Saturday, August 13, 2011

Critical Observation

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we dashed into Paris for the day. For those of you who either live in or near Paris, are French (wherever you are) or often visit because you love Paris as much as I do, you know that August is a peculiar month.

It's peculiar in the sense that one has the impression the French have abandoned their capital to tourists from every corner of the world.

The good news, from my point of view, is no traffic, an abundance of parking spaces (usually free in August), and service enterprises like cell phone and cable TV boutiques void of customers with employees positively thankful to have someone with whom they can interact. For those who have questioned the service ethic in France, ask for something in August.

If you lose a tooth however and you want a dentist to glue it back in -- not me, My-Reason-For-Living-In-France -- you can be sure your dentist is wind surfing in Brittany. In this circumstance, all I can say is "good luck."

Moving right along. . .

We are now four paragraphs into the reason I introduced the subject of August: We are all ambassadors of our country when in other countries.  Dress accordingly.

In the past, one could often single out nationalities by the degree of careless, sloppy, embarrassing wardrobe choices. No longer. It appears we're experiencing a globalization of vestment laisser-aller.

I shall delve deeper into the subject next week. It's Saturday, mid-August, sadly the last days of summer and I'm sure you have things to do, places to go. I shall now -- I'm soooo excited -- harvest our first batch of tomatoes.

The lovely thing about tomatoes is that they are red (at least the ones we planted are) which means they are easy to spot among all the green weeds. Finding the cucumbers can be a challenge.

A demain for the weekly calendar. Have a lovely, lovely weekend.


Of Sage and Sepia said...

Amen! When I told my daughter how helpful and friendly we found Parisians, she said it was probably because we weren't dressed like we were about to hike the back 40. She was shocked at the get-ups she saw on our fellow tourists at Versailles. Some clearly were teleported directly from cleaning out their cellar, so they didn't have time to change into something fit to be seen in at a national treasure.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I look forward to these posts next week....but for now, there is nothing like the taste of a home grown tomatoe!!

Karena said...

Oh I agree, it appalls me to see some people out and about dressed like they have been out cutting the lawn!


Art by Karena

Martha said...

Re dressing appropriately, someone suggested I buy a travel purse for my upcoming trip to England, France and Germany. Although I love the Prada nylon bags for their durability and (in most cases) practical design, I was put off by the looks of these slash-proof cases. Also, it occurred to me that since they clearly look like slash-proof travel bags, aren't they also at once inappropriate and insulting to the host country? Or are there some that combine safety features with decent looks and excellent/practical design.


Splenderosa said...

Tish, very well done! I can't wait until you discuss this further next week. And, a big huge congrats on the beautiful tomatoes. They look like jewels. xx's

Splenderosa said...

Tish, send me your email address please. I have an invitation for you.

helen tilston said...

Tish, you would get first prize at the Fair for those tomatoes. Congratulations.

Wishing you a restful, joyful weekend
Helen xx

aBroad said...

I know what you mean about the sloppy wardrobe etc but I have to say ( not as smug as it might sound) that the people where I live still dress to go out and know the difference in sloppy around the house clothes and public clothing.
( clue: Flip flops are not the shoe of choice in every city. Baggy pants and oversized tee shirts are not the thing in every city. etc)
Sadly, this allows us and others to point out ( in our minds or to each other ) which ones are tourists etc .. although it has come to my attention that wherever in the world you go, university students all wear the same thing :)

Villette said...

I discovered almost by accident years ago the secret of what to wear in European cities -- though I usually travel in autumn and winter, so this is of no use to summer visitors: the Austrian loden coat. I've had several over the years and they are the standard, conservative choice for certain kinds of Europeans, whether in Milan or Brussels. A loden coat, pashmina around the neck, low Ferragamo pumps or flat boots, and you just blend in to the (better dressed) crowds.

Beadboard UpCountry said...

OOOH! Tish!
Did you get some images of the faux pas dressers??????? I hope so.... Can't wait to see what you come up with next week!!!!!! Bisous!Maryanne

quintessence said...

Looking forward to your no doubt perceptive observations on the state of sartorial laisser-aller!! As for your tomatoes - lucky you!! I seem to grow nothing BUT weeds!! Not totally true - we had lovely peonies and hydrangea this year!!

Anonymous said...

This packing thing is very complicated and tricky. One's packing has to be: practical, comfortable, adaptable for all weather and situations, and not weigh anything!
Being smart and fashionable. Well, that is just too darned hard.

Seriously, the biggest hurdle is travelling lightly and being able to be clean and comfortable. Hair & skin care products, and shoes(made for walking) weigh the most.
Travelling with minimum clothing you have the problem of washing and drying them. 4 weeks of laundromats in Italy and France, apart from one, I didn't want to put the clothes on again. Those places were the pits.

Angel Jem said...

Is it too much to expect that when one is in Paris one dresses to suit a city of beauty and grace?
I ditched t shirts and shorts as suitable city wear years ago and a simple top and linen mix trousers must be easy to pack?

Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but you know, this complaint is heard every year, every decade, every century. And the music these days is terrible, and kids have no manners... I mean, you go out in pants. In the 60's that would not have been acceptable, would it? Your husband can freely walk around town without a hat, and should you choose to, you can go around Paris in a skirt and no stockings, no slip. Even the president's wife can. Things change; it's only a matter of time before you get used to them and maybe they don't seem so terrible anymore. Maybe they aren't so terrible.

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