Skip to main content

LAUNDRY IN PARADISE


If you had to cite one, single, horrendous consequence of Adam and Eve's misadventure with an apple in the Garden of Eden, it would have to be laundry.

You'd rather that humans had not discovered sex? You would deny yourself the great privilege and joy of raising a child? Granted, both activities can get messy. And smelly. But who would care about the muss and the fuss if the result wasn't a load of messy, smelly laundry?

And guess what. If you live in France, you'll have to do laundry. Yes. Even in the south of France, where the sun shines 300 days a year, stuff gets dirty.


And not just clothes get dirty in France. Floors need to be swept, mopped, and/or vacuumed. Dinner dishes need washing. And speaking of dirty dishes, where do you suppose that food in France comes from? Do you think that it grows on trees? Uh...well...some of it does. But most of us need to go to market at some point, whether the market in the village square or the Carrefour supermarket. And if it's the Carrefour, that probably means getting in the car. And if you own a car, it is bound to break down. And even if you do the work on it yourself, your clothes will get dirty. And you know what that means.

Laundry.

Lately, I've been reading any number of blog posts and newsletter articles that have bemoaned one aspect or another of life in France. More precisely, living in France. These writings are not the work of tourists. The authors are expats living in France permanently. They grumble. Their roofs leak. Insects invade. Machinery balks. Intransigent bureaucrats frustrate them. One recent essayist living in a rural village expressed disappointment that so few neighbors spoke English, that so many neighbors hunted to put food on the table.

The American comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a tagline. Who are these people? "They have the greeting cards with the couples on the front. They photograph them. These hazy focus people. They’re always having picnics. There’s always a tree, a pond… who are these people? I don’t know them. I don’t want them on my card either."

Living in France is not a greeting card. It's not a vacation. Living in France is living. It's sitting for an hour on a cracked, vinyl-covered chair in a waiting room until the mechanic comes out and tells you that it will take several days and 900 euros to fix your car. It's having a strong north wind lift up the slates on the roof and let rainwater pour in through the cracks. It's having the sewer in the street back up and having the utility company say that it's your responsibility while your plumber insists that it's theirs.

Living in France means doing the laundry.

Check out all of my musings on France HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LA MAISON DE L'ECURIE, SALLELES D'AUDE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

(If you prefer a video review, go to my YouTube channel HERE.)

Restaurants in peaceful, out of the way locations with scenic, picture postcard views often fall into one of two categories. They tend to be only as good as they have to be or to be more expensive than they should be. Situated right beside the Canal de Jonction where it intersects with the Canal du Midi, La Maison de l'Ecurie (The Stable House) is indeed in a peaceful, scenic location. But it defies convention by serving food that's better than it needs to be at reasonable prices. We thoroughly enjoyed our luncheon on a warmish fall day and shall return. But we'll have to hurry. La Maison de l'Eclurie closes in early November and won't reopen until the first of March.

You can't drive right up to La Maison de l'Ecurie. You turn off the main road from Mirepeisset to Salleles d'Aude onto the tow path, then park and walk for 150 meters or so to the restaurant. The terrace filled rapidly after w…

KYCLOS, SAINT-GUILHEM-LE-DESERT: CONCERT REVIEW

The thirteenth season of the Festival Les Troubadours romanesque has come to a close. If you don't know about this fine series of concerts that takes place from May into October throughout Occitanie, mostly in churches and other ancient settings, take the time to find out about it. HERE'S a link to the website. You'll just have to wait until next year to plan your visits. And we do plan our visits. This year, 48 concerts were on the schedule in venues ranging from the Pyrenees to the other side of Montpellier. Artists came from all corners of the Med from Greece and Corsica, Occitanie and Catalonia, France and Spain. Their music can be classified as sacred and profane, polyphonic and simple, classical and folk, flamenco and world.

For this penultimate concert in the series, Kyclos performed in the Abbaye de Gellone in Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, a UNESCO World Heritage village worth visiting in its own right. On a dark October night with heavy cloud cover, you miss much of t…

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…