Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First days of 2012: musings

Here we go launching ourselves into a new year with various degrees of consciousness, excitement or trepidation.   Today I got my first challenge as one of my apartments has a small problem with a leak ruining the floor....  A problem of the small variety.

My studio rental apartment at  property #411822

But lately a lot of folks are coming up against much bigger challenges and there appear to be dire  warnings everywhere we look.  Part of it is that we get more news nowadays so things worry us more, and part of it is the very real challenges to our quality of life.

My antidote to all the bad news bombardment, is to choose at least one fun (creative) thing to do each day along with all the "crap".

So today, after handling a few small problems , I decided that I needed some retail relief.  After all, I have been very good for a very long time and stayed away from shops.  And I have purged my closet of several unwanted items.  I can justify anything sometimes.

My intention was to just sail by one clothing boutique to see when they would start their sale.  Turns out that they are now offering 30% discounts to favored customers in a pre-sale promotion.  So, of course,  I let myself try on a few items.  After all the dollar is almost par with the euro now.

Interestingly the girl in the shop started a conversation about the difference between Americans and French.  According to her the French are "sauvage" and nasty with each other.   She said Americans are so welcoming, warm and friendly, even with perfect strangers.  She has been to New York City, New Jersey, Tennessee and Florida but she loves what she has seen about our way of being with one another.

This time I was inclined to silently agree with her.

The bus driver this morning was rude to a family who had registered their desire  to get off by pushing the button.  But he had failed to stop,  blaming them.  He chivvied them and then called them "imb√©ciles" under his breath ( we all heard it).   And then he sailed through my stop later on until I shouted out.    Luckily,  no comment from him the second time he overshot the stop.

His head was obviously "dans les nuages".  But that he dared to act out to a client is pretty normal here.  There is a lot of anger around.  At the last party I attended I heard four stories from oldsters: one of a physical attack on an old gentleman, out of anger not for money;  another as a death threat on the phone,  the third, an actual theft and last,  a fellow being accidentally mowed down by a bike.   I imagine this kind of aggression and rage is a world problem now and not just a French one .... and I don't know but one side of the story either, but the reactions to provocation are noticeably worsening here.

By contrast, though, the "30 something" of the dress shop couldn't have been more attentive or kind or friendly.  She had remembered me from two years before when I had visited with a pal.   Even outside of a sale situation, she is not the first to tell me how much she loves the way Americans tend to be less suspicious of one another , more willing to engage.

It made me pleased, I don't know why it should, we do not all hold the same traits,..... but if we do indeed have this gift then we just need to spread it around.    It doesn't cost us anything.

 Just saying.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Civility is beautiful in any language! Love, Martha