Silent Night on the metro - Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

After being greeted by the unwelcome cacophony of ear-splitting music and the chants of striking airport security staff at Charles de Gaulle airport yesterday morning, we found some moments of tranquility where we least expected it - the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station late last night. While scurrying from line 1 to line 9, the sounds of "Silent Night" wafting through the tunnels reminded us to slow down, if only for a moment, and appreciate our time together. The following instrumental version is a close facsimile of what we heard, minus the piano!

In between picking up our son at the airport (our family of four is now complete!) and riding the metro home last night, we had another wonderful evening listening to the opera singers and dining at Bel Canto. Since I've mentioned how many problems I have with the French language, it seems only fair to mention that their usage of English isn't always correct either. Sara found this gem on the menu:

Pan-seared cod filet with mush potatoes and virgin sauce.
Virgin sauce, anyone? It's delicious on mush potatoes!

After a quick glance at this sign, Philippe wondered why they had recycled the one from last year:

The French version literally says, "The artists thank you and wish you a Merry Christmas and happy end of the the year 2011", which seems to be why they used 2011 rather than 2012 in their translated English version.

Any idea why Francophones celebrate the end of the year (2011), while Anglophones celebrate the beginning of the new year (2012)? 


  1. Reading your story and viewing your photos is almost like being there... although I'm not this year. While I don't envy you CDG and staff strikes, I do envy you Paris. Joyeuses Fetes!
    -Mark Craft

  2. I can picture the mush potatoes but have no idea what virgin sauce could be!
    Happy Christmas X

  3. Joseph, Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas!

    Mark, Merci and Joyeux Noël! Since it's our first Christmas in Paris, we've only recently discovered that it's a pretty special place to be at this time of year.

    Steph, The virgin sauce gave us a good chuckle. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  4. "Sauce vierge" is an actual sauce intended for fish, and can be translated as 'virgin sauce' but it also looks like EVOO here.

  5. Joseph, After going back and looking at the French description of the fish dish, your explanation works. I didn't know that there's a "virgin sauce". So the correct translation would be "pan seared cod filet, mashed potatoes with olive oil and virgin sauce." Thanks!


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