April 21, 2013

La Maison Verte 緑の家(フランスの子育て支援施設)

In our city, there are "Parenting Support Bases" in each ward and those who take care of young children can go there, play and communicate with others for free. Besides, there are "parenting advisors" who are sent to local community centers every week, or story time at libraries etc... we can find various events that we can enjoy with little ones. And I wondered how mothers in France do...

上記の子育て支援拠点のスタッフさんが、オランダとフランスの子育て支援に関するレポートを私に見せてくれました。そこにあったのが、La Maison Verte(緑の家)
A staff at one of the bases introduced me a report done by some Japanese researchers on the parenting aide in Holland and France. There I found "La Maison Verte (The Green House)" (the link is above).

So, we, Carl, Maman, our son and me, visited there which is situated in the 15th of Paris.

La maison was on the ground floor of a kind of an apartment building. The entrance doesn't face on the road so it was slightly complicated to find it.
The bases in our city are usually open from 9 AM to 4 PM, while la maison verte is from 2PM to 7PM. Short opening hours on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

When we opened the door, we were there in the photo above. There are hooks for overcoats, and a green house. Our son liked getting in and out of the house with other kids. On the left, there is a bathroom.

There are also tricycles. We don't see them in the bases in Japan (maybe because we take off shoes indoors?). The tricycles are allowed only in the entrance and there is a border line tape on the floor.

They have a backyard with some toys. Few children went out because it was in winter.

スタッフは3人ほどいて、Ovniというパリのフリーペーパーに載ってから、日本人の利用者が増えたと言っていました。また、つい先日、日本の学生が訪れたということで、折り鶴が飾ってありました。「Kurashiki Shiritu Junior College」と書いてあったのですが、collegeはフランス語で「中学校」なので、「え!?中学生がここに!?」と思ったけれど、よくよく考えたら「倉敷市立短期大学」だよね、きっと!

In the main room, there are also various toys and the space where kids can play with water (aprons available) but I didn't take photos because there were other visitors. Near the entrance to the main room, there is a white board where names of kids visiting are written down.
There were three staff when we visited there and they said there have been more Japanese visitors since they appeared on a free magazine for Japanese people in Paris "Ovni". They also said a group of Japanese students visited around Christmas holidays and brought origami cranes. It was written "Kurashiki Shiritu Junior Collège", but collège means "middle school" in French, so we wondered "middle schoolers came here!?", but I think it was "junior college" in English...

義母はその後、来日時に日本の子育て支援の集まりに参加して、「日本の方がいい」と言っていました。というのは、La Maison Verteでは子供を遊ばせる点ではよかったものの、お母さん同士の交流にはあまり力を入れていないという印象があったようです。まぁ、どちらも1時間程度の訪問なので、あくまで印象ですが。La maison Verteではおばあちゃんで孫を連れて来ているという人がいて、そういう方はおしゃべりに花を咲かせていたけれど、お母さんどうしはあんまり話している人は見ませんでした。私は明らかに外国人だったせいか、だ〜れも話しかけられませんでしたし、話しかけませんでしたcoldsweats01
My mother-in-law later came here and we went to one of my favorite playgroup provided by an NPO, and she said it was better than la Maison Verte. La maison was good in the respect that they let children play as freely as possible, but they didn't really try to encourage communication between mothers. Our visits to the both organizations were only an hour or so, so we can only say that it's our impression. In la Maison Verte, there was a grandma coming with her grandchild, and she was really talkative... but other young mothers didn't really talk much. It was clear that I didn't speak good French, so nobody talked to me, and I talked to nobody...

ちなみに、La Maison Verteは「心付け」でお金を払うシステムです。もちろん、1ユーロでも10ユーロでも、ご本人次第。どうやら、パリ市から援助は受けているようですが、完全無料ではないのね。
今度パリに行く時また行きたいか…?3歳までだから、次は無理だ〜〜!爆 二人目?笑

By the way, it was not completely free of charge. They don't set the price, but visitors pay as much as they want: maybe 1 euro or 10 euro, it's all up to us. It seems that they receive financial aid from the city of Paris, but not sure.
Do I want to visit there again next time? To my regret, it is for children under three years old, so Pierre can't! Maybe the next child;p

Plus, we played in the park near the Eiffel Tower after that, and I saw something interesting. White children playing and Asian ladies watched them. I heard one of them speaking in French with some accent. Baby-sitter is a job for foreigners, it seems.


July 04, 2012

東京日仏学院 Institut Franco-Japonais a Tokyo

I heard that there were a lot of French people and French restaurants in Kagurazaka area. Maybe because there is Institut Franco-Japonais a Tokyo about 10 min from Iidabashi station.


In May, we visit their 60th anniversary festival. There were food stands (gastronomy) outside and inside there were various art projects, magic show, French films... There was a stage in the garden, too. There were many French and Japanese people.

こちら、学院内にある本屋さん。教科書なども売られているよう。Rive Gaucheはセーヌ川の左岸という意味。
Rive Gauche: a bookshop in the institute, means "the left bank of the Seine".

They have one in Yokohama, too, near Bashamichi, the two floors in Meidiya building. It's not that large. There seems to be a book reading for kids so I would like to take my son when he's at that age.

In addition, I make use of their mail-learning system of French.


July 01, 2012

山手散策 -Food Fair at Saint-Maur International School & Bluff Bakery

It was in April, we were hanging around Yamate and came across a Food Fair at Saint Maur international school.

This school is one of international schools in Yamate and they recently started a French course for the children of employees in Nissan-Renaut as they moved the head quarter in Yokohama. So many of children of Carl's colleague go there, too.

VERY American scoreboard (no doubt, though).

There were various stands of each countries and French one was in the gym.

Crepes, canelés, cakes, cheeses, pâté... I loved the canelé (mothers baked them).

Bluff Bakery along Daikan-zaka. I think it opened not so long ago, I saw it in NHK French Language program on TV and wanted to go there since then.

Baguette, croissant, I think they can tell us the quality of the shop. Polenta bread is made of corn powder. I also found polenta powder in Hiroo, Tokyo, so I will bake some bread or cake some day soon.


June 21, 2012

Jouvaud 広尾店

My favorite Patisserie Provancal, Jauvaud. But they closed a shop in Yokohama many years ago!! I'm so sad.

なので、大使館に行く際は、寄ることに。So when we go to the embassy, we usually drop by the Hiroo shop.

Fortunately, we saw the patissier at the counter and talked a little while (I made sure what he talked about with Carl later....because it was all in French). As I have been looking for molds for calissons, we asked him where did he got them and he said they're brought from France. In addition, the laws about food are different in both countries so they can't make confits of melon in the way they do in France. So the recipe of calisson in Japan is different from the one in France. I would love to taste the calissons in France then!

And they closed the branches to concentrate on the "maison mere (head shop)".

It was nothing to do with the sweets but he said their children speaks mostly in Japanese at home while he wants them to speak French. Mmm, that's what we have to work on in our family, too.

I would like to have a cup of tea at the salon de thé of Jouvaud next time.

フロランタンはプレゼント♪Florantan was a gift:-)

ケークサレ Cake salé

オリーブパン Pain aux olives


May 08, 2012

Presidential Election 大統領選挙

It's the year of the Presidential Election in France this year. Those who are in foreign countries, like Carl, go to the embassy to vote. Our son and I also went there because it must be interesting to see the vote of another country.

The big difference is that they directly choose their leader (president) while we can't do it for our prime minister. And also they vote twice. In 2012, the vote No.1 was on April 22th and the second ballot was on May 6th.
The campaign posters of the candidates at the first vote. They look cool just because it is written in French...(not sure how French people see them).

The way of vote is different. In Japan, we write a name of your choice on a piece of paper at the polling place, fold it in half and put in a box. In France, on the other hand, the pieces of paper in which the names of candidates are already written are sent to you and you put your choice in an envelop in a compartment with a curtain at the polling place. I thought the rest of the paper would be rubbish and it may not be a good idea, but it can also avoid invalid votes by spelling wrongly.
(By the way, the sheets of paper arrived only two days before the election on Friday. Was it because there're not enough workers in the embassy or was it because c'est la France...)

決選はこうなりました。現職:ニコラ・サルコジ 対 新人:フランソワ・オランド
The second ballot turned out like this: The incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy vs. a new comer Francois Hollande.

Another difference was that Carl's colleague was in France for business and couldn't vote, so he asked Carl to do it for him. In Japan one can't vote for others except for the physically-disabled cases. We can vote beforehand at city halls or major stations instead. In addition, my sisters-in-laws were not in France on the day so they asked their parents to do it. In that case, they go to a city hall or a police station to register their parents as their representatives. In Japan... the embassy didn't look that strict about the case.

Carl also asked to help counting the votes after voting, of course, he said no because we had to come home early for our son.

It's rather ridiculous but I like the nickname "Sarko". Our son pointed (chose?) at Sarko when Carl showed him the voting papers. It's also funny that Holland in French means "Nether lands". I know there are people whose name is German, too. Hollande is called "Mr. Pudding (unsteady)" :-( Is he really alright as a president?


December 09, 2011

Saint Nicolas 聖ニコラ祭

12月6日は聖ニコラの日。ということで、週末に友人を招いて「聖ニコラの茶会」を催しました。盛大に友人を招いたのは初めてなので、House Warming Partyでもありました。
December 6th is Saint Nicolas! We invited our friends and had Saint Nicolas Tea Party at home. It was officially the first time to invite many people so it was also a House Warming Party.

Saint Niclas isn't celebrated all over France, but several regions. It's a festival in Germany and Luxembourg where Carl spent his childhood. Saint Nicolas is said to be a model of Santa Claus, he's in a red costume, we put shoes, carrots for the animal of him, and cookies for Saint Nicolas near fireplace and you'll find presents from him in the following morning.

It's mostly like Christmas so they give small presents in Carl's family.

I baked manilas de la Saint Nicolas (like gingerbread man) and a stollen. The marzipan inside was made of hazelnut powder.

It was so much fun!
My son weren't that timid, either.

We don't have fireplace so we put in the entrance.

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June 01, 2011

パンパース比較 Comparing Pampers

We brought a package of diapers from Japan, but maman also prepared a lot of things for our little boy in France. Pampers and the wipes.

We usually use Japanese diaper Moony, but my mother said I used Pampers when I was a baby (there weren't many choices then). Maman said she liked Pampers, too, but as it was nearly 20 years ago the last time she bought diapers so she didn't know which to buy. The size, taped, pants...

左が日本の、右がフランスの、というかEU共通みたい。色んな言語で書かれていて、ドイツ製だった。パンツタイプはEasy Up Pantsという名前なのね。サイズも、日本では「パンツタイプのL」だけど、EUのはMAXI。
Left:Japanese Right:France (the same model in EU, it seems). It was made in Germany. The model we call "pants" in Japan is "Easy Ups" in EU. The size description was different, too. It was "L /pants" in Japan but "MAXI" in EU.

Detailed information is written on the pacage (backside) in Japan, but it's also the photo and information is written on the side (smaller space) in various languages.

触った感じは、EUのが厚い。I think EU one is thicker.

中の吸収シートの色が違う。The colors of dry layer are different.

日本は「しまじろう」、EUのはBob Builderというキャラです。In Japan, it's Shimajiro the tiger, while it's Bob Builder in EU.

By the way, they don't have "Peed sign". Not a problem, though.

The wipes are perfumed. I don't think there are many wipes in Japan which is perfumed.

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May 21, 2011

クスクス Couscous


We don't find couscous very often in Japan.
Last time we visited France, it was summer and I didn't feel hungry, but this time the weather was nice and we spent most of the time at home so I was able to enjoy maman's cooking much better!

Couscous was often served and I liked it a lot. I looked for it in Japan but it wasn't that easy. Finally we found at a department store and a famous import super market. It might be easier to order on-line.

Couscous by Ferrero and RICCI. Couscous is originally from North Africa, but both of them are made in France. I found it wonderful because it's very easy to cook: boil some water. add couscous, wait for 5 minutes and mix with butter or olive oil. That's it!

Omelette and couscous with tomato sauce (Ome-couscous)

We usually eat it with Ratatouille. I serve for my little boy, too, but he doesn't seem to like it since it's too tattered to eat with his hand.

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May 19, 2011

Picard ピカール

The frozen food store in France, Picard. I'm sure they're good quality, too, as maman likes them.

It's funny to see that many freezers!

お野菜やお米。Vegetables and rice.

My favorite potato fries! Pomme de terre dauphine...heart04

Sushi, bento and ramen... there were Japanese foods, too. I should have tried them!

Sushi Kurashi Kuってなんだろう? What is Sushi Kurashi Ku?

Of course, there were baguette and other bread.

I really want their stores in Japan!! There're various desserts, too, even macarons! I liked an icecream for Easter in chocolate egg shell. I regret that I don't have the photo.

ヴァシュラン・グラス。フランボワーズアイスとメレンゲ。おいしゅうございました。Vacherin Glace (de framboise)
Yum yum...

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May 08, 2011

パリ マカロン巡り 追記 Paris: Macaron Tour Post Script


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ピエールエルメのマカロンとパットドフリュイです。パットドフリュイは、Ispahan, Constellation, Oasisの3種類のアソートを買いました。二層になってて、さわやかなフルーツやバラの香味が最高に美味しかったです。
Macarons and pates de fruits of Pierre Herme. We bought an assortment box of pates de fruits: Ispahan, Constellation, Oasis. The two-layer pates de fruits with flavors of fruits and rose were so refreshing and extraordinary good!
マカロンは覚えている限り Flavors of macarons as long as I remember:
Crème Brûlée (Vanilles & éclats de Caramel)
Huile d'Olive & Mandarine
Infiniment Rose (Rose & Pétale de Rose)
Dépaysé (The Vert Matcha, Haricot Rouge Azuki, Citron Vert & Gingembre)
Magador (Chocolat au Lait & Fruit de la Passion)
Métissé (Carotte, Orange & Canalle)

Guimauves of LADUREE. The red one is strawberry and the white one is orange flower. Carl didn't think guimauves are delicious until I gave him some last year. It's good we re-discover the goodness of our cultures like this.

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Gérald Mulot. The seasonal flavors of Spring and Summer (from March to October).

Framboise, Nougat, Noix de coco, Mure, Cerise griotte, Graise/ Coquelicot, Citron...

Additional: A box of macarons I bought at PAUL restaurant in CDG. We were able to bring it back safely! We immediately ate them and were good!

スーパーで売っていた、Brioche Pasquierというメーカーのマカロン。ラズベリー、レモン、カシスで、カフェ、チョコ、バニラ入りの箱もあった。会計を待っている際、立ち読みしていたグルメ雑誌に、『スーパーで売っている美味しいマカロン』みたいな特集があり、そのランキング第一位になっていたのがこれ。おいしくいただきました。
The macarons of Brioche Pasquier, bought at a supermarket. The flavors were raspberry, lemon and blackberry. There was also a box of Cafe, Chocolate and Vanilla. I read a gourmet magazine while I was waiting for the casher and found an article like "The delicious macarons sold at supermarket" and Brioche Pasquier was the No. 1 in the ranking. They're good.

It's a little unclear but frozen macarons available at a frozen food store "Picard" (I'll write about it later). They're also good, but our family doesn't really like black macarons (licorice)...

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