We can buy 3 daily newspapers in Carcassonne and for a town of 50,000 people, that’s not bad. These are actually regional papers, all owned by the same company, but we still think it’s amazing to have that kind of coverage. Many of their articles are published for free online and that’s one of the ways we find out what’s going on. Here’s a quote from the president of this region’s governing council regarding the upcoming fiscal year’s budget: “A tax increase is the only solution”. Oh, la, la, can you imagine ever reading that in a US newspaper?
Perhaps you read in a previous blog post that from time to time there will be a story about the police finding “sh*t in his pants” when referring to someone they’ve arrested for possessing illegal drugs. The current controversy surrounds this area’s signature dish called cassoulet which has been made with duck meat since time began. For the last two weeks there’s been a daily story about substituting chickens for the ducks since the latter are under a temporary quarantine due to bird flu. Mon Dieux, don’t mess with tradition!
But that same edition of the newspaper is just as likely to include a story about how the city has recently opened another art gallery in an 18th-century building that they restored; or how it is now mandated that if you own a building in the historic section (when a town was founded in 1240, what isn’t historic?) you have to fix up the facade and how the government will help with the design and cost. Don’t forget the free Wi-Fi that’s been added to several public sites around town or the 6 weeks of free nightly concerts just announced for this summer on the main square and other stages around the city. Did you say free? It was in the paper so it must be true.