I wasn’t sure I’d have anything to post today; however, early in the day one of our French employees informed me of the bombings in Brussels.  It was interesting to see the differences and similarities in response to the news in France vs. the US reaction to the Paris bombings.  While in both countries people watched the coverage for a brief time, the French seem to get back to life more quickly.  The subject clearly came up throughout the day in regards to co-workers and families being ok and employees in here from Belgium, who found themselves having to drive back to Brussels now; however, seeing the group having pleasant conversation over lunch, you’d never have known.  Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t appear that the French don’t care, but rather they are upset and yet understand worrying solves nothing.

I’ve often told people that the reason I continue to travel, including to places like Egypt or to Europe not long after the Paris bombings, is because the terrorists want us to be afraid.  They want to inspire fear and hatred.  They want to change our way of life.  Well, I refuse to let them and, if I did ever die traveling, at least I died doing something I love!  I refuse to let fear suck the enjoyment out of life and the French seem to have an attitude very similar to this – be upset in the moment, then move forward.

I was thinking some people from the US would read my blog, but wasn’t expecting others.  I appear to have a small number in Europe though, so Bonjour & Hallo to my European readers!  And even one Indian reader!

I again worked late tonight, but then made my way to the store (which closes at 7:30 PM every day, except Sunday) and found that, when people say shopping on Sunday morning is busy in France, they may be correct.  I had thought it was perhaps not quite right because the store seemed empty by US standards; however, it was a virtual ghost town this evening in comparison and I was able to wander about and find the things I needed quite easily.  Well, for the most part – after seeing virtually all bottles labeled with “shampooing” and basically nothing with the French word for conditioner, I started wondering frantically if French women had magical hair that did not require conditioning (!) before realizing that, just because “conditionneur” is the direct translation to French, does NOT mean that is what is actually used.  Rather, “après shampooing” (literally “after shampoo”) was on any number of bottles.

I will also note that in France, women must largely wax.  I say this because there were two types of shaving cream for women, a few chemical hair removers . . . and tons of different sorts of waxing kits to wax large areas at home yourself.

As I drove home from the store, I saw the other end of my street (a direction I had not been in yet) and turned there, only to come across this:

I’m sure the bridge is a relic of some bygone period, but it sure is cool looking!  It wasn’t clear if every part of this building was actually occupied, but some of it was!  I also took one more picture of the cottage view where I park my car . . . but note how narrow this space is!  Tomorrow I’ll get a good shot of the stone wall, gate and how tight of a squeeze it is!

I added fruit to my dinner tonight – best strawberries I’ve eaten in my life!  Smaller than the modified ones we have in the US, but WAY sweeter and more flavorful.  Reminded me of the wild strawberries that used to grow in my yard as a child.  Dear US food manufacturers – quit making our food taste worse by modifying it to grow easier!

Oh!  And actually one quick picture of me – Hello! . . . along with a story.  This is me sitting in my favorite spot in the house currently – when the house did not quickly warm up, I rearranged the furniture near one of the newly installed heaters and an outlet, then hauled an end table over there.  I now have my favorite little perch in the house, complete with duvet from an extra bed!

It is bedtime here in France, so au revoir (which sounds roughly like oar-vwah when pronounced correctly) for now!