So What’s with me and France?

Someone asked me the other day why I am so obsessed with Paris, or less specifically, France.

I wouldn’t characterize myself as obsessed. Yes, I post a lot of pictures of France on Facebook and share a lot of content. I read French newspapers on Flipboard and I watch the news from France on TV5 Monde every night at 6:30 p.m. I prefer French handbags (Longchamp) and I enjoy most French foods, though I will never get behind offal or oysters.

This person asked me what was so special about France. After all, she reminded me, they have a lot of strikes, they have more than their fair share of misogyny and they aren’t big on BIG BUSINESS. I have to agree on the latter but their brand of socialism works for me, for the most part. This is probably aided by the fact that I don’t own anything. When you have little, socialism looks pretty good. When you’re Mr. Wonderful (aka Kevin O’Leary), not so much with the socialist theory.

So is the grass really greener, you are wondering?

I think it is.

Here’s why.

Life is a series of activities, many of which are boring or mundane, and in between which you must find ways to derive joy or pleasure, or you might as well start digging the grave now.

I can hear you now: “Same shit, different geography.”

But that’s precisely the point! Where these activities take place has a tremendous importance and influence on how much pleasure you will derive from them. Because if you are going to have to do them anyway, you might as well be doing them in a wonderful place.

For example, you have to do laundry.

Would you rather do it here:


or here?

Okay, I am sure that the apartment I could afford in Paris would NOT be in quite such a charming cul-de-sac. Mine would probably be more like this one:

Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois in Seine-Saint-Denis Photo: AFP/JOEL ROBINE

But that is also why I’ve knocked Paris off my ‘to live in’ list and set my sights on other parts of France. 

Maybe Gordes?

Seriously. This is a real place…

Open air market — EVERY TUESDAY —

Or maybe Burgundy?

Well, I think you get the picture.

Step 1: Get the kid to learn French, otherwise the transition to a new school is REALLY going to hurt.

Step 2: Can’t deal with that until I am further along on Step 1. I’ll let you know…


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