Strasbourg swings to the left?

p10201401Nope, no elections or polls that I know of.  On my way to work through the centre of the city I have passed a shop featuring the picture of Che Guevara pictured on the left (appropriately) of this picture.  So, what?  This red t-shirt with a black head of Che wearing a black beret has been around for years.  Look closer, at the detail, this one has a space under Che’s face containing something.  You can see the detail better in the picture below, Che Guevars’heim.  What?  That’s not right.  Oh yes it is.  The history of Alsace, having been French and German and speaking what is the biggest regional language in France – that has also been described to me as a dialect of Germanp1020144 – it means that Che’s name has been Alsacianised.  There are many place names in Strasbourg and Alsace which end with heim, Entzheim, Holtzheim, Oberschaeffolsheim, Eckbolsheim, Hoenheim to name a few in Strasbourg and Molsheim, Nordheim, Furdenheim, and Marlenheim to name a few local to Strasbourg in Alsace.  This is so much so that a visitor, after passing over the Rhine and entering France, legitimately asked when we would be in France as all the signs we passed read as German.  So, if the international icon of the left did not die at all in Bolivia but, as has been suggested by this t-shirt, has become a resident of Alsace and, to cover his tracks, adopted anp1020147 Alsace version of his name.  Ah I hear you say, this is just a t-shirt, what proof is there that Che did not die and moved to Alsace?  Aha, I reply.  If you were a well known revolutionary hiding out in France’s Easternmost Region and Departement you’d want some of your friends around you so you could go out, have a beer or local wine, some flamekeuche or chourcroute and talk about the old times in Cuba etc, wouldn’t you.  Well, just around the corner from the shop selling the t-shirt is the above, ‘Castro Cordonnerie‘.  I’ll be keeping an eye out in the local bars for Che and Castro talking about past revolutionary times, eating their local food and drinking their local brews.

School’s out

p1020135This week and next week are holidays for school children in France.  The break is for families to go skiing and has to be for two weeks so that people from the South of France have time to get to the ski slopes and get in some decent skiing before they have to return to the South of France.  As far as I can work out most other Europeanp1020138 countries which have a February break do so for a week rather than for two weeks.  Above you see some of the children who have not gone skiing celebrating Madi Gras on Place Broglie here in Strasbourg yesterday in front of the Opera National du Rhin, which has a roundabout in front of it.  The second picture shows the same group with an escort from the Police Municipal, who travel around by bike and always seem to be in groups of four.  There’s only one way to end this post, look out for the epee:

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