September 02, 2004

The decline and fall of the French tourism empire

Posted by Curt at 10:40 AM in Ramblings | TrackBack

I too have been consistently absent for some time, but unlike Clay, I cannot promise a return to fecundity of entries anytime soon, thanks to the high price of Internet in Europe. Well, actually the Internet café where I am writing at the moment is free, but that will all come to an end in three weeks. Anyway, I’m in Tours, France, right now, which is a beautiful city, but seems to have a bit of a geo-cultural identity crisis. It seems to be a bit of northern and southern Europe at the same time. The temperatures in the morning would lead one to believe one was in northern Europe, whereas the temperatures at mid-day would incline one more towards southern Europe. Likewise, the stands of deciduous trees all around definitely incline more to the North, but the scattered palms and orange trees point more to the South. Add to the fact that many of the residents’ families immigrated fairly recently (by European standards) from other parts of France, and the makings of a hodge-podge are quite definite. In any case, at least decadence does not have to conceal its name here, and we can celebrate the chateaux which rise up across the land like upraised middle fingers directed at the peasants without even the discreeteness to disguise themselves as fortresses for the commoners’ protection. Or maybe they rise so far above our bourgeois notions of social justice that even the notion of such a thing as class antagonism seems a rather gauche motivation to ascribe to their creators. And I, riding the crest of five hundred years of contortion and revolution, can profit from their example without being subject to anything more severe than the 50% sales tax on Fanta. Anyway, I must be going, as the light waneth and my computer’s battery draineth, for as the French say: “Après le PowerBook muert, le déluge.”