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#16 - French Chateaus

#16 - French Chateaus

Prestige Property Group
Price: $74,730,000

People own houses; rich people own castles, mansions, penthouses and chateaux. Unlike private islands which are intended to keep visitors at a distance, chateaus are intended to showcase superior upbringing and lavish taste. While you may not own a chateau, ingratiating yourself with the über-rich can be expedited by comparing your host to the monarchs that first erected these fairy-tale structures. Europe and particularly France have a healthy sprinkling of these beautiful edifices in some of the most breathtaking settings meaning you can always find an extravagant piece of history to discuss. Rich people have no shame when it comes to acquaintances doting on them and their material possessions.

Consider the magnificent example of a French chateau currently for sale in the department of Jura in eastern France. The property is advertised as a 10 minute helicopter flight from Geneva sitting on 200 acres of walled opulence. The, yes this number is correct, 75,000 square feet of living space features a 1,200 sq ft entrance hall with a “monumental gothic staircase”. The five floor main building houses 34 bedrooms, a Napoleonic drawing room, Louis XVI apartment, Louis XV bedrooms, billiard room, private library and a square tower; damsel in distress not included. Other property features are stables and equestrian infrastructure, a gardener’s house, 19th century workshops that have been converted to sleep 30, courtyard, farm, walled garden, English design lawns, 2 lakes, cascades, grotto and a statue of Diane Chasseresse resembling the statue found at Fontainebleau – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and therefore not presently for sale.

Discussing these features will provide ample ammunition for small talk when discussing chateaus with your new found acquaintance. Their shared love of exclusive residences will make for delightful conversation. Keep in mind, referring to such opulent residences as “pleasant summer homes” is sure to win you respect and another appropriately aged scotch. Engage the right well-to-do land magnate and it may lead to an invitation to accompany them for a weekend tryst with unpasteurized cheese, champagne and fine port….c’est magnifique!

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#10 - Foreign Words

#10 - Foreign Words

Summer French Lessons sur la Côte d’Azur
Price: $34,700.00

Rich people love foreign words. Often they don’t speak a second language and may not understand the words or phrases they are using. The reason to use foreign words is threefold. First, it identifies them as rich to other wealthy people in the vicinity…like wearing a name tag that says “Hello…I use private banking”. Second, foreign words establish rich people as intellectually superior to people without money. Third, it ensures that the lower classes don’t understand upper crust conversations.

Traditionally, French has been the language of choice to identify oneself as superior to the proletariat . This started with the French themselves who later shared it with Russian aristocrats as early as 1717. Don’t fret, enchanting a member of the privileged elite is easy if you know one simple guideline. Never use English if a foreign phrase will do.

Pretentiousness 101 starts with three basics epithets that you can integrate into everyday life. Never ask for a wine recommendation…instead ask to speak with the sommelier. Don’t say “I can’t put my finger on it”, instead she has a certain je ne sais quoi. It isn’t the French Riviera, but La Côte d’Azur. Finally, when someone enjoys life they exhibit a joie de vivre. Sprinkle these idioms into conversation while enjoying your amuse-bouche and you are well on your way to mingling with the rich and famous. Bonne chance!

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