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Dégage! Say the Shorn, the Red Caps and the French People

 Filming with House Hunters InternationalFilming with House Hunters InternationalHouse Hunters International filming with Lisa Anzelmo  and DanielaHouse Hunters International filming with Lisa Anselmo and DanielaRecent House Hunters International episode "Living a Teenage Dream in Paris, France"Recent House Hunters International episode “Living a Teenage Dream in Paris, France”Red Hats in protest of HollandeRed caps in protest of HollandeHollande, "Not my president!"Hollande, “Not my president!”Get out Hollande!Get out Hollande!

Since stepping off the train late Sunday night and virtually until this moment, I’ve been engaged in yet another filming of a House Hunters International episode — this one being the 16th since our beginnings with the show in 2005. It’s hard to believe!

This newest episode involved a young single woman from New York who recently lost her mother to cancer and whose dream it was to own an apartment in Paris she could use as often as possible. The filming will be complete this week and then we can expect it to take a few months before the raw footage is edited and it is released for airing by HGTV.

The most recent one that aired just last week (November 27th), “Living a Teenage Dream in Paris, France” – Episode HHINT-6105H” was also about a young single woman (this time from Los Angeles) with the same dream — but in this case, with a mother willing to help her through the process. I was able to view it just yesterday as we never see the final product until it’s aired and I am able to get a copy.

Sorry, but the programming is not available to watch any time you like on YouTube or even on the HGTV Web site, as this is their licensed, syndicated programming that costs them “beaucoup bucks” to produce and therefore it is only aired on the HGTV network. To stay updated on when our own shows air, you can visit our Web page at or see all the shows at HGTV’s Web site.

We, meaning us North American Francophiles (or other nationality), think this is just fabulous — our dreams being fulfilled by having a little piece of the Paris pie. But the French aren’t thrilled at all…or at least not those who support the current Socialist administration.

Imagine it from their point of view. We, the foreigners, are ‘invading their space,’ buying up their precious properties, leaving them vacant much of the time, while (they think we are) inflating their property prices and rents. Paris is battling a housing shortage and apartments which are not for permanent residents contribute to the problem.

Of course, those who are more economically focused see that we bring with us to France a serious boost to their economy with our outside financial resources, that we improve and upgrade the property because of our financial ability…and that they caused it themselves by promoting tourism, making France such a desirable place to be and  such a wonderful investment.

The current administration is doing all it can to suppress and deter wealth from any angle. Taxes are rising to the point that businesses can’t afford to be in business, employers can’t afford to hire and the wealthy French are leaving by the thousands in pursuit of other places where their entrepreneurial spirit and wealth is more appreciated. In today’s French world, “money” is a dirty word — as dirty as words we were taught never to utter. As a result, the French and France are getting poorer by the moment.

We’ve all been watching the pendulum swing to the left for a couple of years now, ever since the French people decided they didn’t like Nicolas Sarkozy’s “bling-bling” demeanor and opted for “Mr. Normal” to take the reins. Most of them now regret it with François Hollande’s approval rating hitting a new all time low at 15%!He has broken the record as the most unpopular French president ever.

We’ve been waiting for the pendulum to swing back in the other direction ever since — hopefully not so far to the right that Marine Le Pen, leader of the extreme right-wing National Front, would have a good chance of being elected in 2017, as many are predicting. And meanwhile, guess who’s back in the race? Le Monde reported recently that Sarkozy, (head of the UMP), is planning to enter the race as a candidate in 2017, likely up against Hollande and Le Pen. Whoa!! A repeat performance! Won’t it be fascinating how it turns out this time around, but I’ll be that Hollande won’t have a chance (if his party lets him run again)?

Meanwhile, the French are not sitting still while the country goes down the tubes. They want Hollande stopped. Rallies are taking place all over France to literally stop him in action. Known as the “Tondus” (the Shorn) and “Bonnets Rouges” (Red Hats), they are gathering to deliver one message: Get out!

Initially, there were the “pigeons” — entrepreneurs in the sector of high-tech who protested against corporate tax increases, but now the backlash has reached deep into the pockets of the average French citizen who are forming a strong movement against the tax reforms that are strangling the entire nation.

All of this actually gives me hope that France may survive this ‘hiccup’ in their history. It’s a new kind of revolution. It’s not against the ‘Marie Antoinettes’ this time around. Now the revolt is against those who think we should all be on a ‘level playing field’…and that’s because the field is sinking so low, we’re all going to drown unless we can get to higher ground.

TV shows like House Hunters International will continue to perpetuate the dream of living in France as long as there are audiences willing to view it…and perhaps the new France will learn to embrace their new emissaries with open arms and favorable incentives to live and invest in their beautiful country. I sure hope so…from someone on that side of the fence.

Hollande — Dégage! (

A la prochaine…

Adrian LeedsAdrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC


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