Arun Stephens

My trip to Ronchamp

Back in February, I went to visit one of my friends who lived in Belfort, France. We went on a day trip with one of her friends to this small town (about half an hour away by train) called Ronchamp. It is the smallest French town I have even been in. And it’s famous for its Cathedral. We weren’t sure how to get there. But there was a sign pointing up a road. Read more →

Election results

I just wrote a whole lot and then Internet Explorer crashed because the Flash plugin crashed. That was annoying. I got a screenshot of most of it though. Perhaps Blogger should automatically save drafts like Gmail does. As predicted, Sarko and Ségo got through to the second round. I watched TF1 and it was pretty boring. They didn’t break down results by département or anything, though the breakdown is available today. Read more →

Teaching life skills via… The O.C.

That might sound like a strange title, but it’s what’s happening on France 2 in twenty minutes. They are showing Newport Beach (as it’s called in French) every day (starting from the first season) as part of thing called Mag 2.0. Each day they take a theme from The O.C. (today’s is “bad reputation”) and people can talk about it via webcam, on the forum, by a web form, and by text message. Read more →

Election day in France

Today is the first round in the French presidential election. A candidate has to get a majority (i.e. > 50%) in order to win. If nobody gets over 50% today, then there is another election in two weeks with the top two candidates from today, who most people expect to be Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal. I was wondering how often the first place getter in the first round doesn’t win in the second round. Read more →

Nouvelle Star: My audition

So, a couple of weeks ago Nouvelle Star, the French version of Pop Idol, started on M6 with the auditions in Marseille, which I attended. Unfortunately I wasn’t good enough or bad enough to make it to TV but I am available online: Casting Marseille – Candidat 7458 – nouvellestarThe song was Johnny Hallyday‘s 2006 hit “La loi du silence“. Well, it was supposed to be. Read more →

Where is Brian?

Gad Elmaleh, a French stand-up comic and movie star, did a show in Lyon that’s on DVD now, called L’autre, c’est moi. All the kids have seen it here. Well, most of them. In it, he recounts how at school one of the first sentences he learnt was “Where is Brian?” He and his classmates respond “Brian is in the kitchen.” Brian also has a sister. “Jenny is the sister of the Brian. Read more →

Hello and Welcome

So, I am finally getting around to posting stories about my trip to the other side of the world and my time in France. I tried writing my own blog engine to go with my photos on my web site at but really, why reinvent the wheel? So here I am on the apparently new Blogger. Like I promised on the old blog (which had two posts – I am going to start writing backdated posts, starting from when I left home. Read more →

Nouvelle Star 2

(I wrote this in my hotel room on Word. It hasn’t been published before 14/03/07.) Right, I’ve got all that I needed to get done. In only 40 minutes too, that’s pretty good. Actually I didn’t have much to do, just get that photo printed (they have kiosks everywhere that do that – it took a while to find though) and I found a photocopier. So 0,40€ later, I have everything done. Read more →