Sunday, July 29, 2012

Well, here goes.

     I can't imagine too many people will be reading this but sharing the details of ones life, however inconsequential, seems to be how it goes these days. I have been contemplating this for several years if for no other reason than to make me write. Like at least half the planet, I'm a frustrated writer who imagines the other half of the planet will eagerly hang on my every word, once they discover my brillance. It is, of course, horse shit but the plain truth is my wife is tired of listening to me and this is as good a way as any to pontificate.

     Currently, my wife Cynthia and I are preparing to leave Florida and the United States to try life in Europe, specifically France. I'll explain this in more detail as my inherent laziness permits but just to get the ball rolling I'll open with something I wrote when we first decided on this move:

      My wife, Cynthia, and I are thinking of moving to France. Our motivations range from "We love it over there" to the time honored American tradition of believing the country is going to hell in a hand basket. We both have spent large parts of our life packing and I seem to recall reading somewhere that this could be a sign of mental illness. In her case, her father worked for an oil company so rootlessness is part of her genetic makeup. Although I've lived all over the U.S., my first 18 years were all in the same place, a factory town near Pittsburgh. A few of the my subsequent dozen or so moves were transfers that weren't my idea but the rest were and usually fell under the heading of grass being greener. The biggest of these, from Pittsburgh to Phoenix and New Jersey to Florida, didn't and haven't quite worked out the way I planned. So, as convinced as I am that this is a good idea, I'm a little gun shy and approaching it with a degree of caution. With that in mind, I assembled a list of pros and cons: things that make a difference to me and helped to decide - Is this really such a hot idea?  Some of these reasons need no explanation and others I'm not sure I can explain anyway.  All I know is they please or bug me and are mainly intangibles that, taken individually don't mean much but together push the weight of evidence heavily one way.

      So far the only cons I've been able to muster are a higher cost of living,  ubiquitous Euro-pop and I can't understand what anyone is saying. On the other hand:
1. As anyone who's ever been seated in a restaurant within earshot of a yammering ignoramus can tell you, "I can't understand what anyone is saying"  is definitely a pro, as are:
2. There are few people wearing Crocs.
3. Even fewer huge fat guys wear cut off sweat pants and Crocs. There is no better way to say, "I don't give a shit what I look like and I can prove it."
4. Along these same lines, few, if any, old men wearing high-leg shorts they purchased during the Carter administration.
 5. Gas is $9 a gallon. Some people might think this a con until you consider it means no shitheads in Escalades and Hummers.
6. Possibility of never hearing "Sweet Home Alabama" again. *
7. No stops in France for Toby Keith's "Locked & Loaded" Tour.
8. As far as I know, no candidate for President of France has ever implied his or her election to be the will of God.
9. Low likelihood of turning on TV and accidentally seeing Joan Rivers
10. Lack of choices on my car radio has reduced me to listening to NPR.
11. I understand enough French to know they say "I said" or "I thought", and not "I'm like", "I was like","I go" or "I went."
12. Hoping never to see Flo the insurance person again
13. When you flash your headlights at someone driving too slow in the left lane, they actually get the fuck out of the way. Every single time.
14. The mere existence of France, more than any other country on earth, pisses off the people most responsible for the U.S. being in it's current condition.

* or "Free Bird", "Hotel California", "More Than a Feeling", "Peaceful, Easy Feeling", "Take It Easy","Rocket Man", "Benny and the Jets", "Go Your Own Way", a song I've never known the title of but they play it at hockey games and, based on the only lyric is called "Hey", "Born In the USA", which reminds me, "God Bless the USA" and "Wind Beneath My Wings", almost everything by Billy Joel except "New York State of Mind" but especially "Uptown Girl", "For the Longest Time" and "Movin'Out", anything by Neil Diamond, AC/DC, Aerosmith, The Steve Miller Band, Rush, Journey, KISS, Tracy Chapman, Judas Priest, Metallica, in fact all that heavy metal hair band shit,  Do-Wop, a lot of the music from the '60s, half of the '70's, most of the '80's and everything after the '90's and any other song they've been playing twice an hour for the last forty fucking years. Exempted from this is most jazz, which the French regard highly, play as well as anyone and live venues are plentiful and accessible.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bruce !

    You can email me on alan davey @ gmail . com (just take out the spaces).

    If you are free on Saturday at 3pm there is a christmas concert of Tubabones - the Bordeaux Big Brass association (of which I am a founder member). I reckon I can introduce you to one or two people there.

    Otherwise email me and we'll see what we can do !

    Greetings and welcome in the France !