The French Connection



“Where do you get your ideas?” I came to international travel later in life. In 1998, I ventured to Paris. I distinctly remember my first impression: the radio in the taxi from the airport was playing classic American rock music. Quelle surprise! I soon discovered it was the same in the bars and cafes, everywhere. It was as if the soundtrack of Paris was the soundtrack of my youth. I could not, however, understand a word the announcers were saying, nor a word of the commercial messages, but that just added to the charm somehow. I wondered if Parisians immersed in American music could understand the lyrics. When I returned home, I searched the internet and actually found some of those very French stations I’d heard, and I learned I could stream their broadcasts. In fact, I believe that was the first time I encountered the word “stream” in that context. So, for a period, I would listen to rock and roll interspersed with indecipherable (for me) French commentary. It was tres cool!

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22 thoughts on “The French Connection”

  1. And now streaming music has become part of our lives. I’m on two paid services and one free one and don’t listen to any commercials. Although the free one does insert visual ads in the background, they don’t bother me.

    Good strip Jimmy. And you were ahead of the curve when you did it.

  2. Streaming is a great way to connect with corners of our planet. About the time you started to stream Paris, I found CBC on Prince Edward Isle. My current fling is Ocean FM, a station on the Irish west coast.

  3. Despite the annoyance of streaming interruptions, it really does seem miraculous to be able to drive around listening to obscure little FM stations hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away.

    This cartoon was drawn in 2003, when speeds were not what they are now. Still, my initial experience with streaming was positive! — JJ

  4. French TV and radio commentary is *hard*. I was reasonably adept at conversational French at the end of a 15-month stint living and working just outside of Paris, and I was still unable to follow broadcasts.

  5. When cooking I often turn on my French Classic Pandora station and pretend Julia Childs is nearby encouraging me along. Loved the episode when she dropped the chicken on the floor, picked it up and kept on cooking. None of your guests need to know, she said.

  6. I once cut off side of cake the dog licked icing from and re’iced it inspired by Julia and her fix it attitude.

    I could not nothing for the molded pate that finally popped out of mold, slid off counter and into litter box.

    I miss Julia.

  7. Many tears ago the local radio station in NE Conn. would broadcast
    several hr. a day in French because of the large French Canadian population
    in the area. It was funny to hear the ads in French but the telephone numbers
    in English.

  8. When I was in the service, we would fly around the Med and listen to the “local” am radio stations on one of our aircraft’s radio. That’s where I heard “Midnight Train to Georgia”…in Greek, and a absolutely bizarre rendition of “Disco Duck” with the announcer talking over parts of the song in Italian. All in all, hearing the melodies made home feel a little closer at the time…but gives me a chuckle now.

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