Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


7 Comments

Monet’s garden, Part I

A long time ago I recommended going to Giverny, the town where Monet settled to live and work. I hadn’t been since I was 7 and a half but had fond memories. I went again and those memories were justified as it’s a totally easy train ride and the grounds do not disappoint.

Here are a bunch of lily pads, descendants of the ones Monet painted, in his back garden.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Sunflowers in the land of the Sun King

The first time I came to France was in 1985. We took the train from Spain, crossed the border at Irún in the Basque Country, headed to Marseilles and caught the TGV to Paris. It was easily the best trip, in terms of actual traveling, that I’ve ever had.

I’d been on public transit trains before but never one with a sleeper car and definitely not a high-speed one. I immediately thought it was the best way to get anywhere since you were actually moving but you could still enjoy the scenery and there were lots of food options. (In Spain there were women who yelled up at the open windows from the platform when the train pulled into a station selling chorizo sandwiches; there were friendly German backpackers who shared sausage and cheese; there was a dining car, something I’d only seen in movies.)

It was also the first time I ever saw fields of beautiful colored things. On my grandparents’ farm, there were fields of grains and grass and some corn; lots of potatoes and various kinds of roughage; an orchard with different kinds of fruit trees, but nothing like what I was seeing zip by as we made our way north.

It felt like I spent lifetimes looking at the lavender go by and I definitely couldn’t have held my breath as the seas of sunflowers zoomed past. Watching the Lance-Armstrong-is-the-world’s-biggest-jerk-in-addition-to-being-a-huge-liar documentary THE ARMSTRONG LIE, I was reminded of the trip, the train, and the sunflowers since the Tour de France riders cover much of the same ground we did, but I doubt they appreciate the view as much.

They ride too quickly to appreciate the scenery.

They’re not even looking at the flowers!

Thing that makes me say, “Christ! When did I get so old?”

The pyramid in front of the Louvre wasn’t there when I visited the first time. I now know people, adult humans with Master’s degrees, who were born after it was already installed in 1989.


Leave a comment

James Brown v. Kool & The Gang in Paris

Saw these signs at the train station at CDG airport and couldn’t help but giggle a bit because they immediately brought to mind an epic showdown.

In this corner, The Godfather of Soul, Jaaaaaaaaaaaames Brown!

SNCF Get uphttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMjOn7YjtWI

Aaaaaand in this corner, the New Jersey funksters, Kool & The Gaaaaaaaaaang!

SNCF Get down

I know that English is hard and I know that phrasal verbs (verbs + particle and/or preposition which form new meanings) are hard, but I laughed all the same because I am Spanish, and, therefore, an asshole.

For the record

I’m not sure who would win in this epic battle of funktacularness, but since Eddie Murphy used to do James Brown on SNL in “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub“, he gets the edge because I have all the SNL sketches in my brain all the time.