Friday, April 6, 2007

A Brit in Paris

Gareth Cartman, the British editor of the online magazine Paris Link, is leaving France after nearly 10 years as a resident of Paris.

As somewhat of a farewell gesture, he has a written a (as of this time) 5 part letter to France, Part 1: Awe, Part 2: Of Men & Women, Part 3: Work, Part 4: Politics, and Part 5: The Future, each segment chronicling his experiences on the unique aspects of French life. It certainly is worth the read if you have the time, and while incisive, Cartman is never overtly judgemental. His view on the future is not earth-shattering but nevertheless appealing; he expects positive change regardless of who wins the upcoming presidential election, but does expect France to suddenly turn upside down.

So the times, they are a-changing. But will life really change for the majority of French people? Probably not much. In the end, the weather will still be warm in the summer, wet in the winter; the wine will keep flowing and the cows and the goats will keep giving milk that makes the cheese, while the price of a baguette will rise by a few centimes each year - no more, no less. While French leaders appear to be edging towards Tony Blair and his cohorts, they still defend the very idea of being French, and coming from a country that has no idea of how to defend being itself - and appears all too willing to accept American culture above its own - that can only be welcomed.

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