October 17, 2013

OOOPS, An apology and romanticism

OOOPS! Major blunder. And because of it, my apologies. It is so easy to hit a key too quickly on a computer. I am working on creating a post with maps of my last trip, but it is not ready. Inadvertently, I hit publish. Unfortunately, those of you who subscribe by email will, or just, got an email that links to … nothing. The post isn't ready to go live. Instead, in order to send this apology to you, I am posting this weekend's images from France. So, I do apologize, and here is my next post about France:

It's true ...  I have readers (if they are still here) who believe that I romanticize life in France. Funny thing is, they are correct. It is so easy to romanticize a culture that is appealing, different, comfortable, with values that fi.. etc., etc. there I go again. And I know very well that I am in France only as a visitor, I don't experience daily life as a citizen there. But just to show my skeptical readers that I try to maintain some balance, I took some different kinds of pictures. These photos need no captions.

Yes, graffiti exists in France too.

For the first time this trip, I saw litter on the side of the road. I also saw signs for the first time, asking drivers not to litter. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of them. So I went on the internet, and found something related. N'en jetez plus: as I understand it we would translate this as Don't Litter. Literally though, don't throw more of it (the object is understood), or something close to that. A sign telling drivers not to litter (also, certainly pedestrians, but automobile and truck drives bear the brunt of the responsibility) that links not littering to cycling! Very good. I haven't yet tried to read the text of the site (being in a hurry to get this post up) but you can go there yourselves: N'en jetez plus. By the way, both here and there I sometimes see litter dropped by cyclists. I'm sure. Who else eats shot blocks or gels? And I am certain that all cyclists find broken glass on the roadway disagreeable.

And France plays Paintball! Who knew? How odd.

Finally, scandal of scandals, even in a country with a train system that works for passengers (yes, it could be better, but it exists) and largely works for bikes (I wish the TGV would be more accommodating) the trains can be .... horror, LATE! See those words "retard 40 min" that means 40 minutes late. That was my train. I have met French citizens who complain that their trains can't keep a schedule, but this is the first time one I used was late.


  1. The best thing about the trains we have caught in France are the signboards that you can see in your picture which tell you exactly where to stand on the platform. Our station at Carlisle has belatedly caught up with this idea some years in retard.

    I'm told that the TGV consumes so much money that the local trains are getting worse and worse.

    1. Those signs are great! Even better the trains take bikes ... unheard of here.

  2. Hello Suze, with a translation tool it's easier, I understood your article.
    "Yes we can" (as Barrack) have our daily hassles.
    It's a bit why the Cevennes attract me !
    uummm good maple syrup !

    1. Hello JJ! I will write in English since you did. Those tools are amazing, though I stick with Larousse to read your articles. The Berkshires are somewhat similar to the Cévennes: a little removed from the daily hassles. Glad you enjoyed the syrup!


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