Bastille Day 2008: This Is How We Do It

The Internets are abuzz with news, links and historical background for Bastille Day, the Frenchiest of all French holidays. It’s a celebration of the origins of the French tendency to want exactly the opposite of whatever their leaders want for them. Sometimes, they’re right. Other times, they’re just being contrary and should shut up.

It’s a beautiful day, so the French will head out to the beaches or to the mountains to frolic and picnic. Tonight, at least here in the south, an enormous amount of seafood will be grilled and eaten.

But for us expats, it’s just another day in paradise. So, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here – instead, I’ll give you an on-the-ground report of the holiday from Miss Expatria’s own point of view.

I woke up at the crack of 2PM. We didn’t get to bed ’til 2AM – we’re in the midst of an intense 24 Season 6 marathon – and I read until the wee hours. Insomnia is fun! I’m reading Barbara Walters’ memoir, which is fascinating.

Cal was already up and accosted me on the way to the bathroom, asking me to please find in my email a draft of a sales letter he wrote and sent to me to be proofed. Having lost my USB key in Rome this spring, we’re back to slogging through old projects and emails for drafts and samples until I have time to rebuild our archive.

I found it and sent it to him. Then I put away all the laundry that had dried overnight. Summertime laundry can almost make you forget about a winter spent with soggy clothes draped over every available surface for days on end.

Checking the news – it looks like Sarkozy and the army aren’t BFFs anymore. For sad! Unlike the rest of the French, the army’s problem with Sarkozy is NOT that he’s increased military presence around the world. Instead, they’re uneasy about his promise to close several garrisons; the fact that he called them “amateurs” after a soldier killed 17 civilians in Carcassonne durign a military “open day” probably didn’t help matters either. Little Niki must be longing for a vacation with Carla right about now. Come on, August!

After I finish this post, I’m going to work on a book I’m writing for a client about Air Jordans. Since I’m one of those nerds who love learning about things that are completely irrelevant to my life, I’m finding it to be an interesting project. Who knew?

Bastille Day being a major holiday here, everything is closed. EVERYTHING. Cal and I were aware of this of course, but neglected to stock up on provisions. So, at some point we’ll have to forage for food and cigs. This should take a while.

We’ll watch more episodes of 24, then head out to see the fireworks. We usually go up to the Guggenheim-looking parking garage at Halles Laissac, but last year our view was marred by the ensuing smoke, so we’ve been talking about getting closer this year.

After, we’ll go to the Vert Anglais. Of this I have no doubt – Cal didn’t go yesterday, so we’ll have to make an appearance before the staff sends out a search party. Cal’s friend Ed Ward is arriving today, and has requested our presence. Who am I to turn down one of the founders of SXSW?

3 thoughts on “Bastille Day 2008: This Is How We Do It

  1. I just looked up that story about Carcassonne. WOW. That is INSANELY “Amatuerish”.

    I like the military/political commentary. Keep it up. It sets your blog apart from other travel blogs…

  2. Darling! I was wondering what you did yesterday. The BF and I made a lovely summer vegetable gratin and drank a bottle of rose while listening to French pop music and sitting on the back porch. Quite lovely.

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