Monday, March 10, 2008


I'm just finishing off my post-dessert coffee (yes, I'm back to dining French style), hearing quite the ruckus outside. When it started, I could've sworn someone was out there powerwashing my windows. Then I realized - it's the wind.

Hurricane force winds are battering the English Channel right now. For those of you who went to high school in the US, that's the body of water between England and France.

They've been at it all day, sending lamp posts outside my office window swinging, and rattling the roll-up blinds, also outside my window. These blinds are a pretty widespread phenomenon here, one that I don't quite get. Instead of having blinds on the inside, many buildings have rubber or fabric window coverings that are raised or lowered by a mechanical crank inside. Storm shutters or louvers being on the outside I understand. But what amounts to very heavy curtains? When the wind whips up, these things bang and rattle against the window, making a racket that irritates pretty much anyone who still has their hearing.

Of course, this usually isn't a problem. It's only since I've been here that the weather's been so... unsettled.

The same goes for the ground.

Less than a week after arrived, an earthquake rocked England, only a few hours from where I am.

Just a little gift from the west coast, kids.

And from my Cajun basket of goodies, I followed the earthquake with Hurricane Emma, which rocked England, the Czech Republic, and everything in between.

Despite being totally unprepared, despite causing billions of Euros in destruction (that'd be brazilians of dollars in Bush parlance) and despite the loss of lives, it hasn't been a humanitarian disaster. But nobody's bothered to tell the Minister of Holy-Shit-This-is-Fucked - or whatever the head of the FEMA-equivalent here is called - that they're doing "a heckuva job." European ministers are looking at the aftermath as largely a financial and administrative burden, so no one's asked Sean Penn to come over with a film crew to fix things. If the lack of media outcry is any indication, things are actually moving along fairly well.

Apparently, I'm not doing a good enough job of importing American-style disasters to Europe.

I need to step up my game.

Unless the French bureaucracy hurries up and gives me my Carte de Sejour, I'm calling in the tornadoes.

1 comment:

  1. not to be a bitch or anything, but this past weekend was 70 and sunny for days. i sunbathed with some friends on a blanket in hayes green, ate some baguettes and cheese, played with some dogs, and drank some iced tea and coffee.