Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dear AT&T,

It's not even about the dropped calls.

It's that you were charging me over $100 every month for a phone that I can use for about $20 a month.

It's that if someone happened to call while I was traveling, you'd charge me anyway.
Even if I didn't pick up.
Even if they didn't leave a message.

Did you know that 2 missed calls is the same price as a cup of coffee?
Did you know that I'd rather have that coffee than pay you?

I tried to let it go.

I wrote another letter to get it out of my system. Did a burning ritual. Made little voodoo dolls with your logo as the head. But here I am again. Needing to publicly post my perturbation to processes the pain.

I don't hate you. I'm disappointed that things turned out this way. You're like a bad love affair. After the honeymoon with the iPhone, I'm stuck with a hotel bill that charged me too much for cocktails at the beach bar.

Why do you have to gouge people? You took something good—the iPhone—and turned the experience into a feeling of being had. And when I call you on it via a customer service rep, it seemed that nothing could be done. Their hands were tied. Because somewhere along the line I clicked a little box that said I agreed to the Terms & Conditions that allowed you to charge me when I miss a call on vacation. 

Well it seems something can be done.

I canceled my service even though it pained me to release my coveted 310 area code phone number.
I jail broke and unlocked my phone.
Now I have a SIM card for every country I visit and plenty of cash for coffee.

AT&T—You're the middle seat on an airplane. By the way, JetBlue currently buys long, skinny planes to eventually phase out the middle seat.

AT&T—You're what sitting through commercials used to feel like before Netflix and DVRs figured out how to skip commercials all together.

AT&T—You're the record player that skipped when someone danced too enthusiastically. But iTunes fixed that, too.

Because of you, one day costly phone contracts will have to die. People like me will walk away. I'm sure I'm not the only one who ever swallowed hard when seeing the balance I owe after Christmas in Canada or a month in Europe. Yikes. And all of this WITH your international plans.

People have already figured out solutions to the problem that is you. If it wasn't broken, there wouldn't be so many videos, blogs and articles about how to jailbreak, unlock and fix it. There wouldn't need to be free text apps if yours weren't so costly. Even WITH your text plans.

Today I finally paid off my astounding and outstanding AT&T bill.

I wiser now.
I've changed my ways.
I don't send frivolous play-by-play texts like "I'm 10 minutes away" or "I'll be there in 5."
I educate friends on jailbreaking and unlocking. 
I use Skype.
I email.
I even write letters sometimes.

Why? Because I'd rather minimize my mobile communication than pay for your coffee.

Formerly yours,
Janice MacLeod

PS And the apps work after I canceled my service even though your customer service representative told me they wouldn't. Lying is not cool AT&T. Not cool.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don't come to Paris

... in August.

Why?

Because the place shuts down. Your favorite cheese? Put it out of your mind because the cheese guy went to Nice for the month. Not nice. The cobbler from la boulangerie that keeps you up at night because of it's oatmeal-fruit perfection? Plan for a month of grogginess because the baker took off with the recipe to share with the family in Bretagne. The nerve. And the farmer's market has a mere six sad stalls.

But in the last weekend in August, everyone starts unlocking the doors and dusting off shelves. The fruit carts become a rainbow of produce. The flour trucks double park in front of each boulangerie, stalling traffic of commuters who are groggy after their month of sleeping in. And today, everything is BACK ON!

More on the amazing Space Invader.

I rolled out of bed this morning, put on my makeup and fancy clothes to walk 20 feet to the boulangerie that I missed so much it hurt. You can't just walk out the door in your yoga pants and messy hair in Paris. It's considered offensive to those who have to look at you.

My baguette was still warm.

I walked another 10 feet to the boucherie where Christophe was standing, roasting up chickens, hams and potatoes. I gave him a smooch and a chunk of bread. His eyes rolled back in carb-induced reverie. Then I walked up and down the street enthusiastically "bonjouring" everyone I haven't seen in a month.

Life in Paris is good.

I have two other reason's it's good.

1) I can make boiled eggs and eat them at lunch. Back in my corporate days, I'd be so aware of the ass smell of boiled eggs that I wouldn't eat them anywhere near the office. But now in my Paris flat? No worries.

2) Paris is a popular tourist destination, which means I have a pretty good chance of hanging with friends who are on vacation:

Betsy and I after our pen and slipper purchase at MUJI.
Betsy and I met on a job back in LA. It was a freelance gig. I was the writer and was paired up with the lovely Betsy. We did the gig and remained friends. We are the same age and we both went through the process of simultaneously losing our minds in our advertising jobs and finding our art. Mine is this here blog. Hers is on display at Queen Of Plastics.

Now she's in Edinburgh going full tilt on art and I'm in Paris going full tilt, too... with stops for snacks and meet ups with friends. 

We had a lovely Niçoise salad and a few coffees. Then we perused the autumn wares now available in stores that were fermé all of August.

I love witnessing the arc of a friend's process. Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all.”

And Betsy? She's going for it. She's living.

And I will, too. Right after I finish eating this cobbler. Wait a minute. This is living.

Bienvenue à Paris!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Poland: Animal Vegetable Miracle

In the quiet moments of my days in Poland, I've been reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle. It's the story of how she and her family grew their own food and ate local for a year.


And it's interesting to read this book in Białystok, Poland, where most of the people live in quarters like this:


But here's the surprise. They manage to eat high quality, highly nutrient, tasty, local food. They pride themselves on food from Poland and even more from food grown locally. I've mentioned it before but I'll say it again. The tomatoes were fantastic. We ate them at every meal, including breakfast.

Sure they've got the big grocery stores with produce from every corner of the globe. But when I went into the little markets, I found bushels of locally grown fruits and veggies, delivered just that morning by a guy in a farm truck and muddy boots. This is very exciting for me.

I get off on dirty carrots.

Did she just say that?

I mean culinaryily speaking. Culinarily?

And here is another surprise: They have a knowledge of where their food comes from, unlike many in urban centers in the USA. I have a feeling it's because ladies like these grandmas walk among them and don't forget to educate—not just about the birds and bees—but of the potatoes and mushrooms as well:

Grandma? Is that you?
You know she's good at preserves.
When Christophe and I went for a walk in the local forest, I was told to forage for mushrooms. Now where I come from, we don't know which mushroom to throw in the sauce and which to throw in the potion. But Polish people know a thing or two about living off the land, especially during those bleak Communist periods.

After an hour of walking in the woods saying... "This one?" No. "How about this one?" No... I got the hang of what to look for and we came back with these creamy morsels:

On my return to Paris, I saw these selling for 25 Euro/kg.
I spoke with Christophe's brother about living in Poland under the pesky Communist regime, right next door to the USSR. He was young at the time, but mentioned that he remembers that the stores were filled with vinegar. Vinegar? Yes, because it's a basic ingredient from which you can make many foods from scratch.

And this education remains.

I was at the grocery store and they were selling what looked like a heap of weeds. "What is THAT?" I inquired.

"For pickles."

Ah, right. Yes, of course. All those bits we see floating around our pickles that we buy pre-made at the store. Here? When you grow your own cucumbers, you need the fixin's to make pickles.

Poland, like all modern societies, has it's share of imported food, but nary did I see a mealy, pink, blech-looking and even more blech-tasting tomato. Nope. They won't have it. They'd leave those stranded at the border before they'd let them be served up on the plates of the people.

There is also illegal local hooch of the vodka variety.

Now, I'm not saying I partook, but if I "did" partake, I'd probably notice that the first shot tastes a little like rubbing alcohol... and I think I know why. But the second shot "probably" tastes like a mild drunk grape... which is "probably" how I "would have" felt had I "partaken" in such activities.

And "perhaps" a bottle landed mysteriously in my suitcase on my way home.

"Burp."

All this reading and eating has made me want to grow an acre of my own produce and get all Martha Stewart about it, which is a strange thought for someone who has prided herself on her nomadic nature. But I can feel it in my toes, little roots wanting to grow right through my shoes and into my own acre of home.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Poland: My digital diet

My friendly travel companion before the storm.

If you get defensive about it, that's probably a clue that you're addicted.

I've been thinking a lot about taking a digital diet. Not spending so much time online. Not letting my eyes bug out over my new interest in Pinterest, Facebook and that old technology called electronic mail. And then there is the blog roll.

But I reasoned that it wasn't a problem. I could quit any time. I don't need a digital diet. Then I wondered why I was being so defensive about it inside my own head.

I did a digital diet for two reasons:
  1. Inspiration. I read about one on a blog I follow, though I can't remember which blog it is anymore. And after a few weeks of not reading my favorite blogs, wherever that posts was is now lost under heaps of other posts. Blog posts can be so temporary.
  2. Force. I went to a camp deep in the Polish countryside where there is plenty of wildlife but no WiFi. And I gave up my 3G back in June when AT&T screwed me over with roaming charges. Long story.
Before I left for the country, I downloaded Kindle for Mac and a few ebooks, so at least I'd get the fix of being able to be on my computer and click, even if it is just a few pages of a book. This resulted in a reawakening of my dormant dilemma: iPad vs Kindle.

I still don't know. Help me out here, people. Just. Tell. Me. Which. One.

Anyway, back to all this digital dieting. I'd like to say I had a profound experience during my time in the country. That my mind opened up to greater thoughts. That I was more relaxed. That I was able to commune with nature on a deeper level. Basically, I was wondering when this drug of dubious quality would kick in and I'd feel the high.

But instead of all this, I really understood why people emotionally eat. I didn't actually emotionally eat, but there were times when I wished I could check my email, knew I couldn't check my email, then wanted to stuff my face with Fun Dip.

There was no Fun Dip. There was just many kinds of sausage and a handful of tomatoes, which is just not the same thing so I just sat with wanting Fun Dip to distract from this digital diet.

So the Internet, I learned, is my Fun Dip. Note to self.

To whittle away time, I wrote in my journal, read books and I sat with my companions who did their best to translated what they could.

Time crawled. My skin crawled. It was all a bit much.

I also spent a lot of time practicing my pleasant resting face while I dug deeper into my seething inner world and tried to telepathically read my email. My outer and inner world didn't match. On the outer, I sat on the dock and dipped my feet in the water, sunbathed at the beach, laughed at jokes. On the inner, I missed my rich online life. It's like Avatar but without tails. 

Since I couldn't deal, part of my brain just shut down. My internal monologue turned down the volume, but not a peaceful, Buddhism-type way. It was a quiet like the sudden realization that the tour bus took off without you.

Now what do I do?

Kayaking, for starters. We went out on a wobbly little kayak for a few hours. On the way back to the dock, it started to rain. We were quite far out and going against the wind. My muscles strained as I paddled, but soon I got into the groove of Just get to the dock. A storm was brewing and it was headed our way.

When the muscles are fully engaged, the mind—trusting that it's no longer required in this moment—wanders off.

First, I imagined the worst case scenario—that Christophe would get struck by lightning and I would be rowing us ashore. I imagined the look on the faces of his family. His slumped body. Their dashed hopes. The funeral. Story done. The only light to this tragic end would be that he would have died during a really great part of his life. He's had a great summer hanging with his family in Poland and moi in Paris. We've had a good time.

Second, I wondered why the first thought wasn't that I got struck by lightning. I sheepishly admit that thinking about myself seems more like me. Sure it would be tragic, sad, plenty of tears, a lot of sad comments on my Facebook page...

And that got me mad again about not having Internet access!!!!!

We made it to shore, docked the kayak and ran for cover on the patio of a restaurant. Just then I turned to see a bird get struck by lightning mid-flight and fall to it's watery grave.

Yikes.

The storm continued through the night. I admit, that from the safety of the cabin, it was beautiful to witness the majesty of roaring thunder and cracking lightning. 

The next morning it was still raining and the mood was drab. There was discussion about going home a day early. I tried to look like I was weighing the pros and cons of leaving early. Finally, I said that yes, let's do it. Let's leave early.

Christophe looked at me. Arms crossed. "You miss the Internet."

I stare at him. He knows me so well.

I get defensive. No, it's because of the rain. It's cold. We don't want to get sick. Bla bla bla.

He holds his stance and his stare.

"Fine, I miss the Internet."

He turned and started packing. For someone who doesn't speak the same language as me, he sure was talking my language.

Two hours later, I was back at the house sitting pretty as I sat on the couch with the teenagers of the family, all of us silently surfing on our own computers.

Maybe I'll try another digital diet next year.

Or maybe not.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Poland: Glimpses


At grandma's house, I put cream in my coffee
It stays black
I reach for the sugar and a big spoon
I wonder how it will all go down

At the cemetery, the crows squawk loudly in the trees
Announcing that they are there
I smile up at them knowingly
When we pray, they soar overhead
Announcing that they heard


Words volley across the table
English translated by the German to the Polish family
Polish translated by the German to the English guest
After a few hours, I am like the dog who lies at my feet
And drop my ears

Square buildings that were once Communist same same same
Are painted bright pastel colors
To hide the grey history beneath
And satellite dishes hang out of windows
Like gramophones announcing the arrival of things


The tomatoes are pure garden delight
We eat and watch the news together
The teenage son translates that they approved GMO
I want to scream out No and tell them why
But I just hang my head and reach for a final tomato

There is a constant push and pull
A collective decision to choose bright over grey
With video games and smartphones and pastel paint
Then grandpa arrives midday, midweek
In a suit for coffee

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poland: Paintball

I'm not good with surprises.

Which is probably why when I showed up to meet Christophe's family in Poland, they told us that they had a surprise for us. They told us to show up the next day and wear "clothes for sport."

This already didn't sound like a good surprise.

But when you're a foreign country tag-along and you are flexing your be-a-good-sport muscle, you show up the next day with "clothes for sport" and pray to God that they aren't taking you to paintball.

Shit.
I'm smiling in the photo but I'm thinking, How did I get roped into this mess.

Here's how it goes. There are two teams and you all try to shoot each other with paintballs that hurt like hell. Imagine being hit with a marble that is hurled at you with an air gun.

The family is very friendly and gentle... off the field... but once they get out there, it's war. Mr. Gentle Christophe was the last to come in from the playing field and was happy to show off his paint blotched "gun shots."
007 in his element.
I, however, went through the motions, but I was pretty much psyched once I got shot and HAD to (got to) leave the playing field.
If I had to defend the country, we'd all be screwed.
Then there was the youngest player, Milena, who got shot by her brother and came off the field yelling something in Polish that I suspect went something like, "LUCAS [SOMETHING ABOUT BEING A BULLY AND SHOOTING HER TOO CLOSE IN THE HAND AND NOW IT HURTS REALLY BAD] LUCAS!!!!!! [MORE ABOUT HOW SHE WISHES SHE WERE NEVER BORN TO A FAMILY WITH OLDER BROTHERS WHO SUCK] LUCAS!!! [IS JUST A BAD HUMAN BEING AND NOW MY HAND HURTS AND IT IS NO GOOD TO BE ME RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF] LUCAS!!!!!!]

So I can understand Polish as well as a dog:
Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson. So good.
Lucas on the other hand was quite pleased with himself, as was his brother Conrad.
Boys with toys.
And after sitting out one game and getting the magical kiss-to-make-it-better from her mother, Milena WENT BACK OUT THERE.
Mother's kisses work wonders.
I took her injury as a warning to sit out the last few games. My hands are my moneymakers. Plus, getting shot at sucks.

Later at the hotel, Christophe pranced in front of the mirror in his undies admiring his welts while I scrounged through my bag looking for Advil for mine.
I'm smiling here because we are done.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I have an interest in Pinterest

Confession: I took the subject line from Craftwack who also wrote about Pinterest.

She apologized for the quirky headline, but it made me snort out loud, hence the stealing.

So I prefer to consider it more of an homage than stealing.
 

Anyway, I know what you're thinking: What the hell is Pinterest?

It's a website where you can easily post all your favorite photos that you find around the web.

See a neat craft idea for making your own scratch off lottery tickets on one site and a pinstriped pinafore dress on another? Pin them both in one place on your handy dandy Pinterest page.

How about cute upcycled felt hairpins on Etsy,
a vintage pinball machine,
a creative way to penny pinch,
a photo of kids pinning the tail on the donkey,
or pinstriped porch that makes you imagine sipping lemonade...

Post it all in one place like I did on my Pinterest page.

For vision board makers, it's a nice place to pin all your hopes and dreams in one place, too.

It's akin to clipping photos from magazines but it's more organized and weightless, which is important for my hard-to-pin-down nomadic One Suitcase lifestyle.

Pinterest isn't just interesting. It's addicting.

While my left brain is listening to DRY audio language lessons, my right brain can clip, pin and view pretty/funny/interesting JUICY photos.

What I like best about Pinterest is that I can feel the feelings of living in beautiful spaces or owning the pretty objects that make my teeth tingle without the cost, physical space and weight associated with these spaces or objects. The happiness flows through my system just like when I flip through a juicy magazine.

Here are a few examples from my Pinterest page:


Pretty upcycling from Brabourne Farm

Hilarious! Found on thechive
Dreaming of rain in this room from The Cottage Company of Harbor Springs

To sign up, go to Pinterest and request a pinvitation. Soon you'll surf the pinternet in a new way.

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Flexing the bliss muscle

Louvre fatigue. Happens to the best of us.
I've been in Paris awhile now.

Notre Dame Cathedral is the same on day 50 as it is on Day 1. The majesty remains but the awe fades. There are times I'm fighting my way through a pack of tourists and I miss the cathedral all together. That's when I stop myself and remember that I'm in PARIS.

I'm in charge of my gasps of awe.

For most of my life, I didn't dream of all the things girls usually dream about. Barbie clothes were hard to put on and take off and Cabbage Patch Kids creeped me out. But I dreamed of Paris. I dreamed of speaking French and of buying a baguette on the walk home. I dreamed of sitting in cafés like they do in postcards. I dreamed of walking around the Louvre and gazing at the Mona Lisa.

Cut to yesterday. Christophe and I go to the Louvre. I'm almost dragging him to the Mona Lisa to get it over with because there are crowds and I get panicked in crowds. He was pulling me back to look at the art before we got to the Mona Lisa. The rare, wonderful works of art that often get missed by people like me dragging their boyfriends to the Mona Lisa.

But I'd seen the Mona Lisa before and I was anxious to get to other parts of the museum. Once we arrived, I was dragging him though the crowd to see the most famous painting in the world. I was so focused on crowd penetration that I lost sight of the fact that I was in the presence of the the most famous painting in the world. 

At that point I sensed that 1) I was being annoying, and 2) I was in charge of my enthusiasm, and 3) I was walking through my dream right now so I'd better act like it. I'd better remember to gasp and feel lucky.

The last time I was at the Louvre, I was lonesome. And now I had this lovely man who is just wanting to hold my hand and look at some art. Instead of feeling lucky about it, I was in my stuff, trying to race through the crowd and not see what I came to see.

The greatest teachers are right in front of us.  

Along with the great artists who teach us that we can live great lives being artists, there was Christophe pulling me back to see what I was missing.

What I was missing was the present moment.

So I got all Eckhart Tolle with myself and decided to actively stay present. I took his lead. I put my English map in my pocket and let him lead us through the museum with his French map. It turns out he loves being the map person. I wouldn't have known this otherwise.

My heart stopped racing. I stopped sweating. I calmed down. I started to see more.

We came across a sword collection. I noticed when Christophe gasped at their beauty. Ah yes, one must remember to gasp, I told myself.

And in the Egyptian wing, when he stopped short at the hieroglyphics, I caught myself making a beeline for the mummy. I remembered to stay present. To not rush. I turned and came back to gaze at a beautiful and intricately illustrated story that I would have otherwise missed.

There were times though, that I couldn't muster enthusiasm for something that keenly interested him. That's when I started watching people. And that's when I took the photo shown above. Check out her hair, her mood, her green dress! This is the most beautiful photo of the day. And I would have missed it had I not stopped to take notice of what was right in front of me.

All this said, the Louvre is ginormous and there came a point where I could no longer flex my bliss muscle. So we left and grabbed lunch at a café. An hour later, we returned and marveled at the chandeliers in Napoleon's apartment.

It never occurred to me that you could leave the Louvre half way though. There is a line for ticket holders. You can walk right in. But this is Paris and Parisians will never let anything get in the way of lunchtime. I should have known.

So now I am trying to remember to gasp more. To muster the enthusiasm I had the first week. To see what I would have otherwise missed.

Look closer.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year

I'm not going to tell you to just drink more water.
It's the beginning of August. But right now, I want you to imagine the beginning of January 2012.

There are five months left of 2011. Five months is a good chunk of time to accomplish something big. Something huge. Something amazing.

Or something pretty mundane and typical, like losing weight.

It's all about math, really. Let me break it down for you.

One brick of butter is basically one pound of fat. So if you want to lose 20 pounds by Christmas, imagine wanting to lose 20 bricks of butter off your body.

Following? Good.

20 bricks of butter divided by 5 months equals 4 bricks of butter to lose each month.

Or if you're a mathy (I'm not) the equation looks like this:

20 ÷ 5 = 4

Simple stuff. So the goal is to lose 4 pounds each month, which is one brick of butter a week.

At this point, you are supposed to breath a sigh of relief because all you need to lose each week is one pound. This is the good news. Congratulations. And you're welcome for pointing this out.

But the news gets even better. I'm not even kidding. 

Now in order to lose this brick of butter, imagine slicing it into 7 equal chunks. You only need to concentrate on burning one chunk of butter each day.

How do you burn up this butter? Well, avoiding butter is a good start. But you know what you should and shouldn't eat. You've been at this game awhile now. You are aware that the extra glass of wine, the bits of bread you snack on at the restaurant and the chocolate mousse for dessert are all pretty good places to start. You also know that you can burn calories by a long walk or run.

Remember, you only have to deal with burning (or even just not consuming) that one pat of butter each day... a mere one seventh of your brick for the week.

Isn't that great news?

Now here's the bad news.

We don't do what we want to do, we only do what we do.

We may want to not eat the chocolate mousse but we eat it anyway.
We may want to not reach for the second glass of beer but we do anyway.
We may want to go for a long walk but we find ways to let the day go by without it.

This is where we lose it. And I'm not talking about the weight. I'm talking about the battle.

This is where we gained it in the first place so this is where we need to get all Jedi with ourselves. We need to go Zen. We need to go there.

People have had weird, illogical but totally understandable thoughts during the moments when they have a chance to burn this pat of butter. Thoughts like:
  • Whenever I can't eat what I want, I feel punished.
  • How will I maintain friendships if I don't go out for drinks? 
  • I'll look old if I get skinny.
  • I use my extra weight to bond with other women.
  • What if I get ill? I'll need the extra weight to get better.
  • If I don't worry about the weight, other worries will surface.
Sound familiar?

It does to me, too.

For me, it's a boring inner monologue. Barnacles in my brain that need to be dealt with either in therapy, in my journal or even on that long walk I don't want to take.

But imagine starting 2012 without the New Year's resolution to lose weight.

Imagine that. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Paris flea markets

I kept asking my friends to go with me to the Paris flea markets.

It was a unanimous and very clear "Non."

There were even a few "I hate flea markets," said in English so I'd understand.

Fine.

I consulted my Frommer's Paris 2010 guidebook that I bought for 2 Euro at the American Library book sale. Score. I found a flea market called Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves, which made me giggle because puces seemed like it sounded like a sexy word for one of my girl parts. I like finding the French words that  make my dirty English mind giggle. You may call this juvenile. I call it motivation.

According to the guide book, this is "The best flea market in Paris—dealers swear by it." The book also heeds a word of warning. "Asking prices tend to be high, as dealers prefer to sell to nontourists."

I'm not a tourist here in Paris right now but I sure look and sound like one. No matter. I threw my balls in my purse before I went and was prepared to strap them on an haggle like a Frenchie if I had to.

Turns out, there was no need. Why? Because there was nothing, absolutely nothing that would fit into my One Suitcase wardrobe. And the flea market was a Creepy Doll Parade (see below). Plus, I had concerns about actual fleas. Ick.

Old countries like Paris have a lot of bric-à-brac, which Wikipedia told me is a word of French origin. And now I know why. A lot of stuff can pile up when one has centuries of collecting in one place. Immigrants to the North America were the original One Suitcase people. And they, like me, had different priorities of what to schlep from place to place. I walked around taking photos on the sly. Because what will fit in my One Suitcase? Digital photos.

Despite not buying anything, it was great to walk around and learn about other cultures by what they sell at the flea market. In Canadian flea markets, you'll find plenty of Pyrex bowls, paintings of autumn scenes and Hudson's Bay Company blankets (which always made me itchy). In Paris, you'll find feathers, buttons and old wine bottles. All clues to the interests and priorities of a culture.

It seems the French are also into creepy dolls. I saw one little English girl who actually shriek and jump back when she came across a particularly horrifying doll. I'm sure that whoever created the Chuckie doll for that gawdawful horror flick found inspiration at a Paris flea market.

I wonder if this is why my friends didn't want to come to the flea market. It's starting to make sense to me now.

Some of the booths were quite lovely. And the happy chemicals in my brain start pumping whenever I find a pretty Farine, Sucre, Thé, Café set. As long as I keep a safe distance from the creepy dolls, I'm fine. But they do make for interesting photos...










































Around lunch time, the booth people would set up lunch on the tables and chairs they were selling. They even used the dishes they were selling. And wine glasses because there was no reason to not partake in libations during work hours. Oh the French. They know how to live. Check out the baby doll fooling with the goods. Creepy and bad mannered dolls.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...