Topics of Conversation …

Top topic is President Sarkozy — yet again. He told a man who refused to shake his hand at Paris’ annual agricultural show to ‘Casse-toi! Pauvre con!’ — Get lost! Poor idiot/imbecile! Not the kind of thing one expects from a president. The latest opinion poll therefore shows that only 33% of French now think […]

Top topic is President Sarkozy — yet again. He told a man who refused to shake his hand at Paris’ annual agricultural show to ‘Casse-toi! Pauvre con!’ — Get lost! Poor idiot/imbecile! Not the kind of thing one expects from a president. The latest opinion poll therefore shows that only 33% of French now think he’s a good president. The poll was undertaken by phone on February 20 and 1003, all over 18, participated. By the way, have you ever been called to participate in a poll? I was once. I explained that I shouldn’t really comment because I’m not French and I was told ‘Oh come on, do tell us what you Brits think’. That’s what cab drivers also say to me. Actually, if one wants to know what the French really think, chat to a cab driver! Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (this is now how she’s being called here in the media, and no longer just Carla Bruni) are at present on an official visit to South Africa. Maybe he will sell South Africa another nuclear power plant because the country’s suffering from a *severe* electricity shortage — I mean *severe* like in unannounced power cuts (and what to do with the swimming pool and the fish tank!?). South Africa already has a French nuclear power plant at Koeberg in the Cape Province. France sold it to the South Africans during the apartheid years; France had, therefore, broken the UN embargo. But that’s another story …

Second topic of conversation is the cost of living. The monthly consumers’ bible — ’60 Millions de Consommateurs’ (60 Million Consumers) — has done a survey for its March issue on the rising prices in French supermarkets. The price of milk has increased by between 20/37%; of camembert cheese between 12/32%; butter between 19/26%; pasta between 22/45%; rice between 10/18%; pork and hams between 9/44% and anything with chocolate in it between 10/25%. By the way, a few years back, ’60’s title — we all call the mag ’60’ — was ’50 Millions de Consommateurs’. I wonder if I will still be around (and writing this blog) when they will yet again have to change — to ’70 Millions de Consommateurs’.

(Picture : If prices continue to rise this is how Parisians may have to dine from now on!)

The third topic of conversation is euthanasia. This is because a 52-year-old woman, Chantal Sebire, wants to end her life, but she wants to do so legally and assisted medically. Madame Sebire suffers from — and I don’t know what this disease is in English — esthesioneurablastome — a tumor of the nasal cavity. It manifests itself through loss of taste, then smell, then sight. It deforms the face grotesquely yet Madame Sebire bravely agreed to television interviews. Medically controlled assisted suicide is now being allowed in Switzerland, Holland and Belgium, but she says that she is French and she wants to die in her own country. I hope I will not now upset or shock any of you, but I think this brave lady’s wish should be granted.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

2 Responses to “Topics of Conversation …”

  1. 2
    Anonymous Says:

    Yes, I feel the same way about euthanasia. I think we’ve become sufficiently sophisticated to grant people like Madame Sebire their wish.
    Catherine Modin

  2. 1
    Jo Says:

    I certainly agree that assisted suicide is good if the “helper” is 100% sure the person really wants to die, but how do you ensure that.

    Euthanasia generally is a difficult topic, who decides in the end, and where do you draw the line.

    I too can’t smell anything any more, it affects my taste, but nothing more thank God.

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