements, financial difficulties, relationship problems, health issues and isolation can all be tipping points for those already feeling the strain of surviving in a foreign country. There are many SFN members who have already given their time, whether it be by telephone or in person, to provide some form of assistance to those who need it. Sometimes a sympathetic ear is all that’s required to turn a situation around or just brighten someone’s day.
“At Survive France Network we have a dozen or so members who are available to lend an ear. They are not professionally trained and any advice offered is done so on a friendly basis only”.
I think if you find yourself in this situation there is no shame in getting help and I’m sure these people will be a godsend when it all becomes too much.
An interesting read abut the success of the film Demain – from the New York Times (click on the image to see the article in full):
… This frustration helps explain the unlikely success of “Demain,” or “Tomorrow,” a French documentary. Since its release in December, the film has drawn almost one million viewers — unheard-of figures at the box office in a category in which movies rarely top ticket sales of 50,000.
THE LOCAL says Germany’s right-wing populist AfD believes that France and southern European countries should be excluded from Europe’s common currency, the party’s top officials said, AFP reported.
“We can have a common currency with the Netherlands, Austria, Finland or Baltic states. They have similar cultures of stability like ours,” Jörg Meuthen, the party’s co-leader, told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in remarks to be published in Monday’s edition.
“But the French have a different one, not to mention the Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese and Greeks. They don’t want austerity at all,” said the co-leader of Alternative for Germany, which was formed three years ago as an anti-euro party but is now running mainly on an anti-immigrant platform.