Saturday, August 17, 2013

Looking down, looking up

Looking down is practically a state of mind in France. I'm not making this up (as one of my favorite journalists Dave Barry used to say). Fellow blogger Crystal posted this on Facebook not long ago and it's unfortunately true.  The French seem to be naturally pessimistic.  What's worse, expats in France tend to be less satisfied with their lives than expats in other countries.  Collective SIGH.

But looking down, literally, is also a necesity in this country.  To avoid the ever-present dog poop.  Again, I'm not making this up.  A quick browse around some other expat blogs will easily confirm it.  And in the excellent book I just finished written by a British expat about his humourous and sometimes naughty experiences in France, A Year in the Merde, it's a recurrent topic.  And if you keep looking down and ahead of you as you walk, as he points out, you are less likely to step in poo. 

Looking down can have its upsides though.  Today as I was walking in the park with Juliette I saw a ten euro bill on the ground.  Folded up inside it was another bill. So that's twenty euros!  I glanced around to see how close other people were and if I should ask if they'd dropped money.  WWaFPD? I asked myself.  What would a French person do?  They would so keep it.  And so did I.

But looking up does seem to be the better way to go, mentally speaking.  And the other day I found some lovely views by directing my eyes skyward.

Like the ornate moulding on these houses.  Notice how the one on the left has been cleaned and so is brighter than its neighbor.

Lovely balconies.

 Romantically rusty gates.

Lush wisteria vine.

 Yet more ornate buildings and some famous guy.

And in addition to looking up, I can also now look forward to seeing my good friend Crystal!  Yes, I decided to ride the rails and see my Canadian friend whom I haven't seen since Christmas 2009.  It was time to get together again.  So I'll keep my head in the clouds and in the future even if the French are looking down.  Mind the poop.


Crystal said...

Yay!! So excited you are coming to visit. You are so right that it has been way too long!

And for the record, I always clean up after my dog ;)

Jenenz said...

It pays to look all around. The universe awards you Euros for your past good deeds. Love the photos!

Lindle said...

I love your pictures and the way you capture beautiful things in your life.

Holly Nelson @ English Girl Canadian Man said...

Looking down can indeed be a good thing - congrats on the ten euros! Have fn with Crystal!! Your French expats are such a tight knit group!