20 January 2010

Uh Oh Soapbox Time!!

Ok I have to vent about my one huge pet peeve about French men...the inability to find a private spot to take a pee! Now I for one have zero problem with using Mother Nature as your toilet! But come on let's get real!! Can they really not wait for a less public spot? Just today I saw two men triangulating at the side of the road obviously with absolutely no shame. The worst was at the glass recycling center. I was on my way to the store and decided to drop some used clothes at the bin in Baillargues next to the glass recycling center. Now let me paint you a picture...there is a round about and just in a little niche is a small place to pull off the rond point and drop your recyclables. Well some older guy...definitely old enough to have some shame...stopped there and was peeing ON THE GLASS BIN!! I decided to shame him and pulled up anyway to drop off the clothes. He didn't bat an eye...didn't hurry up...didn't care!!

My "favorite" time was when I was at Celia's soccer match on a Saturday afternoon...full daylight...and we were leaving to go to the parking lot with the rest of the parents and kids and not three feet to the right of the gate...up against the fence with nothing to offer some privacy...was a doof just whizzing away. You just gotta wonder sometimes!! Do they have an incredible incontinence issue or what!!??

Okay...pet peeve catharsis has begun!

17 January 2010

Priorité à droite

Priorité à droit...one of our favorite driving rules here in France! It has to be the craziest and least logical laws on the books.

This gives the right of way to motorists turning onto the road you are on, and in the direction you are traveling, from the right. The exceptions are if the junction is marked by a stop sign, traffic light or solid white line, as well as roundabouts, where cars to your left have the right-of-way.

The more aggressive drivers do not wait for you to give the prioirty, they take it at full speed. If by chance you hit them, it is your fault. French drivers also seem to be taken by surprise by this law as well...I have been a passenger where they have almost hit a car forcefully taking the priority!

On the other hand, I have come to a full stop to give the right of way and the other driver has sat and looked at me as if my law abiding behavior has totally taken them by surprise.

Basically, with this law there is just no winning!!

11 January 2010

Les Gibiers

Yesterday Jazzy and I went for a walk with Joseph and Leo (our neighbor and his ancient German Shepherd) in the vineyards that were completely blanketed in snow. Suddenly, Joseph stopped and excitedly pointed out a flock of birds hidden in the vines. He said he wished he could go hunting which is allowed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in season. I asked why he couldn't if we were in full season and he said that it is strictly forbidden as it makes the hunt unfair to the wildlife as they are unable to escape or hide as well and gives too much advantage to the hunters.

06 January 2010

Gotta love the French way!

Yesterday I was reading the little daily newspaper that Nathan and Celia pick up on their way to school. In it was the ads for businesses for sale. One that caught my eye was for a sandwich shop. The selling point in the briefly worded ad was that it is normally closed on Saturday and Sunday and there is normally four weeks of annual closure for the vacation. Quality of life above all else!!

03 January 2010

Musée d'Arles

The first Sunday of every month, France opens up its museums for free. Today we decided to try out the Musée départemental Arles antique. Arles is located about 45 minutes to the east of us on the Rhone river. It was an important Roman military center and the museum contains artifacts from the neolithic period through the time of early Christianity. Basically, they found that the Romans had dumped a lot of their castoffs into the Rhone and it all either settled to the bottom or floated to the Mediterranean Sea where it stayed. There is an amazing amount of olive oil and wine casks in the museum as well as an incredible bust of Julius Cesar. This bust is thought to be one of the only existing carvings of Cesar made while he was still kicking. It has him wrinkled and balding and looking quite human! Amazing what you can find when you sort through other people's garbage!!