Tuesday 28 February 2023

Double novelty

That’s double as in a) having a travel story printed in the paper and b) writing an entry here. I know that Covid is part of everyday life now, most people (including me) have had it, borders are all open, and overseas travel is normal again - but for various boring reasons, it isn’t for me. So my writing about travelling, both here and in the paper, is coughing up blood currently. Sigh.

When, though, I'm able to choke back my disappointment, I can still so far mine my past experiences for new(-ish) stories, and this was one, from back in 2019 when I went to France to do an Avalon cruise along the Seine. Before it began, my famil host Letitia and I did a free walking tour with Paris Greeters around the 13th arrondissement with bubbly local man Quan. It was really good. There’s no beating a local for enthusiasm. 

Of course I had to find a current link for it all, and that was Netflix’s Emily in Paris - easy to scoff at critically, but irresistible for both the crazy fashions and, of course, the gorgeous locations. Recently, the city's beauty has been marred by piles of uncollected rubbish, and rioting people protesting at - quelle horreur! - Macron's raising the retirement age from 62 to a scandalous 64. Considering that most of the world has for ages been working to at least 65, it's hard not to mock the French, especially given - it's a standard trope in Emily in Paris, so it must be true - their liberal interpretation of the 9-5 working day.

But they're French, it's Paris, so of course they get a free pass. They invented the shrug that everyone gives them, and they'll just carry on being French, and the rest of us will be content with that. National stereotypes are, like all clichés, basically true, and even when they’re not quite, we’re so accustomed to them that those are the lenses through which we see everything anyway. Good reason to travel, btw.

So, for today’s connection (which, in the best Kiwi tradition, is 2 degrees) that wink that Macron directed at the Firstborn? Definitely cool, not creepy.


the queen said...

Like the song, I Danced with a Man Who Danced with a Girl Who Danced with the Prince of Wales. Macron winked at you once removed.

TravelSkite said...

Exactly! You know that six degrees of separation thing? Well in NZ we operate at the 2 degrees level. It’s even the name of a local telco company.

the queen said...

I only know that because of you!


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