“Excusez-Moi de Vous Dranger, Mais…”

Polly Platt, signing her newest book, “Love à la Française”
Taken September 27, 2008

Excusez-Moi de Vous Dranger, Mais…

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Any American who has ever attempted to live in France has been helped over the cultural crossings by her profound insight into the French psyche and amused by her sharp wit. Her name is Polly Platt.

I have written of her often. She told her humorous stories at numerous conferences and events we have sponsored. She was a colleague, a friend and a guiding light. On December 26th, Polly left the world “after a bad pneumonia in Vienna surrounded by her family,” as her daughter, Sacha, informed me just a few days ago.

Polly Platt was one of the rare Americans on the Paris scene, having lived here more than 40 years, who will stand out as having made serious impact on the American community living here. She taught us how to understand the French, maneuver just about any situation and most importantly, how to enjoy the French and their very unique culture. If it weren’t for Polly, I would never have learned how to say, “Excusez-moi de vous déranger, mais…” and get whatever I wanted or needed.

I first met her at a book reading in the late ’90s. She had only written one book then — “French or Foe” — and it had been self-published, but quickly flying off the bookstore bookshelves. It was read it cover to cover, taking it on the bus or Métro and carrying it everywhere like a bible. One instance, a young boy saw me reading it and got very enthused to tell me that Polly was a friend of his mother’s — he felt so special to boast of it! Then, a friend from New York laid claim to having ‘house-sat’ her apartment one summer only to uncover a diamond she has lost from her ring, to which Polly was forever grateful. It was ‘two degrees of separation’ and the connection glued me to her just a bit stronger.

Polly was warm and friendly, completely curious, a bit ‘ditzy’ and marvelously funny. We became fast friends and even though she was a master story-teller and I just a budding writer, she never stopped encouraging me and ‘propping’ up my writer’s ego. We would meet for lunch at a little bistrot I’d recommend (as the ‘official’ restaurant critic and guide writer between the two of us), arriving on her bike in even the most inclement weather, and then beg to hear some of my experiences as a newcomer to France.

One such story ended up being told in her second book, “Savoir-Flair! 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French.” On page 115, Chapter 9 titled, “Enjoying French Customer Service,” Polly relates an experience I had attempting to buy bras with my daughter in the H&M on rue de Rivoli. She said it exemplified everything we (Americans) do ‘wrong’ when expecting the same customer service in France we expect Stateside…not to mention hilariously funny…especially when the bras went flying like torpedoes aimed at the sales clerks!

Once again Polly hit the nails on their proverbial heads with her second book. It wasn’t a surprise — we ate up every word.

Then we didn’t hear from Polly for a while. She stayed more reclusive in her Dordogne home and gave up her Paris apartment on rue de Bellechase. Then she resurfaced with a new book, just launched this past autumn titled “Love à la française — What happens when Hervé meets Sally?”

It’s Polly’s finest work. For every woman who has ever dreamed of finding love in France with a Frenchman, it IS the bible. Don’t even attempt to “rendez-vous”
with a Frenchman until you have read it!

One Parler Paris reader wrote, “If it weren’t for her books, Pierre and I would not still be writing and talking to each other today (can you believe it?)…I would have given up on trying to understand him if I didn’t have Polly Platt’s books. I never met her, but she is a part of my life because she helped me make room in my heart for…’mon ami très cher Pierre’…her wisdom will live on.” Florence

Losing Polly Platt is every American in Paris’ loss. You can’t see the tears rolling down my cheeks, but they’re there, tasting salty as they hit my lips, from which I utter:

“Polly, excusez-moi de vous déranger, mais…que ton âme repose en paix.”

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris



P.S. Learn more about Polly at her Web site: PollyPlatt.com. Purchase her books by visiting Books About France. The “Insider Paris Guide to Good Value Restaurants” (written by me) is available for download at Insider Paris Guide to Good Value Restaurants

Special Offer on “Depressiongraphs”
by Erica Simone

Photographer Erica Simone’s ‘ever-faithful’ Mr. Canon EOS20D has suddenly ascended into the photographic heavens and left his Parisian mistress completely camera-less…and quite sad. To help little Miss Erica re-gain creative happiness in these times of world economic stress, now is your chance to purchase her limited edition (10) “Depressiongraphs” at the ridiculously low price of $100!

Each photo is professionally printed on 11″ X 14″ Kodak archival photo paper and is limited to only 10 “Depressiongraph” prints, signed and sealed with a kiss. Price includes tax and shipping.

For more information, visit: Paris Photos

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There is nothing else you can do in less time and as inexpensively to learn all you need to learn to make your dream to live and invest in France come true. Take advantage of this two-day power-packed conference with expert speakers from France, Europe and the U.S…

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Start Your New Year’s Resolution in Paris….It’s Called French Property Fractional

You likely already know lots about it. It’s a pretty simple concept. You and a group of others share in the ownership of one property and then share the time spent in that property. It is NOT TIMESHARE.

French Property Fractional, our division that specializes in co-ownership, makes a point of finding only the finest of properties in the finest locations, developed by the finest of savvy developers. It’s our reputation at stake, so you can trust that we’re never going to represent a property that won’t deliver!

If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, visit: /frenchproperty/fractional

In This Week’s French Property Insider…

John Howell’s Top Ten Tips

For nearly thirty years I have specialized in ‘International’ legal work and, during this time, my firm has helped many thousands of people choose and buy homes overseas. Each Christmas for the last ten years I have produced ‘John Howell’s Top Ten.’ This is my personal prediction of the places that are likely to make the best property investments over the following year. Never, never has the task been more difficultSubscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France! French Property Insider is a weekly e-zine, sharing insights, recommendations, tips, and discoveries about Paris real estate and French property. Each information-packed issue is devoted to educating its readers on how to effectively, efficiently and profitably purchase property in France.

For more information visit frenchpropertyinsider.com or email info@adrianleeds.com

Special Holiday Pricing Extended. Take 10% Off All January 2009 Bookings in Parler Paris Apartments!*

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We wanted better guides. So we wrote them.

Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus the newest guide, Practical Paris!

Visit Insider Paris Guides

Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is January 13th, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month at La Pierre du Marais from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

For further details, visit parlerparlor.com

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Copyright 2010, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, adrianleeds.com

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