Home > Everyday Life > I Have Had Enough!

I Have Had Enough!

Have I had enough of really good bread? Not at all. Have I had enough of the French mentality?  Not yet. Have I had enough of France?  Hell no!  Are you crazy? But I will tell you what I have had enough of . . . French weddings.  Instinctively your acute mind will ask but how many weddings have you gone to? None.  But before you put on that puzzled look, you have to re-phrase the question.  How many weddings have come to you? Too many! I declare.  Too many.  So many that I can’t take a nap anymore.

Ok, most of you know me as an urban boy mysteriously born of pastoral roots.  You also know that cities come with trash, dog poo, crowds and most importantly noise.  French cities are no exception to this rule.  In my apartment I have to acoustic pleasure of the following:

  • From the terrace:  the 30+ Air France flights taking off to Paris daily plus all the other international flights plus all the private jets of the filthy rich approaching Côte d’Azur International.
  • From the front window: the SNCF trains routinely carrying passengers off to Marseille plus the freight trains pulling in at the wee hours of the morning.
  • From my bedroom: the roar of the traffic along the famous promenade making my view of the ocean a silent movie.
The Agony of a French Wedding

The Agony of a French Wedding

Do I mind all this noise?  Not really. I have become use (numb) to it all.  It reminds me that we are all still alive and busy doing something.  In addition I can easily fade away to deep sleep with all this acoustic simulation.  Yet what does disrupt my quiet life are these wedding caravans.  It is a line of cars after the wedding parading around to the expected reception.  During this journey, all the cars just blare into their horns repeatedly like an automatic handgun.  They come out of no where like a swarm of bees.  This time of year most be peak season for weddings.  Back in July I heard this phenomenon for the first time and . . . I thought it was cute.  Oh look what the French do to celebrate a wedding! August died down because it is vacation season and if you had a wedding no one would show.  Now weddings are in full bloom.  I swear every 30 minutes another swarm of these blaring caravans arrive.  I believe I am getting hit hard because I am by the Promenade des Anglais and all the wedding couples want a view of sea.  I am really at a quandary of what to do with these . . . . people.

So you think I am all talk and a wimp? I happen to do a search on YouTube and sure enough, I have a video clip entitled French Wedding Nuisance .  So I dare you to click on the link and hear for yourself what I am living through.  The agony. It really can make you go for another slice of bread with brie and a glass of red wine.

I am not the only one getting frustrated. The States has done something again to agitate its allies of the European persuasion.  The US recently implemented a new tax on European travelers arriving at American borders.   What is this tax funding?  Advertising and marketing to further promote the USA as a great place to vacation.  So you are going to tax the guy who is arriving on vacation so that you can tell the other guy to come here on vacation? Interesting concept.  The European Union is now considering a similar tax on any American tourist arriving here.  Touché! Not sure why the US needs to worry about such tourism concerns now.  Current tourism indexes are putting the US as the #2 destination of choice and the most profitable [see Michael Barrett’s blog].  Oh, and who would be #1? I’m glad you asked, it is France.  Yes a tiny country slightly smaller than Texas attracts the most visitors each year. 🙂 I have heard on several occasions intense conversations on the variation of the French countryside.  Each region of France is truly unique and has its own identity.  I hope to fully explore these many faces myself in the near future.  Ironically this information sounds a little too familiar as if it is the . . . United States perhaps?  So what’s France’s edge? Probably sheer size as you don’t have to drive hours and hours to see another landscape.  A quick run down the autoroute in France and you are in a different world.  Plus you can’t forget the fact that France is simply older. 😉

Excuse me as I go shut my window, another wedding is coming . . . .

Categories: Everyday Life
  1. 5 October 2010 at 10:40 pm

    So glad to read all about your “travaille” to get into France. Enjoy the cheeses and all the weddings.

  2. Alexis
    5 October 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Well, living next to the 2nd biggest French airport has a noisy price. Think of those who live West of the airport, with airplanes flying over their houses. The worst day is probably when the Cannes Film Festival ends the same Sunday of the Monte-Carlo Formula 1 Grand Prix. It happenned this year.
    The overwhelming city noises motivate people to move out and live in the countryside / hills and enjoy the noise of nature like the cicadas (cigales).

    About the honking wedding convoys… I personally think it’s a stupid and noisy tradition, especially in the cities where there are already too much noise. In villages in the coutryside, that’s local animation.
    If you think September is the peak of the wedding season, wait until Spring time. June is the real peak in terms of number of weddings. I live 100 m from the City Hall, where couples get legally married before going to church (for those who want a catholic weeding). I have a direct view to the biggest church in my city. It’s not unusual to see 3 weddings in a row on a Saturday in June!
    You should see – I mean hear – a lot more driving on the Promenade des Anglais.

    I have seen a wedding convoys litterally blocking a 6-street intersection on purpose, with sober wedding guests getting out of theirs cars, jumping around and shouting like college students on Spring Break in Florida. Two weeks ago, there was a wedding convoy with 15+ big motorbikes (500cc) with roaring engine and burn-outs upon leaving the church!

    It’s interesting to know that the $14 ESTA fee to go to the US doesn’t apply to those who had already registered on ESTA prior to Sept 8 2010.
    To my knowledge, when you have to fill a “Travel Authorization” form and pay a fee to travel to a specific country, it’s called a visa.
    I, too, am concerned about the data protection. I’ve read that American citizen are concerned when their personal data is managed by foreign private companies. Any citizen sould be concerned when the government of a foreign country is holding private data, especially if we have no rectification right, nor control over where the data go and how it is being process…

    • London
      24 October 2010 at 12:38 pm

      The 15+ motorbikes had to be the worst! Thanks Alexis for your feedback, I value your insight. I hope we get to see each other again soon in 2012! (Where will you be for Noël?)

  3. Andrew Keenan
    6 October 2010 at 12:51 pm

    From where I sit Scott, you have it all in the palm of your hand. 🙂

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