I’m about 16 hours away on the countdown to back to school , back to work , rushed pick ups , drops offs , warp speed dinners , remembering who does which sports or activities on which day , finding the civil insurance declarations , signing off on parental authorisations , begrudgingly putting my name on the list for swim class supervision – Bref – what is casually described by les Francais as : LA RENTREE……..
It’s a tad overwhelming to say the least – so I took an hour or so out to skim the latest news & take my mind off it all for a while . I found this ….
Pierre Benitot’s ( he’s French in case you hadn’t already guessed) letter to the Irish Sunday Independant newspaper about his holiday hell in Ireland . Well , pffffffffffffff -beuh pfffffffffffff – Pierre , Pierre , Pierre – Ca va pas non ?
Mon cheri , there are quite a few discrepancies in your tale of woe . Having lived in your exotic (?) country for many years now ( and love /hate / loving it again) , I don’t think it would be dishonest for me to say that some of you are infamous as champion complainers , not to mention your capacities for handball .. you are after all the world champions this year – non ?
So I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I , along with several of my expat lady friends here – (you may call us the Paris Mary’s) , suggest that you might need to see an optician to have your eyes tested ( au plus vite possible) – you may finally discover that underneath those brollies , baseball caps and rain macs are some ( dare I say exotic) beauties . We (mna na h’Eireann) , are also quite adept at avoiding potholes , giving directions , or explaining the difference between three stones in a field and a prehistoric burial chamber or pagan place of worship.
On the subject of rain , mon pauvre , I couldn’t get hold of the met office here ( c’est Dimanche – only available between certain hours , never on Sundays) , but you may well find that the rain in spain stayed mainly in central France this year , flooding several metro stations in Paris and stopping only for brief intervals sometime between the end of May and the 15th of August. It could have been incredibly exotic …. had there been a few rainforests nearby to check out.
Another tourist , while visiting Ireland many years ago , commented on the difference in size of our petit potatoes and their rather larger versions … I would like to borrow the farmers reply in answer to your statement about our minor roads …..
” We grow our potatoes to fit our mouths” …..
On B&B’s : It’s a Bed + Breakfast : ie :- One is expected to eat breakfast , leave for the day & most of the night , then sleep off the days ‘outdoor’ activities . Repeat when necessary. It is not common practice to stay in & watch the B&B owners TV. Alternatively there are several fine upstanding establishments ( Hotels) that can offer cable tv at a set rate for guests who wish to stay in and catch up on their local tv shows while visiting another country. No Pierre , malgré moi , I’m not defending fair city either , merely comparing it to one of it’s many equivalents here ….”Josephine – Ange Gardienne” – need I say more ?
As for Golf , it is a difficult game. End of story. Don’t blame the rain , the baseball caps , or the drunk farmers for your sense of inadequacy – get out there and practice more – it’s the only way to get better. If all that fails , you could always just pick up the ball & throw it … no reference to the handball team intended there either.
And yes Pierre , every village has an idiot , sometimes it happens to be a drunk farmer in the middle of a field. Ours however , haven’t quite yet grasped the idea that they could become the future José Bové’s of the agri/ political world – so we won’t really go throwing any more stones in glass houses now , will we ? C’est la vie .
Life is a beach Pierre , and beaches are supposed to have seaweed – in fact – on all beaches , ports & mooring points off the cote d’azur – the sea weed /algae are now protected. This is because there is not enough left to protect the increasingly fragile flora & fauna of your nations famous shores. Should you be unfortunately unaware of this fact – you will be forced to return to sea and deposit any algae you’ve left hanging off the end of your anchor on return to port. Maybe you can bring some back to the stony beaches in Nice on your next visit …. I just spent the summer near there , during which time I learnt a little about water / environmental hygiene for beaches. Information I will be passing on to my children so that the next time they build sandcastles , they’ll be aware of the importance of appreciating and protecting the elements that are naturally present. Ps – the Mistral is kind of famous for blowing people about down there too . I don’t think Ireland has the monopoly on wind. Tut Tut Pierre , and you with a capital that’s famous for it’s big Red windmill , previously renowned for it’s wild women and possibly a few drunk farmers .
During our sejour in the sunny south – we spent a week in the internationally renowned (generally considered exotic) town of Cannes. The beach there ; if you were lucky enough to find a spot – (apparently its ok to shove your feet right under some elses nose if you need a little more room) was a terrifying parade of posers of all ages / Cannois(es) complaining about Les Parisians and their habitudes / ridiculously over priced restaurants ( I’ve been there ‘hors saison’ – they’re not fooling me) ………and … here’s one to beat the dodgy drunk farmer in a field story. While we were there – a drunk* (* we’re not sure) lady drove her husbands Bentley into three parked cars -another Bentley , a Porsche and a Ferrari on the Cannes croisette , endangering posers everywhere and incurring damages estimated at over 5million euros……… you were right about one thing Pierre ; that is pretty exotic to say the least.
So Pierre , what I’m trying to say is – c’est dommage – there are good things & bad things everywhere , c’est comme ca . Please don’t flick your ash in our toilets and we wont pee pee in your ashtrays . D’accord ?
Thanks for the tea & the distraction.
Muah , Muah ( French kissies 😉
** apologies in advance to my dear french friends – who rarely ever whinge ( at least no more than I do) and never cheat at football. xxxxx
ps – No fadas on the gaeilge there- keyboard doesn’t have them.