Saturday, March 1, 2008
Le Salon International de l'Agriculture à Paris
Xavier, Marguerite and I headed to the International Agricultural Show in Paris today, apparently heralded as a huge deal around here. Tout le monde (everyone, on this occasion-quite literally, in the world) was there. We could hardly move. And all the animals too.
I was far more captivated by the utters and the oinking and the dogs than our little toddler. Really. Marguerite was mainly just interested in stairs. Pretty unmoved by the little squeaks and such of the animals. But, she ran for any rise in pavement or slight inkling of a step and resolutely refused to hold hands. I guess she is so infatuated with steps because she is an apartment kid. Stairs, for her, truly are an indulgence.
So, basically, while Marguerite found steps to climb, I watched the animals. Most of them were farm animals on display - cows called luscious things like Vaches Froment du Léon, Vaches Salers Veau Grelot and Vaches Limousines. There was also the most gratifying dog who rounded up sheep in a pen - an absolute highlight for me. (See video below, please).
This event also happened to be the setting of Nicolas Sarkozy's most recent public gaffe. Poor Sarkozy. As he was mincing among the sheep and cows (and the French population), he extended a hand to greet people in the crowd and was met by an unsupportive frenchman who said, "Touche moi pas, tu me salis" (in rather poor french: "Don't touch me, you'll get me dirty"). Sarkozy, ever the reactionary fellow, responded: "Casse-toi, pauvre con" (a very crude way of saying "Get away from me"). Sarkozy didn't remember that swearing at the public is not usually recommended if you'd like to be popular.