• In Paris, Tokyo Lamen (40, rue Ste Anne, near Opera) looks and tastes considerably more like the real thing than the somewhat overrated Higuma (a block up in the same street).
  • Ramen and gyozas get two thumbs up, yakisoba wasn’t that convincing… but then again: who orders yakisoba in a ramen-ya? (an idiot, that’s who).
  • When experimenting with a new ramen place, always order the miso ramen: less chances for anything to go wrong than shoyu or other more delicate ramens (says Saeko).

Picture CIMG1168.JPG … something about serving it cold while listening to 100 Watts of bass-heavy electroclash?

Guess what the French Post finally delivered to my doorstep this morning (don’t ever use their “48 hour” delivery service if you fancy seeing your stuff in less than two weeks)…

How ironic my brand new speakers should arrive on the morning following one of my dear neighbour’s bi-weekly all-nighter.

9:30 am couldn’t be too early to run a full sound-test, now could it?

I know you (all three of you) are eagerly waiting for more heady insights on French society seen through the prism of a dusty ten-volume political theory handbook, but my aspirin ran out mid-sentence and I have been busy doing other things. Things such as getting woken up at 6am by timezone-agnostic Japanese flight attendants calling to ask if I need green tea brought over and wondering why I sound sleepy. So we’ll be taking a break off socio-politico-froggy-bashing and resuming in a few days.

Instead, today is Musical Quiz.

Not any musical quiz: Catch-the-sample musical quiz!

While blogging the most mundane details of my daily existence, there has been a plethora of more serious topics I have been wanting to discuss for many weeks now. Just never found the time or the motivation to dig up all the data and roll it into something coherent and mildly interesting. At long last, and in no small part thanks to the wonders of modern urban warfare on academic grounds, I am about to fill up my quota for heady controversial postings on France, for the whole year at once.

Hang on to your baguette and pop a few aspirins, because today we are not going to focus on recent anti-government demonstrations, nor on the ongoing work-law reform that prompted them, or the already fading debate over France’s antisemitism, its suspected racism, the fuss over the Danish cartoons or the ever recurrent theme of freedom of speech and limits thereof in the birth country of Mr. Arouet.

No. Instead, we are going to talk about all these issues at once, and even attempt to weave some sort of grand theory throughout.

We are about to set some new record for lengthy pomposity on this blog and you will soon be longing for my endless digressions on weather and French flu medication, but you must realize I currently live in France: over here, it is uncouth not to have a strong opinion on every matter political and shout it as loud as your understanding of the material is thin. Besides, I see no reason to leave the business of spouting inane drivel on foreign countries, solely to the local pros.

So let’s begin:

1. Anti-semitism and racism in France

dr Dave: Hello?

Unknown Feminine Voice: Hello. May I speak to Mr. X?

drD: May I ask who’s calling and the purpose of your call?

UFC: I am calling for an invitation… Is Mr. X there?

drD: Who is asking?

UFC: … on behalf of Acme Inc. I would like to invite Mr. X to a one-time offer with…

drD: Mr. X is not here. He is currently serving time.

UFC:

UFC:

drD: FOR HUNTING, STALKING, HACKING TO BITS AND CARVING HIS INITIALS IN THE STILL-BEATING HEART OF THE LAST TELEMARKETER WHO CALLED WHILE HE WAS IN THE SHOWER.

UFC:

drD: Did it with a rusty phone antenna too.

drD: So who did you say you worked for again?

Picture CIMG1039.jpgPicture CIMG1042.jpgPicture CIMG1045.jpg

I just got a brand new handheld Japanese dictionary. It’s very complete, using one of the best database out there, smaller than a few credit cards stacked together and I paid 20,000 yens for it.

Oh, it also plays mp3s.

And movies.

In fact, it does a whole lot of things, pretty much anything I want it to do, provided I have time to write a program for it.

It’s an iPod Nano, running µClinux, thanks to the brilliant work of the iPod Linux team.