Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't Drink the Water!

Don’t get me wrong.  France has perfectly safe drinking water.   That’s not why I bid you warning when visiting the magical city of Paris. 

Truth is, from the day I first arrived here as a student almost nine years ago, I have been absolutely persuaded that the French government secretly plants folic acid in the drinking water in hopes of increasing their population.  It’s the only explanation I could come up with.

Exhibit one- While walking the streets of Paris, the marketplaces, the grocery stores,--I couldn't help noticing there were pregnant women on top of pregnant women (figuratively speaking) as far as the eye could see. 

Exhibit two- Not only were French women being inseminated like flies (yes, I know flies probably don’t inseminate but it just sounded appropriate)- but the water actually got to me and I ended up flying back to the U.S. with a mini franco-american of my own in the works, so I’m speaking from experience.  (okay.  The water is probably not the only explication.  But I’m sure it didn’t help.)

Exhibit three-After some research, I found out that many of the socialized programs still in operation were founded after World War II in order to increase France's population.  With all their efforts, it's totally conceivable that they threw a little folic acid into the water for good measure.

Basically, France put into effect programs that would help women with children.  The CAF (Centre d’Allocations Familliales) still gives a monthly stipend of about 160 euros for each child under the age of three and a family allocation of around 240 euros a month if you have more than two children.   If you choose to stay home and take care of your kids, they will also pay a percentage of your rent/housing costs.  You get a bonus of almost 1000 euros for the birth of a child (I’m not lying.  I call it ‘the birthing bonus’) and a bonus of around 300 euros per child entering primary school every September for things like clothes and school supplies.

Basically, it pays to have kids. 

Almost as much as a full time job actually….

Which is probably why France has one of the highest birthing rates amongst European countries.

Well-- that and the folic acid in the water;)

Have a great weekend everyone!

*CQG*

42 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Wow! All those incentives! No wonder the birth rate is high!

salarsenッ said...

I love informative posts with zing. Nice job. Plan on drinking anymore water????

Samantha Vérant said...

Weird. I just took a folic supplement today. Send some of that Parisian water down to Toulouse. Just sayin'

Joy Tamsin David said...

Congrats on your little Franco American! :)

Matthew Rush said...

What does folic acid do? I thought it was all the Cafe Creme.

Melissa Gill said...

That's very interesting. I always think of countries trying to decrease populations. Such informative info about France, I love it.

Cherie Reich said...

I definitely see why they'd want to have kids in France. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Congrats, Katie, on your big news!!!!

In Canada, we get $100 per child per year until he/she turns 5 (I think it's 5). Unfortunately, my little darlings are all past this money earning age. ;)

I've heard zinc is supposed to help the little *coughs* guys swim. Maybe that was also added to the water. Folic acid for the women. Zinc for the men.

RosieC said...

That's pretty awesome. I think I need to move to France. :)

Joanna St. James said...

ha ha my friend who is preggers btw just went to see her doctor and the guy is already begging her to have an epidural cos it makes life easier, he most be in on the conspiracy too.

Holly Dodson said...

Wow, now my sister is really going to insist on moving to France lol That's pretty awesome that they do that.

Nick said...

I think you're right. Too much folic acid also makes you speak with a funny accent.

Christina Lee said...

heh heh--this was awesome and so informative!

E.J. Wesley said...

So that's why water is so danged expensive there! 5 euro for water with your food? Fahget about it! :0)

Anne Gallagher said...

I knew I should have studied in France after college. Damn! And now I'm too old to have any more babies.

Summer Ross said...

Money is a great incentive to have a kid, specially since the first reason couples pop up with not having a child is "we can't afford too" Interesting in France that yes you can...lol

WindyA said...

Lol! A very interesting and amusing post. Going to have to ask my day job's French counterpart about his thoughts on this!

Slamdunk said...

I knew that the government there had incentives, but I would not have guessed that the country was near the top for stork arrivals.

Have a super weekend.

Jodi Henry said...

Congrats on the franco-american. I think everywhere you go people blame the water.

When I got prego with my son (now 3 yo)four other women at my then employer were soon on the band wagon.

It's contagous, I swear. But here (US) no one pays you to have kids. I'm not having anymore, but if I were, it sounds like France is the place to do it.

J

Alesa Warcan said...

"It’s the only explication"
You've been in France too long cause that word isn't much used in English outside of Philosophy class!

C'est la seule explication! ; j

LTM said...

I kept waiting for you to drop the bomb... that you're preggers. Funny. But that's cool that they make it so easy to stay home w/the babies~ :o)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Thanks Alesa- I wouldn't have given it a second thought. 'Franglais strikes again!' 'Explanation!!!' lol. I'll change it.

Jessica Bell said...

Gosh it's the complete opposite here in Greece. I think they put horrible stuff in our water system to screw with fertility. The majority of the female population are getting IVF, and as young as 30!!! It's horrible. I too am not getting pregnant. I'm 29. Been trying for over a year. And there's NOTHING wrong with me or S. Definitely. Something in the water. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a conspiracy to make the doctors more money.

Tina Lynn said...

Whoa! Why am I not living there? Je ne sais pas. It makes no sense. *starts packing*

Colene Murphy said...

Wow!! I can believe it though. But that is nuts!

Raquel Byrnes said...

I had no idea. You'd think I was from there with my six kids and all. Have a super weekend.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Indigo said...

Now that's one country that loves kids. Great incentives. I might have had more than one child if I had lived there. (Hugs)Indigo

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm with you - it's got to be the water. And if I ever take my wife to France, she's forbidden to drink any.

Old Kitty said...

Is it only a Parisian thing?? I've been to the French countryside many a times, drank the water there like a native and yet, nada. Instead I have a cat. Hmm.

:-) Take care
x

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Interesting. I know in the UK the government give parents money for each child until they reach 18, but didn't know about France having a similar scheme.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Joy, Stina, and Jodi- just to clarify, I am NOT preggers! lol. I was referring to the time I was a student in 02/03 and flew back to the U.S. with 'extra baggage'. LOL I hope the article didn't insinute I was or else I'll have to clarify on monday with an 'I'm NOT pregnant' post.

Carolyn Abiad said...

Yikes! Keep me away from French water! (It's not in the Perrier, is it?) We get US tax credits for kids, but that's definitely not the same as all those benefits. Not that I would be persuaded or anything...I'm still trying to sleep through the night.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow, I had no idea. Love learning something knew.

Hart Johnson said...

HA! Glad I read comments, as I was totally thinking you were preggo. I think all these family friendly measures are ALSO why France is considered the best HEALTH CARE system--the lowest morbidity and mortality both overall and per US dollar spent. Caring about families is a good investment.

notesfromnadir said...

I had no idea that the French government paid people to have kids!

Medeia Sharif said...

I didn't know this. Thanks for sharing the info. Have a great weekend.

Jamie Gibbs (Mithril Wisdom) said...

That's pretty nuts. There's a similar problem in the UK where there's a certain chemical added to water that helps to increase the birth rate. It's called cheap, corner shop beer, hehe.
I'm only half surprised that such a program from WWII would still be put into place. I can't imagine why they'd still carry out such a system what with the global economy the way it is. You should do a test to see if it's true :P

Julie Musil said...

You mean if I lived in France I could get paid to be a stay at home mom? Wow! I should book a flight for five right now.

klahanie said...

Aha folic acid aka 'frolic acid'.
You have a peaceful and positive weekend. I'm presently living in England, which apparently, has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe...
Kind wishes, Gary :-)

Yaya' s Home said...

Gee, kinda' sounds like what we oughta' do here. I like the idea. Not enough kids around.

I just found a link last night that you might like. This young man offers a free ten-day course on how to grow your blog. He must know what he's talking about because he has more than 1900 subscribers. I'm trying to spread the word to as many other bloggers as possible.

I see that you are a Follower on Lenny's blog? I hope you will join me in helping him to get 250 Followers by Christmas. You can read more about it here. Thanks.
~ Yaya

Vicki Rocho said...

Wow, I'd heard a bit about the extended maternity leaves, but I'd had no idea the government was *that* supportive of babies.

Dawn said...

Clearly I need to move to France and drink lots of water. My husband and I have been trying for two years to get pregnant. Can I crash on your couch? :-)

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