Thursday, October 28, 2010
Ok, made it to Charles deGaulle Airport with a minimum of inconvenience, with some very helpful folks along the way, and with enough time for a last blog post, cup of coffee and pain au chocolate!
Charles de Gaulle has had a facelift, at least in my neck of the woods of this enormous airport. I’ve been dropped into a bubble of affluence, cleanliness…dare I say efficiency?!
The law for retirement was passed yesterday, unblocking some of the gas distributors, and thus canceling some strikes. This week, in contrast to the first two weeks, the French seem less aggressive, less angry, at least in my little slice of perception. This is a vacation week in France, so folks are less likely to want to strike. In spite of the continuing strikes, the French seem happier than when I last left them.
In a bit more time, most likely, France will calm down even more, and enter winter with its focus on the holidays, the cold, and perhaps another strike or two around Christmas. This is the rhythm of life in France.
I leave filled to overflowing with amazement. It seemed that every encounter, each person I planned to see, was a divinely scheduled appointment. There were some meetings off the agenda of course, but equally if not more potent for their unexpectedness. I was able to make some connections I hoped for, others morphed into something else, and some new ones opened up.
And while I arrived feeling like a ‘stranger’ (as the French would put it), within two weeks I felt ‘back home.’ Language was flowing, cultural cues had emerged, and some of my favorite foods ingested.
It will all go underground again in a matter of minutes. I’m organizing my final photos while waiting for my flight, which is expected to be on time. Yes, life is good.