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why I’m particularly glad to be in France today.

IMG_4507Here in France, there always seems to be one service or another that’s shutting down in protest of something.   The trains.   The buses.   The airlines.  And then every time you turn around everything is closed for some holiday you’ve never heard of, that usually has something to do with some holy person ascending to heaven.

You can say a lot of things about the French and their work ethic, their politics, their bureaucracy,  but I can honestly say, I’ve never seen their government shut down.

So let me get this straight, America…

The goddamn idiots in the House are shutting down the government over a small point in a puny bit of legislation that they spent countless hours whittling down to nothing?   On our dime?

If they were working for me, I’d fire their lazy, pompous, self-righteous, entitled asses.   Oh wait….they do work for me.   Supposedly.  Can I fire them?   At the very least, don’t Americans have the right to stop paying their goddamn salary?

I’m going to avoid blaming parties and just say that I’ve seen our elected officials on both sides of the aisle take the exact opposite positions they’re taking now, all depending on which party proposed what.   They both sicken me equally (okay, maybe right now I hate the Republicans a wee bit more).   I can’t look at any of them without getting a huge churning knot of rage in my stomach.

Today in France, stores are open, and services are running.  Medical care is about 1/10th the price it is in America.  I’m happy and relieved to be in a country where the news and politicians don’t make my blood boil. Of course, that could be because I don’t understand them.

observations from a cloudy mind

I’ve been sick.   Which was fine at first as it gave me an excuse to sleep off the jet lag.   I went out for brief trips to the village and grocery store, but mostly I’ve laid low, drank a lot of tea, read, watch House reruns and moan to myself (sometimes even in French!).

Now that I’m starting to feel a little better, it’s storming like crazy out there.    As a result,  I’m still staying pretty close to home and I still don’t have much to say about life in a French village.   Or what it’s like trying to open a French bank account.   Or look for real estate.  Or go to the weekly market.  Or ride the train to another village.  Or climb the hill and look over the valleys and mountains.   I still have all that ahead of me.   But I am caught up on House.

That said, I thought I’d write down some of my observations based on my experiences so far.   It’s either that or download and watch The Bachelor, After the Final Rose. This seems preferable.

1) A shop in Vidauban makes a world-famous lavender honey.   While good, it doesn’t cure the common cold.

2) The trees here seem lean into each other as if  huddling together.

3) Every afternoon a flock of birds come out and fly in formation, dipping and swooping like The Blue Angels.

4) The pharmacies have condom machines out front in case someone needs protection after hours (which now that I think about it, seems like a probable time to need it).

5) This soup is really delicious.

 

6) Daylight savings time starts on March 27 here.

 

6PM 3/16/11, Vidauban

7) Hugh Laurie is hot.

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