A Year in the Merde

As a non French living in France there are several books one must read, "A year in Provence" and his opposite "A year in the Merde" by Stephen Clarke. It is also highly reccomended to French also, they will, of course, recognize themselves and their fellow country men and women.

Unlike most people I am reading "a year in provence" only now after being here, in Provence, almost a year. But thats only because I found the extremely funny "A year in the Merde" before.

The book is written by a young Englishman that came to Paris to work. The guy is describing all the good the bad and the really funny situation a foreigner will have the chance (100% chance) to stumble upon in Paris.

The strikes, the apathy, the rudeness of the waiters, the beurocracy, the weather, the language and anything else you can think about. Personally I have encountered much less problem then Mr. Clarke coming straight to Provence (Marseille) where the people are friendly, and talkative (actually the Marseillian doesn't care if you understand the language or not as long as you can hear what they have to say, and they have a lot to say) sun is shining (and the damn Mistral is houling), Where everything is much less formal (but also a lot more messy), and the language doesn't sound the same at all.

I warmly reccomend this book, it will make you laugh hard weather you are French or English.