In Toronto, I am gearing up for “Back to School,” which is referred to as “la rentrée” in France. Where we are, the kids in elementary school generally don backpacks. But in Paris, I was very surprised to see the cartable, which is like a briefcase with shoulder straps. It is bulky and looks uncomfortable, if not a bit old-fashioned, which I find ironic, considering the stylish clothing and accessories the children wear at this age (think ads for Ralph Lauren).
Photo taken from www.magicmaman.com
I have seen a few of these cartables with the French word “chipie” on it. I think it roughly means “cheeky (girl)” or “sassy (girl)” to imply a smarty-pants character to the user.
I wonder what the boys are called?