Looking Back Then Taking a Giant Step Forward
Saturday December 31st 2005, 7:46 am
Filed under: daily life,people

someone once said that if you can look back at the entire year remembering times you’ve experienced profound emotion (sadness, happiness, intrigue, grief… – that made you cry or really laughed so much that it hurt your stomach muscles), then, that year was not a wasted year. it’s not about how much money you made or have or how big your house is, or who you know or what you drive (unless you live in l.a. ;-)). that’s not important, really. and it’s definitely not about how many people you’ve impressed. that’s nothing to be proud about.

well, i can honestly look back at 2005 and remember times i’ve cried and laughed (sometimes at the same time!) – oh, and i’m not counting that time when the mean farm lady yelled at me and made me cry. anyway, i had an amazing year. we spent a complete year in our first house that we really love (though it needs some work here and there); the year was full of fun, love, family & friends; we also made new friends; i started playing music after a two year hiatus; we traveled quite a bit; ate a lot; laughed a lot; cried a lot; worked liked crazy and volunteered a giant chunk of our time to an NGO; we met great people who care deeply about humanity, and we met some sleazy french national assembly politicians who can lie through a huge smile as effortlessly as drinking a glass of water. yup, we looked evil straight in the eye. we suffered through immense challenges and overcame obstacles. we also started a business in france several months ago (yes, we ARE that crazy!) and we’re already out of the red, yay. we completely changed our lifestyle to be as environmentally responsible as possible. we can’t go as far as having one of those weird compost toilets (we do have limits) but we do the best we can.

one of the best things about 2005 has been keeping this blog, www.whytraveltofrance.com – it’s been fun, and i’ve promised myself that i’ll only keep it if it remains fun. i’ve been accused of being a french basher but if anyone thinks that, they don’t know me, and they probably are a bit too serious. this site is all in fun (most of the time!) so if you’ve been offended, i’m sorry about it but please know that i was most likely joking. i mean, if i hated france and french people i wouldn’t have married a french guy and i certainly would not have chosen to live in france. c’mon. i live in france because i really love it here. (and i do have a choice about where i live). no, it’s not a perfect place, but it’s much better than that: france’s beauty, blemishes and quirkiness make life a bit more interesting to us; it’s an amazing place to live – and that is why it is THE most visited country on earth.

anyway, i hope you can look back at 2005 with a smile because you really lived it fully and passionately (no wasted time with people you do not wish to be around, or doing things you truly do not want to do.) – and you experienced life with true feelings, discovery, love, awe, fun and with no regrets (and no emptiness).

i do wish for you even a better year for 2006, a year that is inspiring for you, the best year you’ve ever known.

When Monopolies Take Over the World
Friday December 30th 2005, 5:38 am
Filed under: daily life,food and drinks,signs,stories

pepsi sign
pepsi may be #2 in the u.s. but i’m afraid after coke’s acquisition of orangina, pepsi’s lifeline distribution network in france, it’s slowly losing its fizz, rusting away like this sad sign. i personally think the sign looks pretty cool; maybe it’ll be a collector’s item to be sold on ebay one day…

seeing this sign always reminds me of what a mechanic said to me when i was still living in vence, and we were waiting for our car to be repaired. i was waiting, drinking a coke.

mechanic: “do you know what you’re drinking?”

me: “yeah, a coke.” thinking, ‘are you blind not to see the red, unmistakable logo?’

mechanic: “but do you know what is inside coke? i never drink the stuff but we buy it by the case here. you know why?”

me: “why.”

mechanic: “it’s the only thing that cleans engine parts. we soak all kinds of things in coke and it cleans it perfectly! and you DRINK that stuff. hahahahaha!”

me: “good. thinking omg how scary. maybe it’s cleaning out my stomach!”

mechanic: “if that’s what you want to think, fine.”

Weird EU Posters
Thursday December 29th 2005, 7:44 am
Filed under: cultural differences,politics,weird

chirac queen elizabeth bush

is that queen elizabeth sandwiched between george bush (with boobs) and a doggie stylin’ jacques chirac?

these posters among others were commissioned by the austrian government in an attempt to help make the EU more sexy. apparently, the “artists” commissioned went a bit too literal and came up with the strangest ideas, the above photo being one of the weirder ones. none are sexy at all, in fact, the campaign seems like its purpose is to scare people away. the campaign cost 500,000 euros. the EU presidency goes to austria on january 1 for a duration of 6 months.

UPDATE: these posters have been pulled. too many complaints, imagine that!

[via brussels journal and the telegraph]

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Popular Posts of 2005

these are the most popular posts for whytraveltofrance since the beginning, only 5 months ago. clearly, dog poo is a subject inquiring minds want to know about so i’ll try to come up with more scoops on poop in 2006 ;-)

1. squish! oh poo!
2. cultural differences as wide as the parting of the red sea
3. free wine for drivers in the south of france!
4. cancer causing soda cans
5. open air urinals
6. peekaboob
7. what comes to mind when you hear, VICHY?
8. the baguette and its slow extinction
9. paris riots wtf?
10. french guys with girly names
11. french coffee is american sh*t
12. france is not disappearing but quality is
13. surprise food ingredient: tartrazine
14. is pepe le pew french…in france?
15. topinambour it’s a gas gas gas
16. where in the world is jim morrison?
17. french lawmakers don’t know jack and the new ipod nano
18. carry le rouet and flexible housing laws
19. dirty secrets of a paris waiter
20. doggie bags (NOT from the restaurant)

Links on a Sick Day
Wednesday December 28th 2005, 4:17 am
Filed under: environment,news,people,politics,products,websites

the podcast shaking up france’s politics

2005 Foot-in-Mouth Awards

small town receives $1.6 million

the french go postal with the sims

france’s nuclear waste heads to russia

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