This is always what I get when I set foot in France: love. Family, friends and food, the 3F that the expat is hoping for when you come back for a visit. It's warm and fuzzy like candy floss and a fireplace, it's comfy, it's great. I am on a mission to enjoy it until I feel sick of it like when you eat too much candy floss. So far, so good.
However, what one never expects is to be slapped in the face by all the other things that you want to forget about your homeland. Like the freezing cold in December (and apparently it is not even that cold. Jesus. I never liked winter, now I realize that I actually HATE it. Winter sucks, I was totally good for the last 2 years with no winter whatsoever). Like the fact that people are sulking, depressed, all dressed in black and grey and brown, stressed out, not polite at all. I smile at people and they probably think I am weird. I think about the smiley faces of Indonesia and I wonder how this is possible.
Homeless people, a lot. (And it's bloody freezing. Made me realize that no one sleeps outside where I live now, although it is not cold. And not a rich area either. What's up with that, people?). A lot of frantic purchases a few days before Christmas, a LOT of it. Shit television (that is actually beyond words, I wonder why I used to owe one, even though it was mainly used for a DVD player. I won't start on how shit is television because you'll still be reading this tomorrow).
But hey, it's Christmas. If you forget about the ridiculous abundance of food and stuff to buy everywhere, it's nice. It's family time, it's fun for my nephew who keeps counting the days until "Le père Noël" shows up, it's small traditions that make you smile.
And for me it's holidays too (because despite what people think, it's not because you live on the beach that you are on holidays all the time). Movies, books, papers, staying in bed, walking around a bit until I get too cold: it's nice. Can't remember the last time I bought the newspapers and went to a bar to have coffee and read my newspapers in peace. I love it. OK I'm working online a bit too, so I can pay for all of this but it's not too bad.
So if you are on holidays too (or even if you are not), a couple of books: "Gone girl", the thriller everyone was apparently talking about. Well, it's pretty good. Ends weirdly but well constructed so you want to keep reading it.
Now what you absolutely DO NOT need to read is "Thank you for this moment" by Valérie Trierweiler (it was even translated in English, given that tons were sold in France). Ex-partner of our president washes her dirty laundry in public and it is kind of pathetic. I did not pay a cent for this book but after 3 different persons telling me about it I wanted to know what the fuss was about so I borrowed it. It's about a woman who got cheated on, she is mad as you would rightly expect, so she talks shit about her ex which is fair enough and very understandable. But her ex is the President so instead of doing that with her friends she writes a book about it. And make tons of money. And spill all the details about her private life and her break-up and well, it's kind of boring, as well a pathetic as said already. There is a lot of whining, everybody hates this poor woman apparently. And the writing is not even good.
So next month I am planning to have an affair with a deputy (one that is a bit famous, otherwise banging an old fat guy would be pointless) and write a crappy book about it. Sounds like a good plan to make a bunch of money pretty fast. I will keep you posted on how that goes.
Until then, I hope all of you have a happy end of year, lots of love and chocolate and champagne. Merry Christmas everyone!