Mediocre Meaningless Monday Musings

Yep, more title alliteration.  I love it.
With all the riveting stories we’ve been telling and the countless photos that have been shared, I thought it was maybe time for a quick mind-dump.

Bread is really good here and is simply part of life.  It’s a part of life I like.

Spending all this time together in a strange place with no car and no job is definitely helping me learn more about our kids.  For example, L loves to just go exploring – any alleyways, paths into the woods, bridges, or tunnels are exiting to him.  He has my “let’s see what’s over the next hill” mentality…no matter how tired or hungry he is.  He also shares my love of Döner Kebabs.

If you’ve never experienced this heaven on flatbread, read more at http://www.donerkebab.net/  It will be fun to see if L wants to travel the world when he gets older like I did.

Lots of people smoke but, like at home, it is not allowed in public buildings.  High school kids smoke, and they seem to smoke a lot.  Kids sit together in the quintessential French cafes and smoke together while chatting and drinking orange Fanta (or whatever).  The gathering of students before starting classes in the morning is just thick with a dense fog – it kinda looks like this van, but on the steps outside of the school building.

Cash cash cash makes Annecy go round.  About 80-90% of the transactions I see everywhere are cash.  This is fine for me; ATM’s have good exchange rates.  But I still haven’t gotten used to seeing my 10 and 20 Euro bills turn quickly into coins, even when those coins are still worth $8.  And all the coins make my pockets sag.

People slow down and enjoy life EVERY DAY.  Adults get to take two hour lunches from work. Kids have long lunch breaks too.  Parents pick up their kids, they all eat together, and then the go back to work or school until about 4 or 5.  It really makes sense, but I can’t see things changing back home.  This is written by a guy who probably has eaten 90% of his workday lunches at his desk.

The phrase “EVERYBODY speaks English over there” is in guide books and was uttered many times by many people in the U.S.  It’s not at all true.  I can always get by with some rudimentary French, some polite phrases that show I care, and some mime and gestures. People are friendly.  That said, however, it is ALWAYS easier to get things done when I have one of the kids along (and even sometimes Jody).

I mostly wish I could speak the language because, more than anybody else is my family, I REALLY like to meet and talk to people.  In fact, that’s my favorite part of travelling.  I’d love to have conversations with our apartment neighbors, the people we ask for directions on the street, other parents at the skating rink, people in line with me, etc.  I think G has some of this gene in her too.  She always shows an interest in talking to other kids (but that might just be her need to socialize with people outside our family).
Sadly, I can only talk with people who can and want to speak English, which currently includes only one Turkish Döner Kebab guy and the bakery lady I get bread from every day.

There’s lots of dog poop on the sidewalks that never gets picked-up.  Heavy rains are necessary, and so are sharp eyes by humans who don’t want their shoes to smell like dog crap. Dogs are ridiculously well-behaved, mostly not on leashes.  And I have not seen any in sweaters or with booties or even with fancy collars….yet.  They are just pets.  I’d love to know how they are trained.  Maybe just the freedom from a leash and the freedom to leave poop on the sidewalk makes dogs here calmer and more well-behaved.

Hope life is good!  Stay tuned for a brief summary of our short-term tentative plans, coming one of these days, when I get to it, and when we have some plans.

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1 Reply to “Mediocre Meaningless Monday Musings

  1. This was a great read to give a sense of place. Those things that make a place foreign and exciting. Or smoky. The last time I was in France not speaking French we learned that Spanish can get you far with the right accent! Maybe try German with a French accent–?

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