So, since I’ve moved to France I’ve turned into a total slacker. Not that I wasn’t a slacker before, but I was at least a high performing one. Here, my performance has dropped to epic low levels. There are so many reasons for this. Let me start with the obvious:
- The wine. Friends, I had to nearly give up my beer-drinking past to embrace life here. The problem began when I couldn’t find any good beer to drink. In a desperate moment, Tim brought home some ridiculously small bottles of Heinekin one night and we proceeded to drink nearly the whole case of it (since it was like doing one little beer shot after another). Our house started to look like a frat house with tiny bottles strewn everywhere. It soon became clear to me that there must be a better way. Why try to swim against the tide by being a beer drinking when the river of wine is so clearly flowing in the opposite direction? The little bottles of Heinekin still sit around our house, but now they have been turned into flower vases (you can shake the Vermont class out of this girl). By the way, the wine is REALLY GOOD and can create a shroud of confusion around all attempts at productivity.
- The flute. There is a flutist living in one of the houses which abuts ours. This is not some high-school band member getting in some (painful) practice, but rather it is someone who very likely plays professionally. Since all the back yards in France are walled, the sound of this flute echoes off the walls around us, creating a surreal musical experience which can only be summed up as magical. And this person practices for hours each day. Just when I have something to do, that might pass as work (or at least a good use of my time), the music begins. It seems wrong to work when this person is playing. Rude even. The most appropriate thing to do is to sit down and listen, right? Ok, so I know I should be studying French, or cleaning up the house, or at least writing on the blog, but instead I sit and listen. Slacker.
- The bakery. I’ve always loved baked goods, but I never thought I would allow my life to be dictated by the hours of the bakery. At first, I would stock up on bread, only to realize that it’s not the same if it isn’t fresh. So we’ve got to go to the bakery MUCH more often than we would at home. Oh, and it’s closed every day from 13h30-14h (translation: 1:30-3pm). I found this out the hard way and ended up standing on the street corner like Bubbles in The Wire, eyes shifting/pulse racing. Hard times. I also found out that the bakery is closed all day on Tuesday. Ouch. We also realized that if you need bread for dinner, it’s best to buy it after 3pm when the bakery reopens, rather than in the morning for the evening. But it is also important to have it fresh for the morning, which often means an early morning run. All this to say, that sadly, many hours are spent plotting or executing the next bakery run. I am a slave to bread.
So this is more than a little embarrassing to write – in fact, it’s just pathetic. I can imagine my former self saying, “Seriously, did you just write a blog post that your 3 biggest challenges are wine, flutes and bread?” But in an effort to be honest, I had to come clean. So there you have it. This is why there has been blog silence. I even made a recording of the flute music yesterday which I will try to post so that you can hear the challenge of productivity in the face of melody.
A tough life indeed.