The Old World
The New World
Las Vegas... my former playground! How I miss her!
What can be said of Las Vegas that has not been said before?
Her humble and infamous beginnings, the glitz and glamour, and the 24 hour accessibility of the finest of vices are located on a five mile stretch of road known throughout the world as ‘The Strip’. But for me, it was home.
Living in Las Vegas is like nothing and everything you can imagine.
The casino was my playground and gluttony was my best friend.
I indulged and revelled in the Las Vegas lifestyle with her blinking and blinding lights, the sweet music of the slot machines, the screams of winners at the craps table, the instant gratification, the concerts, the buffets, the shows, the discos, the shopping, the smoking, the constant noise, the drinking, the parties, and her overt opulence.
The propaganda of 'Sin City' delivered on the promise of a grand illusion, and I was a willing and active participant.
My daily life has flipped like a crêpe, burnt around the edges. The enormity of the move from bright lights to baguettes has left me feeling lost and confused, but the American in me does not comprehend failure. So, I play on French terms, which I find changes by the minute depending on where bread crumbs land.
I find the French are passionate about conversation and complaining, yet, from my point of view, they find it pointless to change, even if it could lead to a better situation.
When pointing this out, I have been greeted with the typical French sound of 'PFFT', which I have now figured out is a legitimate answer to any question. I was then told that I wouldn’t understand, because I’m American. I had no idea that being an American equals no comprehension. Thanks, France!
I also love - and find a bit bizarre - the different sound effects that the French sprinkle in their conversations.
For example: BOF! Pffft!! Ohhh la la! Huuuuhh!!
Please see the "How to Fake French" video below for clarification!
I, too, find myself producing these sound effects, and go so far as to act out words to carry on a conversation, much like a performing monkey.
The French seem to appreciate it I think, though I’m unsure if they are secretly poking fun at me.
France continues to teach me patience. I have discovered the fine art of ‘à la française’ and the importance of 'the experience.' I have fallen in love with the different approach to life, where it can be seen at any sidewalk café.
The French have conversations; they eat and smoke, they enjoy the moment, instead of allowing themselves to be distracted by their mobile phones or other devices that create isolation, like many Americans.
I recently met a gentleman, Laurent Gonzales, who discussed for more than half an hour a Calvado (apple brandy made in the North of France) or 'calva' as he called it, which had been distilled in the 1800s and which he 'had the privilege to drink' on a recent trip to Normandy.
Calvados, otherwise known as a "Calva"
He described the experience as if he had discovered Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Gonzales used his hands, like a maestro, to emphasize the perfection of the calva’s smoothness, its aroma, its colour, and how his taste buds exploded with pleasure. With his carefully chosen words, he had transported me to Normandy and I felt as if I had enjoyed the calva right alongside him.
Then he asked me a question which left me sad. "Do Americans drink wine?" Gonzales said.
"Yes," I answered, "but I think mostly on special occasions."
At that exact moment, I discovered the distinct difference between French and American cultures.
Americans drink wine for special occasions, while the French drink wine because every day is a special occasion. (or they are raging alcoholics)
Nonetheless, I have decided to allow France to reveal herself to me on her terms, and to remember that every day is a special occasion, even if it doesn't feel like one.
Now, I embrace and welcome the change, and above all the experience.
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...