A Travellerspoint blog




November 1~30, 2008

~In France…Santa is PINK!!! At least he is at the Central Commercial in Montpellier and he looks retarded! Sorry, but unless a recession has hit and there was a sale on pink satin fabric…there’s no reason to be changing Santa’ s uniform! Ever! Of course I took photos!

~In a perfect world, the neighbourhood stray cats would not sneak into your apartment and steal Carb’s toy mice! As in any scene of the crime, I took photos of the culprit! Now I have photographs of an Ecuadorian pickpocket and a French feline toy mouse thief!

~Gas LOVES to be brushed! But he doesn’t like being brushed in reverse…I tried. You gotta go with the flow of the fur! Gas isn’t normally a violent cat!

~Carb is a sun worshiper! And he meows like a girl!

~One day Gas said, “You know what Dana, you’re right! Why get up to throw up a fur ball on the throw rug over there, when I can throw up right here on your bed!”

~You gotta love someone who calls you up on a Monday morning and suggests a walk on the beach would be a great way to start the week! You just gotta love Sabine!

~I’ve got the slowest “TO DO” list in the world! Never have I had such a slow list!

~I can now say “Yeast Infection” in three different languages!!!

~In France, a “cave” is a basement storage unit, and in my “cave” I found this year’s Christmas tree stand…a Bidet! It’s in my living room now awaiting the honoured recipient French tree, which will actually be coniferous branches strung with lights…I’ve got my eye on a Hemlock hedge which needs pruning! And I’m awaiting Lauren’s arrival to help me with my silvicultural duties…because I’m thinking after a bottle of wine or 2 it could become writing material!

~Things that were abnormal are becoming normal!
~Personal cheques!
~Not working!
~Intentional Physical Exercise!

~I’ve discovered my neighbours love their garden more than they love my cat! They’ve inserted tall repulsive spikes in their garden…in all of Gas’ favourite siesta spots!

~I used to be a “hood” person…but with the advent of bifocals came the need of an umbrella…and geeze it’s hard to light a smoke one-handed while carrying an umbrella!

~Eggs here are Metric…they’re sold by the 10’s! How imperial of me to think 12 is normal!

~Wow! Spaghetti Sauce has never been so international…tomato paste brought from Spain (in fear I wouldn’t find it here), Canadian, Moroccan and Turkish spices accumulated last year from travels and parcels and the fresh stuff French! Ever bought celery by the “branche”? No, neither had I. And hamburger here is the cheapest meat available AND I can digest it…unlike Canadian beef!

~In my quest of minimizing possessions, I maintain that a feline-loving caffeine addict cannot survive without a vacuum cleaner and coffee maker!

~And now I know why all the good garbage in the streets! The city of Montpellier does here weekly what the megatropolis of Little Current did annually…large household garbage pickup. In any other life I’d be making weekly rounds…but I’m already rearranging furniture so Lauren will have a place to put her backpack at Christmas!

~As the French are such connoisseurs of wines and cheeses and actually, all food in general…I’m afraid to admit, out loud, that I’m hanging for a hunk of new Cheddar…something that doesn’t smell like the inside of my hiking boots, doesn’t deserve a pension and something that is a positive colour! Now, my fellow Canadians…don’t go sending me parcels of Canadian Cheddar…’cause given the way Canada Post operates...!

~As cigarettes in France are the same horrible price as in Canada, I bought myself a pouch of good old fashion “Drum” tobacco. Drum triggers flashbacks of my youthful years, travelling and camping! Happy cigarettes! Now I’m feeling a bit like THE hippie I’m often accused of being! (But hippies were already in full swing as I was being born…so I’m too young to rightfully achieve the title “Hippie”!) Back to Drum…and advanced technology. How much can a pouch of tobacco evolve in 30 years? Drum now comes in 4 different strengths…how cool can one look rolling a Drum Light…just doesn’t seem right…and the package now has a Velcro closure AND a little sticky spot to adhere your rolling papers to!!! I am so impressed!

~Haircut # 2…haircutting academy again…1 ½ hours later…I got a really green student… but this “kid” was so careful and precise, I can honestly say it’s probably the best cut of my life! When was the last time your hairdresser spent an hour and a half making you beautiful?

~Long distance parenting is cruel…and you don’t need to be in a different country to define distance, non-daily contact suffices. How many of you out there can attest to my findings…I know if my mom were alive, she could! First the phone call, YOUR bill, because you’re the parent, the crisis situation, generally a lengthy call because it’s a crisis. Post call, the worry period, you replay the conversation over and over, of course you’re routing for your kid’s side…she’s your kid. Then the gap period, you’re still worrying but what you don’t know is that the crisis is actually resolved. Next phone call, YOUR bill, because you’re the parent, you immediately inquire with continued concern and the kid responds…”Oh, THAT was resolved the day after we last spoke!”

~Here’s the abbreviated sequence of events (if I can remember back that far!),
in order to attain a French Bank Account in order to attain the Internet:

~Bank # 1 …rejection
…forgot to pack an old electricity bill!
~Bank # 2 …rejection
…general confusion on both bank guy and my part!
~Bank # 3 …bingo
…with my heroine, Sabine the translator!

Now I await Bank Card to deposit  so I can order Internet…

~False Alarm # 1 …received Internet Access Code in mail...
…which requires having the Internet to use…
…which I don’t have…
…which is the reason for need of this Bank Account!
~False Alarm # 2 …Registered Letter…must go to Post Office to sign…
…different Post Office than last delivery
…Bank only wanted signature to confirm my place of
~Receive Bank Card …after a phone call and a visit to bank…but…
…can’t deposit money until “maybe this afternoon or
probably tomorrow”!
~Deposit Money …finally
…which is all I ever wanted to do in the first place!

Now I await Cheques so I can pay my bills…

~# 1 Trip to Bank …come back tomorrow
~# 2 Trip to Bank …didn’t take in all my documentation, Bank Card and
Passport won’t suffice!
…they realized bank account lady gave me the
account without me having a Visa!
…3 hours later, using my best, worst and only French,
they allowed me the account AND I got my
With Bree and Thomas’ help…

~Phone call # 1 …phone ran out of  mid call!
~Phone call # 2 …apparently my apartment doesn’t exist!
~Phone call # 3 …they need the street address of my Bank!
~Phone call # 4 …December 2nd …still waiting!

I imagine the month of December will be a crazy-busy one for most of you…for me I’ll be busy ticking the days off till “Lauren Day”, December 19th, reunited after 9 months apart…I CAN’T WAIT!!!

Joyeux Noël et jusque janvier…
Wishing you tranquillity and calm, and all the love you can handle,
Love dana carb and gas xox

Posted by hiitsdana 11:15 Archived in France

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