Photo of the Week

ParisUpdate-bicycles-courtyard

Bicycles in a Parisian courtyard. © Paris Update

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Stick up for science
> The Paris March for Science begins at 1pm at the Jardin des Plantes (Place Valhubert), April 22.

Silent films from Switzerland?
> They’re rare, but they do exist and can be seen at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Paris, April 20-May 2.

Voices from the North
> The Pølar Festival celebrates Northern European culture with films, concerts, talks and more. Various locations, Paris, April 19-29.

Photo walk
> Eight Paris galleries hold special photography shows and events for Parcours Fotofever. Various locations, Paris, through May 1.

Photo shows galore
> Le Mois de la Photo has been moved from autumn to spring, with 96 exhibitions taking place all over the greater Paris area. See Web site for locations and dates.

Art videos
> The theme of this year’s Videobox Festival is “noise and movement.” Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 27-29.

Take home a winemaker
> Winemakers from Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux come to Paris to offer tastings of their products in wine bars and private homes for the event J’Irai Déguster chez Vous. Various venues, Paris, April 20-22.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Nicolas Bedos’s Monsieur & Madame Adelman preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, April 21.

Polaroid pix
> The “Expolaroid” exhibition features Polaroid images by nine artists. La Maison des Ensembles, Paris, through April 25.

Binge-watching
> Festival Séries Mania shows TV series from around the world and holds debates, conferences and special guests like Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” all for free. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 23.

Travel yarns
> Travel fanatics get together at the Paris Travelers Festival to swap tales of their adventures. FIAP, Paris, April 22-23.

Street art indoors

ParisUpdate-UrbanArtFair-Felipe-Pantone-2
The gallery Art in the Game will be showing works by Felipe Pantone at the Urban Art Fair.> Some 30 galleries show street art at the Urban Art Fair. Carreau du Temple, Paris, April 20-23.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

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Hot Topics - C'est ironique !

 

France's Reputation in the World: The C'est Ironique Paris Visitors' Satisfaction Survey

Otherwise, Kim,
How Was Your Trip?

ParisUpdate-CestIronique-ViewfromSareHouse

 

I took this photo from the place where I stayed on a recent vacation. I gave the house a rating of two out of 10 because that cloud interrupted my view of the mountains.

Like everything else in the universe, the Internet has its advantages and disadvantages. Its main advantage, of course, is that it vastly facilitates communication, making it easy for me to harass women I barely know with “sext” messages. Oops — wait! I didn’t mean that. Those words don’t reflect who I am.

I meant to say: its main advantage, of course, is that it vastly facilitates communication, making it easy for me to stay in touch with family, friends, porn-addiction therapists, etc., all over the world.

And its main disadvantage, of course, is that it vastly facilitates communication, making it easy for spammers to fill my in box with crap, my heart with bile and my mind with venom.

On a slightly more sanguine note, it also makes it easy for businesses to bombard their clientele with questionnaires. In the old days, customer satisfaction surveys had to be conducted by mail, telephone or strip-o-gram, which was expensive and time-consuming for the surveyor.

But now any company dealing in any kind of good or service can solicit its customers’ reactions automatically at no incremental cost. Nonetheless, being a surveyee wastes as much time and energy as ever, so I don’t often respond to these inquiries, especially when my mouse hand is worn out from deleting spam. Or from Photoshopping all the, ah, I guess you could say “selfies” that I take for my, ah, personal communication projects.

Anyway, the surge in service surveys has been on my mind this week because I just returned from a vacation in Basque Country, a region that straddles southwestern France and northeastern Spain along the Atlantic coast. And one of my favorite parts of the world, as reported in a previous C’est Ironique.

A couple of weeks ago, accompanied by one friend and one wife, I flew to Biarritz, rented a car and spent two days in an apartment in San Sebastian, Spain, followed by one week in a gîte (vacation rental house) in the charming French village of Sare.

And when I got back to Paris I received, in rapid succession, customer feedback forms from Air France, Hertz, Airbnb, Gîtes de France and Air France again (they counted the return flight as a separate “passenger experience”). I was surprised that there was nothing from the highway department asking me to rate the hand driers in the Biarritz service plaza men’s room. (Which by the way are also a waste of time and energy.)

This made me wonder: what if all foreign visitors to Paris received an overall satisfaction survey about their trips? I imagine the questionnaire would look something like this...

Thank you for choosing Paris

Your opinion is important to us! Yeah, we know that there’s strong evidence to the contrary, but humor us. To find out how we can make our city more visitor-friendly, we’d like to ask you a few simple questions.

Question 1:
Is the objective perception of the physical world conditioned by subjective psychological factors?

Oops — wrong question! That was from the “Bac” philosophy exam.  Sorry! We meant to say:

Question 1:
What was the purpose of your visit?
_ Tourism
_ Business
_ Scouting out residential possibilities in case Donald Trump gets elected

Question 2:
Who accompanied you on this trip? (Check all that apply.)
_ Boyfriend/girlfriend
_ Fiancé/fiancée
_ Spouse
_ Lover
_ Escort(s)
_ Pets

Question 3:
Did you take a cab into Paris from the airport?
_ Yes
_ No

Question 4:
If you answered “yes” to Question 3, given the amount of time you spent together, do you now consider your taxi driver to be a member of your family?
_ Yes, we call each other every Sunday.
_ Yes, we have our own private nicknames for each other. And for each of the passengers on the bus that blocked our path at Porte de la Chapelle for an hour.
_ Yes, we’re all now living together. In the cab, at Porte de la Chapelle.

Question 5:
If you stayed in a hotel in Paris, how would you rate your room in terms of size, comfort and amenities?
_ Superb
_ Excellent
_ Perfectly fine

Question 6:
Wait! We meant in relation to its price.
_ Oh — horrible
_ Depressing
_ Is this a joke?

Question 7:
How would you rate the cleanliness of France as a whole (scale of zero to 10)?

Question 8:
How would you rate the cleanliness of the city of Paris (scale of zero to four)?

Question 9:
How would you rate the cleanliness of the Paris sidewalks (scale of zero to zero)?

Question 10:
About food: did you try any of the famous signature dishes of French cuisine while you were here?
_ Yes
_ No

Question 11:
Did you have steak tartare?
_ Yes
_ No

Question 12:
With the raw egg and everything?
_ Yes
_ No

Question 13:
On a hot day?
_ Yes
_ No

Question 14:
If you answered “yes” to questions 11, 12 and 13, how would you rate the decor of your hotel bathroom?
_ Oh, lovely
_ Nice enough, I guess
_ Okay, but kind of boring after the first few hours

Question 15:
Which of the following adjectives would you use to describe Paris? (Check all that apply.)
_ Expensive
_ Expensive
_ Expensive
_ Expensive
_ Expensive
_ Expensive

Question 16:
If you happened to travel out of Paris to the Basque town of Ascain two weeks ago, did you see any particularly idiotic misuses of quotation marks on restaurant menus?
_ Yes:

ParisUpdate-CestIronique-Menu1

This place is closed “Wednesday.” You know, the day that comes after the real Wednesday.

_ Yes:

ParisUpdate-CestIronique-Menu2

Wild “turbot” for “2” people with seasonal “vegetables.” So for all we know it’s actually a wild sardine for one and a half people with seasonal grass clippings.

Question 17:
Please complete the following statement (check all that apply):
I would recommend a vacation in Paris to my...
_ Self
_ Alter ego
_ Imaginary friends
_ Other personalities
_ Demons
_ Ventriloquist dummy
_ Psychiatrist

Question 18:
One last thing: during your visit, did you attach a “love lock” to a bridge or anywhere else in Paris?
_ Yes
_ No

Question 19:
If you answered “Yes” to Question 18, please enter your postal mailing address here: ______________________________
We’d like to send you a small gift to show our gratitude.
You may have your choice of the following items (check one):
_ One million padlocks, delivered by a specially trained courier who will solder them in large bundles to your house, car, furniture and jewelry to see how you like it.
_ A plastic bag containing a generous, ready-to-eat helping of steak tartare (serves two).
_ A personal, private message from a Paris-based Anglophone humorist.

The next C’est Ironique will appear on October 27.

David Jaggard

An album of David Jaggard’s comic compositions is now available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music, for purchase (whole or track by track) on iTunes and Amazon, and on every other music downloading service in the known universe, under the title “Totally Unrelated.”

Note to readers: David Jaggard’s e-book Quorum of One: Satire 1998-2011 is available from Amazon as well as iTunes, iBookstore, Nook, Reader Store, Kobo, Copia and many other distributors.

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© 2016 Paris Update