Me: So, let’s see if you can count in French.
German Student: un, deux, trois, quatre, cunt…
So we took a small airplane that moved a lot and got to Ajaccio. Ajaccio, along with Bastia are the only places you could call cities in Corsica, the rest of it consists of a few houses that they call villages hanging from a very steep cliffs, all of it looking beautiful but very sleepy.
We were quite excited about seeing our new home for 8 days. The trailer. Le camping-car. Which was to be renamed Bernard-Le Camping-Car (it rhymes in French). Bernard was to take us around the island and we would be driving furiously along a transparent blue sea, playing very loud music, singing and let our hair flap in the breeze through the rolled down windows. I have no hair left and Favourite Mr. B decided to shave his completely before leaving so there couldn’t be any flapping in the end. Plus, each of us was convinced that someone else would bring the CDs so in the end there was no music. There was a radio but Corsica doesn’t seem to catch any radio program apart from its own, so we had to suffer through Corsican out-of-tune traditional chants throughout the week needless to say we never really listened to the radio. Continue reading
I kept on reading Rhino’s blog and often found comments from some Rob7534 guy. These comments consistently made me laugh hysterically. At that time, apart from Rhino and a couple of distant friend, nobody read my blog. Then one day, Rob7534 himself showed up on my Guest map and said something like Yay! It’s me!
Rob, a hilarious American guy from Chicago whose sense of humor has made us all wet our pants numbers of time has recorded his trips to Gay Camp in such a picturesque manner, his political rants that I don’t read till the end, his love affairs with 20 year-olds (which I read till the end), his genuine kindred and self-distance. I just like everything about this guy. Rob makes me happy, he makes me laugh and the fact that he does not take himself seriously makes him very charming and sexy. Rob has been a faithful visitor since then and I hope he stays a long time.
One morning, in November 2005, a guy named Reluctant Nomad showed up and said something like”so this is the famous frog with blog, if I weren’t so shy I would blush” in my comment box. This applied to a picture I had posted of myself while I was in London last year. The flirt that he is had hit right, compliments were to lead him everywhere. I became a huge fan of the site of this guy who lives in Nottingham UK although he’s from South Africa. His blog is a varied collection of anything from wild sexual encounters with English Hooligans to overviews of Botswana’s history. Nomad – or Alan in real life – is a gay man, married with two children. He struggles between staying in England where he finally could get a decent job that helped him support his family back in Cape Town and moving back to South Africa, where he truly belongs risking not to get a good job.
I discovered Ms. Mac through my never-ending reference in the blog world, Rob7534’s site. I started visiting her and absolutely loved her stuff. No one like her can talk about the simple things of the life of an Australian expat-family in Switzerland. A mother of three and the wife of a hunk, Ms mac tells us how spontaneously her kids talk to their parents and what crazy things they’ve gone through recently. Such as “Dad, was Mom hot when she was thin?”
I got so hooked on Ms. Mac that I decided that the woman just had to be my friend. And I tell you, the day this star blogger added me on her blogroll was the happiest day of my life since Wonder Woman came out on DVD.
One cold winter morning, as I was having breakfast touring my blog roll as usual, I went and checked out my new Swedish friend’s (Scandinaviannova) blog. Scandinaviannova has since then mysteriously disappeared from the surface into the blizzard of northern Sweden. There was a comment there from one crazy woman who swore a lot, talked about her time in jail, etc… well all that saying the rudest but deepest and funniest things at the same time. I’ve always liked such strong personalities and unusual people and was therefore most intrigued by this new character. Babs Bitchin’ was her name. I went to her blog and was thrilled as she both scared and impressed me. I got completely hooked on her, her life, adventures, her past, present, future. Little did I know what a fantastic, fun, generous, full of empathy, outgoing and smart ass soul I had found. Yes, you may claim otherwise if you want to, but one thing is sure: among all of you I found her first!
Since then, Long island’s fiercest bitch has both inspired me and made me wet my pants. I simply adore this woman and have to meet her one day.
Again, Keiran came to me through Rob7534. A 23 year old musician from London who writes songs and is so talented. You can listen to what he does if you’re clever enough to find it on his blog. It’s absolutely brilliant! Additionally, the guy’s a genuine francophile! So, a talented musician mixed with a francophile, how perfect can it be?
It started when a butterfly came from the east and flew over my blog. I don’t really know where she came from (apart from the east) or what it was, but I surely became captivated by her and her background. This Portuguese desperate-expat –housewife in Denmark who lived in various parts of the world until she met her Danish better-half in Eastern Africa. The rest is history. Imagine how terrified I was the day the Eastern Butterfly that she was disappeared and was nowhere to be found. Thankfully and thanks to my fabulous site meter (bless it!), I managed to track her again. The naughty girl had become the Coffee Addict, telling us how much she hates stupid people (the Bush administration is top of her list) or how hooked she is on coffee. There’s always been this mystery around Nyasha (as she became later). She gave so little about herself in her blog at first that I couldn’t resist asking her tons of questions. (The official “à la Nomad” interview is still on its way).
After having changed identity 300 times as she’s moved from country to country, the girl has now decided to move from Blogger to WordPress. Such a restless attitude in Bloglandia and in life makes her the Portuguese female version of myself. Behind the perfect face, the good education and the civilized personality hides a genuine fierce bitch, I can tell you. Can’t get any better!
Di, a woman of mystery, this fun mother from Virginia who loves Cyclists’ legs is a recent read of mine and an occasional commenter I am seriously keeping track of.
Ian Ivy Du Bois, a handicapped bitch in recovery, as he calls himself is a drama queen from Argentina who is going through a tough time but who always keeps on cracking a joke. I’m starting to be quite hooked on the character too. Vivi from Dispatches from France is another of these blog stars in France. A poor American woman who ended up near Troyes (shit hole where some of my folks live) makes the best of the situation by singing in the local choir and rant about the French. Whatalotoffun from Port-Elizabeth, South Africa is a beautiful (so she says, we’re still waiting for the pics) who unfortunately doesn’t understand how her home internet works and has therefore not posted anything for a while. I’ll be checking her out though as I love giving her a hard time.
Many thanks as well to Buddess, the travelling Beaver, Snooze, Chuck, Ms.Bees Knees, Gina, Lucy, Xmichra, Tom Gaylord, Mary B, Bloingo and Marieke for visiting. I’m surely forgetting plenty.
Last but not least, those of you who understand French are welcome to visit Marsoupiote‘s site. A school teacher’s memories who lives in the south of France and who also happens to be my Mom.
Please read Rob7534‘s very interesting post about why French people blog so much compared to our European neighbors and what kinds of blogs we usually write on this side of the Ocean compared to our English-speaking couterparts. Rob’s post reminded me of the little event I attended recently. Here it goes.
In late June, I attended my first blog reunion in Paris. What I thought would be some kind of trade fair about blogging, exchanging ideas, looking at new fancy tools to download videos and improve sound (and Lord knows I need it), was in fact just a get together for Parisian bloggers, who all know each-other, have communicated with each-other for years and have absolutely no interest in getting to know any new comer. Well, I must admit that I didn’t have any interest in getting to know any of them either as one quickly gets a complex when one overhears in the background two people say something like that: – Oh I was contacted by 3 publishers who want me to write a book out of my blog!
– Yes, me too. It’s just that they often offer lousy financial compensation. I usually say no to them
– My stats dropped from 17.000 readers per day to 15.000 last month. I’ve just been really busy at work lately and can’t post more than 3 entries per day.
If you go and visit the sites of the people who were present at the get-together, most of them blog about blogging. I’m not complaining, they all seem to be very professional and master technology like I never will, but their blogs are simply not interesting to me.
The reason I like blogging is simply to get to know other people’s daily lives, concerns, rants, love affairs, what they had for dinner and how they cooked itn whom they slept with and whom they hate today. I’m not too much into blogs that pretend to be a new version of bbc.com or cnn.com, i.e blogs that will give their version of world news and secretly hope that their blog will be your only link to the outside world.
While everyone was chatting, taking pictures of one-another, filming every conversation with their handy and most advanced little cameras, I stayed in my little end of the bar and sipped on the free Champagne and munched on the free snacks generously offered by the Internet operator that hosted the event.
During this little event, I realized that I’m totally disconnected with the Parisian French-speaking blog world. Firstly because I never visit French speaking blogs and secondly because my blog is a totally different ball-game, the game where I play fussball at a cheap diner while the big boys play the World cup in Germany. I have no idea who’s who and my new friend (the only person I talked to during the whole evening) was amazed to hear that I didn’t even know about this guy, who isone of the most read blogs in France with several thousands daily readers.
Another generalization my new friend and I came up with while observing the crowd (200 bloggers): Parisian Bloggers are geeks dressed in Armani suits, who all work in IT or Marketing, Young Urban Professional kind of style and most of them blog at work, as it is part of their job. Many earn money through their site, by hosting adverts or receiving donations and quite a few seem to have their blog as their sole source of income.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Me who naively thought that blogging was a hobby and a way to get to know other fun people around the world, I soon realized the financial objectives that many have and the lack of personality that most blogs have. By lack of personality, I mean, a blog in which you don’t necessarily get to know the person who writes it, a blog where the person’s life is not the main focus of the site. It feels more like reading a very professional and technically advanced company website or a written petition against this or that political decision.
And yes, I’m a little bit jealous of their command of the various tools. And yes, I’d like to be able to publish such nice videos as they do plus get hundreds of comments every day. But that’s all in theory because I know how freaked out I’d be if too many people read my blog and commented on it and asked me all sorts of questions etc… I can’t even find the time to comment on the comments that are left to me, so imagine. But I know what you’re thinking: Honey, don’t worry, this is not going to happen. You’ll never get that many readers. Your life is not THAT interesting.
Buggers, all of you…
I’m glad such blogs exist though but they’re simply not my kind of blogs, i.e the kind I enjoy reading. I prefer reading about the fate of my desperate expat-housewives, the nightly escapades of my gay fellows and the crazy recordings of my ex-prison inmates. That’s more my kind of blogging.
So the question was: Does Paris blog? Oh it does, more than ever. France is apparently the country in Europe with the highest amount of bloggers. Some say it’s because the French love to write and written expression is valued in this Country. I say it’s because we’re all completely self-absorbed and have such a hard-time communicating “live” that we prefer talking to ourselves (I mean to each-other) virtually.
Next year, I’m not going back.
My sweater is still orange and so is the future.