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Posts from the ‘Subterfuge’ Category

I think I need to leave France NOW, and go home to Saint Louis

This was a really horrid day !!

Yes, I know  that  2 weeks ago I wrote why I could never leave France.  However, things change.  You  have one great day, and then you have a completely out of no-where really awful, no good, down in the toilet, strung out on acid, when you don’t even do the stuff,  day.   That was today.

So by  8:55 this morning I wanted to kiss France GOODBYE.

Defending their country

Defending their country (Photo credit: Feggy Art)

In a nutshell:

Prefecture day.  Oh fun.  We take 2 hours to get there thru horrible traffic, My french teacher comes along to help with the translation,( she is wonderful)  and we get in the door.

For those that want some familiarity of that hellish procedure –  here is the link about that:

The woman who “works the line” smiles and speaks a tad of English, but doesn’t say anything to us when we show her WHY we’re here, and what it is we want to do.  NOTHING.  She SHOULD know what we are about to find out……. and she could have saved us one-half hour at least……..

Finally we get up to the window.

We are told that we missed the cutoff – every one of the “60 people” (that they let in each day) are already here, and we’re too late.

We leave and head back to Cassis after thanking her for absolutely nothing.

I take a 15 minute nap.

We head back down the Gineste (mountain pass)  for David’s afternoon (extra day of) teaching, and I head to the library to work.

I find out that my phone is dead.  Not only dead, but totally devoid of information.
I mean EVERYTHING.  It has crashed.

Remembering that 2 hours ago there was a sign on my MAC saying to upgrade my iPhone which I dutifully did.  That’s when it crashed.   (as I’m thinking back…..)

I pack up after finishing up some homework – and head out.

When I find my car in the parking garage, I see that the TOMTOM is dead. It’s dead because the charger (cigarette lighter ) has died.   Now I have to navigate Marseille all by myself and my  sense of direction.  Hmmmm. This is going to be interesting.

As I start-up the ramp, I see that the cars are heading left and I follow suit, not realizing that this was the street that I should have turned right on to take me to my husband’s work on Rue Prado.

That’s where everything went wrong………for the next 27 minutes, because I went left instead of right, I ended up from the 1st arrondissement of Marseille to the 2nd to the 7th, to the 13th, and no where could I find a way to get back heading SOUTH, to the Vieux Port or heading to ANY sign that  would be a  recognizable point in which I could navigate easily from that point on. Not ONE.

As I was driving aimlessly through the tight tiny streets of Marseille I reflected on how much I missed my friends


that had just left , our very good neighbors,  at one time, in Saint Louis.    It was so hard to say goodbye at the train station.

Gare Saint-Charles, the main railway station

Gare Saint-Charles, the main railway station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had such a good time.  It also made me miss Saint Louis but mainly my family there – Big time, – all the grands and all my children.    Yes!  Very homesick.


In addition to the above, my  mind wandered to the difficult experience  and thoughts I had about the few friends that I’ve made here in Marseille.  And now,  it was coming down to making much needed and  steadfast decisions on how I would deal with them from this day out.
Someone posted on my Facebook the following:
Our culture has accepted two huge lies.  The first is that if you disagree with someones lifestyle,  you must fear or hate them.  The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.  Both are nonsense.  You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

So, that summed it up  beautifully in the situation I have found myself in –  with these friends.   One of my friends appears to be self-destructing and it is making me physically sick.   Sicker than my iPhone and my TomTom going kaput.  Sicker than lying on a pavement full of dog doo, smashed cigarette butts and various and assorted bacillus in order to obtain my carte de sejour.

My other friend, has a lot on her plate.   There are so many things I love about her and there are also things that concern me greatly.  Well, one thing I do know is that  if  I see someone I care about hurting themselves, you will not  be met with quiet  solitude.  I care too much. I will TELL YOU.


A glimmer of something familiar,fills my  windshield  and then the sign Vieux Port comes into my view.  Now I can find my way to my destination.

Now I can stop thinking that  I must leave France and go home to the U.S.  There is always a silver lining in that dark cloud hanging out over your head………… and yes, I WILL go to the PREFECTURE at 4am this Friday………

365/209: Every cloud has a silver lining

365/209: Every cloud has a silver lining (Photo credit: riekhavoc (caught up?))

The CHRISTMAS Party, a/k/a Office Christmas Party

There was a smashing good time at the CHRISTMAS office party tonight at the flat of the “big guy”. Yes, this is code for another word.  I can’t tell you what an eye opener it was to attend this party.      

And, If I go into detail and mention the name of David’s employer, or where he works, he may not work there any more.  I need to keep him working there!  It’s all subterfuge, really, kind of like those brave people who worked for MI5 and could never say a word.  Suffice it to say, it is NOT a FRENCH company.  There. I’ve said it. Go figure it out.  Anyway, the people were lovely, all the co-workers of his were very kind, and of course the champagne was flowing and so were people’s words.  I’m wondering if the things “promised to be sent to me by email” will actually get sent because I don’t think a soul will remember one word  that was spoken,   truth be told. I was half minded to tell them anything when asked “and what do you do?” because it would have been so fun to say, “Oh, I’ve been  studying the last 4 full-blooded  Tasmanian Aborigines and the book I’ve just completed on this study is to be published  in French and out in 2012.!”   No one would know?  Right?  Instead, I asked them about THEM & that is always the way to do it in Academic settings such as these.    It was really good champagne, so much so, that we left before even getting David’s gift (exchange), so that was the way it was.  Everyone would be there until after midnight and there was much dancing going on in the one of many rooms of this palatial flat.  The evening was most merry and I love that this was actually called a CHRISTMAS PARTY and the invitation actually allowed a Christmas Tree on the letterhead with a tiny Santa at the bottom.   Lovely, being included  at a real CHRISTMAS Party,  not HOLIDAY party!!   I could not believe the size of this place, the lovely marble stairs

Lovely stairs

going up to the high floor but especially loved the ceilings.  The ornate ceilings inside were simply “jaw dropping”  should you be able to look up for any length of time. (“Oh, Hi, yes, it’s not that I’m not interested in what you’re saying, it’s just that the CEILING, is just so beautiful., so sorry, DO go on….” 😉

This particular apartment was on a most prestigious Boulevard in a famous arrondissement. I had to laugh, because there was ONE wait staff person (actually the BUTLER)  handling all of this food and champagne and soft drinks for about 65 persons. When Melanie and I have done parties like this we’ve had at least three people working them.  I took a picture of “The Bar” for her  because it was not as we would have expected it to be.

Exhibit #1 –  ” The Bar”

The "Bar" with Guests....

In the States we would have had all the drinks in lovely oval brass buckets surrounded by massive amount of ice (as seen here                    )

This would do for me & Melanie! Every liquor known to man, teeny little slivers of lemon rind, tiny cuts of limes, toothpicks, olives, teeny white onions, cherries,  everything to make whatever cocktail was needed.  We’d have carted platters of hor’s doeuvres (which they certainly had here as well) , but they were placed on the long table, more than carried about for people to ever so gingerly pick up and place on their napkin.  When we left the party, it was raining pretty hard, so thankfully I had my ever present umbrella by my side and we walked to our Metro in shivering rain, along Pont Alexandre, passing the Eiffel Tower in all it’s majesty as it was on the hour now and lights were shimmering mightily.                                         Pont Alexandre and Eiffel in  Fog.  

Pont Alexandre & Eiffel in FOG

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