Thursday, October 21, 2010

The One Thing I Can't Quite Ignore

Yes. France is on strike.

Yes. The French government is attempting to pass a massive reform that will potentially change the retirement age from 60 to 62...the French are up in arms about it. They march in the streets in a wave of human force, proudly waving their union banners and deriding Président Sarkozy for the elitist tyrant he is. They warn the bastard who lives in the luxurious Palais de l'Elysée and threaten his UMP cronies to watch their backs.

Yes. French high schoolers who want to play hooky and make a nuisance of themselves by destroying plastic barricades make a political statement have deemed it essential to join forces and cut class march down the street proclaiming how their rights are important as well. (I sincerely doubt that they will be so energetic to state their political exuberance once the two-week Toussaint holiday break starts next week.)

Yes. The French media are plagued by stories of drivers forming lines just to buy gas/petrol for their cars due to a massive imposed pénurie d'essence by gas stations all over the nation, thus causing panic all over the country. The lack of petrol is reported to be so dire that planes are not even taking off for international flights.

Yes. There will probably be fewer buses running around if the gas strike continues. It's bad enough that the Divia have changed all of their bus lines due to setting up a Tramway system. The lack of transportation will surely violently halt the country to its knees. I briefly consider the thought of the same thing happening to the United States, where Americans are far more dependant on their cars than their own two feet; the notion of it sends a ripple of concern across my brow.

Yes. I am slowly coming to terms with the possibility that all of my Carrefour supermarket shopping may potentially require me to hoof it rather than depend on my trusty Divia buses. I also am trying to make peace with the reality that food prices may increase due to the pénurie d'essence.

But the one thing I truly can't ignore is the fact that the temperature becomes more frigid with every passing day here in Dijon. Just for fun, I wanted to compare how different the climate here is from my native sunny Miami, FL.

(See? Even MSN reports that the sun is "Not Available" in my neck of the woods. It must be on strike, too.)

What was I to expect? I've left a fairly tropical area for a temperate zone, after all, but my body is still trying to recover from the physical shock of now facing a more than 20-degree change along with dressing in thousands of extra layers of clothing. It seems that my light cardigan days are OVER.

Of course, seeing single-digit numbers followed stoically by a capitalized C doesn't mean much to my Farenheit-wired brain.

Ah, that makes more sense.

Here's a lovely side-by-side comparison.

Now, in reality, I've been thoroughly enjoying the cooler weather. Being able to promenade for hours outside not sweating bullets and wrecking my expertly-coiffed hair is a luxury that humidity-and-mosquito-ridden Miami has never been able to offer.

Frankly, I probably wouldn't be bitching as much about the cold if it were not for the continuous nasty Cough that has been pestering me since Monday night. Rather than taking a hint and leaving me in peace, the Cough has stuck around to bully me. Its insults have become progressively worse and worse. I've been chugging hot fluids nonstop in the hopes that they might soothe my raspy vocal chords, but I've seen no improvement. I just keep hacking out what remains of my throat.

But this morning, I am hopeful. The sun has taken a break from its pénurie de lumière grève and has awakened me with golden beams of warmth shining through my window. I greet them as I would an old friend.

I think I'll go for a walk.

Barb the French Bean

Disclaimer: the images were directly taken from MSN Weather. Obviously.


  1. It looks like I've picked the right time to go on a honeymoon to Paris (we'll be there in three weeks).

    I can see it now, sitting down together when we are gray and old looking at photos; "Awww. Look honey. Do you remember the time we joined in the French riot in Paris and it was freezing... good times."

  2. Indeed. :-/

    I have to warn you that November is a pretty fickle month in France, weather-wise. And if by some unfortunate decision made by the French government the strikes still continue, I suggest you start brushing up on some basic French greetings/sayings. Parisiens on strike are probably not going to be in a good mood...

    No matter what: Paris will *ALWAYS* be a romantic city, Stu. Especially at night (so I've been told; I haven't been courageous enough to explore the city on my own when it is dark).

    I can give you tips for navigating around the city if you'd like. And you are more than welcome to check out Dijon, of course. ^.^

  3. France is like MN, now - weather-wise. We've been in the 40s in the mornings.

    You should post pictures, my dear, so we can see your adventures!

  4. I'm with Tricia, pictures please!

    And thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you. I am in awe of your adventures!

    May you find some sunshine on even the dreariest of days.

  5. Don't move to Scotland it was 0oC on Wednesday morning, I had to scrape my car before going to stand in a field for dog training.

  6. Tricia: I'm thinking of doing just that for my next blog. ;-)

    Kate: You're welcome, my dear. And thank you for the compliment.

    Mrs Midnite: o_O" The only way I will willingly stand in 0C weather is if I had to catch the bus! Scotland is a no-no for me...

    Diane: Merci beaucoup! ^.^


  7. 8oC? that's midsummer. It's snowing here.

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Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb