Trust me. I’m not talking about that place. It’s hot enough up here; and the humidity makes it worse.
Hey. Satan and I are pretty friendly, in fact I’ve interviewed him, but it’s too hot to visit him!
No. I’m referring to those who tell me that I should go somewhere else rather than France.
I suppose my France is a bit different than the France of others-and I don’t mean to put that in a snotty way nor do I mean to word that in an entitled way. It’s just that when your better half happens to be a Frenchman who grew up in Paris, has family there and in the South, you go there to visit.
It’s what you do.
Part of my current job in Retail Purgatory Hell is engaging and conversing with customers and potential customers. I happen to like that. In fact, it’s my favorite part of the job. And now that we are closer to vacation season, many women come into the store to purchase bags and totes to bring along on their trips and excursions.
We talk. They tell me where they are going. I swear to god, the majority are going to Italy this summer. Italy is going to be super crowded! I hope there is enough Pasta to feed the masses! We make small talk and they ask me if I’m going away and where am I going and blah, blah, blah.
Oh yeah. Well I’ve been here too. Only passin’ by though!
And then I tell them. “Oh. I’m going to France!”
And the shit hits the high ceiling but at least the florescent lighting gets covered and therefore a bit filtered by it. And I look somewhat better in the filtered lighting!
Yeah. Uh-oh is right! I would rather be stung by a bee than have to listen to others telling me where not to go–and I’m allergic to bees!
Then I get the lecture. The one telling me that I should go somewhere else. Anywhere else but France. Especially Paris.
They also assume because I’m a lowly sales assistant, that I will be traveling outside of the USA for the first time. And visiting France is a huge mistake! I’m glad to see that people truly care for my well-being. The conversations go something like this:
I’ll set up the scenario. Nice customer has just finished telling me where she is going on vacation (to Italy). I’m genuinely happy to hear about it and tell her to have a great time. She, in turn, asks me (in a semi-condescending tone) if I am going anywhere. (As though I don’t have a life). …
Nice Lady: “Tell me dear. Are YOU going anywhere this summer?”
Me (all excited): “YEAH! I’m goin’ a France!”
Nice Lady (suddenly all concerned about me): “You know, France isn’t the best place to travel to these days. It’s incredibly DANGEROUS.” “Look at all the bombings and strikes”. “Perhaps you should just rent a house at the Jersey Shore”.
Me (all “ignorance is blissful” looking): “Oh. My better half grew up in France. He spent his summers in St. Tropez and lived in Paris”. “I’ve been there at least 14 times—it’s really safe……”
Then there is the awkward pause. And Nice Lady continues.
Nice Lady (probably thinking I’m a filthy liar): “Well. I was in Paris twenty years ago. And I’ll never go back because of all the violence and now the flooding”…
And so it goes on and on. People who don’t know me or anything about me pontificating as to why I should not travel to France especially Paris!!!
Granted. Some really bad shit has gone down in Paris over the past two years.
We were in France last year during the infamous taxi strike. The strike became violent.
Luckily for us, the strike ended before we left the Cote d’Azur for the return to Paris. Who says the French don’t speak English??? See the sign???
Two years ago we had to deal with striking airline workers. We had to wait for bus transportation from our plane that had just landed on the tarmac at CDG. It took a half hour to wait for the bus that would bring us to the terminal. And when it showed up, it wasn’t air conditioned!!! A whole trente minutes! Wow! Did that ever ruin our vacation!
Are these same people who tell me how dangerous France is the same people who live here in the States? Do they read a newspaper or watch the news on TV?
Do they not hear about all of the mass shootings in this country? Um. I used to work in the World Trade Center. Remember what happened there—in New York??
Road rage is a popular sport here and is increasing with participants by the day!
PMS Road Rage is even worse!
We may not be big on strikes, but we have violent protests and political rallies!
I’m not voting for Trump, but rather than having to get all violent about it, I’ll make my voice heard by VOTING for someone else.
Our lax gun laws allow any person who suffers from anger issues or any other behavioral issue to acquire a piece and shoot innocent people in malls, movie theatres, schools, parks and basically anyplace they choose. And laws never change to stop this naughty behavior.
Look—I’m not getting into writing what’s wrong v. what’s right with our country or any other country.
I would just like to set the record straight. France isn’t that bad. In fact, France is a pretty cool place. And I want to show you.
So come along and look at some pics I’ve taken over the years and I’ll mention what I really love about my France…
I loved looking at the tip of the Eiffel Tower from Daniele’s apartment. I miss her so much but we had some great memories at her place…
Bonjour little Eiffel Tower. Hmmm. I have no idea why this black border is on my photo. What did I screw up this time?
I also love this view while driving along the Seine. Lady Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. It never becomes tired!
I love the streets of Paris early in the morning. All is calm and quiet and gives you a better feel of how beautiful she has aged and continues to age.
Shhhh! Rue Seguier early in the AM!
I love the street signs. You always know where you are and which arrondissement you are in.
Can you tell that I’m very happy in the 6th arr??
Wow. I guess I really DO stick close to the neighborhood!
…and another favorite Parisian sign!
I love being greeted upon entering a boulangerie or boucherie or any boutique. The shop staff may not be all fake smiles, but they are polite and helpful and never fail to tell you to have a good day either!
Some take photos of the sights. I capture the meat…
...and the bread. Oops! I mean baguette that I ate after taking this photo!
I love Paris in the fall. On an overcast day. The lighting of the sky gives a beautiful color to the buildings.
Fall is my favorite time of year to visit Paris!
I love Place Dauphine. Anytime.
Place Dauphine in the Fall…
..and as Bonaparte explains–in the evening!
I love driving around Paris with Bonaparte. In my delusional world, he is my chauffer….
Ok. Well, this time the cab driver is our chauffer..
Now I see where Bonaparte’s cousin, Hugo Gelin, gets his cinematic talent!
I love a spur-of-the-moment day trip outside of Paris.
Monet’s gardens at Giverny. The place where I was brutally attacked by the flora known as “Asian Selfie Stick”. I still have scars!
…I really loved Napoleon’s place at Fontainbleu. There’s no money like OLD money. So understated!
At what about that little Chateau at Chambord? The French are so discreet. I could live here!
The most moving, overwhelming and somber day trip we’ve taken from Paris was to the beach, the memorial and the cemeteries at Normandy. Every American visiting France needs to visit…
I love City Pharma and stopping there for my goodies every time I’m in Paris.
You can have Channel and Louie V. I’ll have more fun in girly beauty and skincare heaven at my favorite discount haunt. CityPharma!!
I love the drive to the South.
Driving from Paris to the South during low season is a pleasure. Look at this vista I snapped in Vezelay!
..and where else but Burgundy can an oncoming rain storm in the distance appear to be so beautiful?
We can drive through little towns….
..and get a bit of ancient history–like the Arena at Nimes!
..and you can see familiar sights should you become homesick!
I love the apartment we’ve rented in Theoule for the past six years. It feels like home.
View from the terrace of the Theoule apartment. It is one of my happiest happy places!
The entrance to blissful living in France!
I love relaxing at the pool or…
…the beaches at Cannes early in the morning..
You never know who will become your friend! This guy almost attacked Bonaparte because he became so attached and protective of me!
I love a nice lunch al fresco!
A relaxed lunch in St. Tropez!
…and my annual trip to Rondini for sandals makes my feet happy!
As a good Catholic girl, I love going to Church in France!
I’m always stopping by to give the saints a big hello..(and a prayer that I win the lottery)
Chapel in Cabris…The Abbaye du Thoronet–a very spiritual visit indeed.
Ain’t nothing wrong with idol worship either..
The French Saint-Alain Delon. I think I made Bonaparte drive past this in Cannes millions of times. I bow to you oh Saint of Handsome Frenchmen!
I love grocery shopping in France.
One Friday evening at Geant Hypermarche in Mandelieu had this lovely lady giving me much more than one sampling of Havana club–and I wasn’t carded!
Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus. His name is Papa Noel and he gave the grocery stores in France permission to sell lots of beverages for grown ups!
One can never have enough cheese–and the cheap stuff is better than the expensive stuff here in the States!
Oh..and the outdoor markets are just as fun..
Me many years ago in a Parisian market during the winter. Then Bonaparte got upset with me because I stopped to have fun with the Olive man. Bonaparte did not film those goings on…
I’m glad I was able to upload my old videos. Who knew they would end up on my blog someday!
Poisson du jour…
….et plus du fromage. Oh..my French is coming back to me! This is an oldie and I look like crap but it’s the only video I have of me and Daniele together. See? She’s next to me!
Now. Do you think France is a horrible place to visit? I sure don’t! Thanks for looking at the pics and even more thanks for watching my horrific videos. This is the first time I’m posting my home made vids. Should I do more videos in the future?
Today I’m giving you “Les Copains d’Abord” by Georges Brassens. He’s one of my faves and his songs are like poems. But moreso, this was the song that was played as we left the church after Daniele’s funeral. It’s special…