It’s a new year

Selamat Tahun Baru,
あけましておめでとうございます。
Bonne Annee
Happy New Year 2019

All the wishes my husband has been writing on our 年賀状, new year cards, a tradition we adopted from Japan’s culture.
It’s 2nd day of January 2019, I am still waiting for the new Period name from Japan, as the emperor is changing…finally..this year.
So, where have I been since I last wrote…someday I felt like I have been to sooo many places, physically and emotionally, but some days, or rather most of the days, I still felt like I have been nowhere doing nothing..which is quite exaggerating to some extend.
But for sure we are no longer in Normandy.
Its a new continent for both of us, America. We are now exploring Quebec, Canada. The true meaning of Cold during Winter for me, the first city with snow… sometimes I wonder where did my sanity gone when I agree to coming here. I am afraid of snow.

Living in France have been a hell if not prison for me. I hate it very much…. don’t get me wrong, the country is beautiful, the food beyond words, my family there is the best, but the system, the bureaucracy…just not what I would call a working country, I have no surprise at all with current situation of ‘gilet jaune’.

Since my motivation is high lately, I am going to write more often. That’s a promise to myself.
Enjoy our snowman.

 

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Lisieux, Normandy

Do you know Saint Therese? I don’t. Will read about that. But last weekend we visited Lisieux Basilica that was built for Saint Therese. If you have seen the basilica in Mont Martre, you will be impressed of this one too. I didn’t expect it to be equally impressive as the one in Paris. And the fact that its in a small town of Lisieux, makes it all even greater. We didn’t went inside because we arrived right on time of the mass, and I didn’t want to be in the middle of the worshiper.  We spend around 1 hour sitting on a bench in front of it and walking around the basilica. You should walk up the hill behind it too. It was even better behind there because there were few sculpture showing religious event.

 

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Besides the basilica itself, Lisieux offers quite a good number of stops in the city center for a day trip. As usual, arriving in a new place in France, we always first stop at the tourist information center to get the walking map. I really recommend this, even with all the info you can get on the internet, a personalized advice from the local expert would make it all better. The best tip we got that day is to visit old quarter nearby Hotel de Ville, the town hall. Its line of old building which survived world war and in between there is a very good chocolate maker. I also loves their macaron.

 

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So we visited Basilica of Saint Therese, Saint Jacques Church, Jardin de L’eveche, Cathedrale Saint-Pierre and a very nice and reasonable price antique shop not so far away from the train station. I’ve also noticed that there is different type of light decoration hanging on every street, seems like from 2 December the whole town will be lively after the sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something to celebrate

We got a new toilet today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its something worth a fiesta in our household. After 2 months of suffering with the toilet that is not working we deserve a cake. You wouldn’t know how precious a working toilet is until you move in to a house that water from toilet is dripping at the back and travel between your flooring to the kitchen. Pardon me for sharing this disgusting details with you…but I agree its disgusting. Imagine coming home from a day in the park with pool of unknown water in your kitchen entrance and later figuring out that its from the toilet. Its just URGHHHHHHH….

 

We had to make at least 10 phone calls, and week after week, every Wednesday, someone, always from different company will come to check and prepare quotation for the house agent. Finally today its over. Finally…..

 

Ok, let me bitch just a little more…the guy was 1 hour late without any call, and eventually the door bell rang, he enter without sorry..and started checking the toilet. In between there were few phone calls, its personal business call…which in my understanding very unprofessional….

BUT…..2 hours later TADAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

 

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Catastrophe

There is no more butter in France!!!!!!!

 

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We were doing our monthly shopping and was quite shocked arriving at the butter section. Then of course we laugh like crazy….how can there be no butter in France. This is France we are talking about. French needs butter on everything, and France, moreover we are living in Normandy, produce lotssssss of milk. I saw lots of cow out there…..

 

We had the same experience in Japan, but well its Japan. Cow is only in Hokkaido. Plus Japanese rarely consume fat in general.

 

p/s: on our bus ride coming to Caen from Rouen, I was sooooo shocked to see sitting cow. I never saw cow sitting. Then we talk and come to a conclusion, I’ve never really saw cow doing cow things in my whole life.

 

 

Bayeux, Normandy

 

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Its Friday, we were rushing to attend celebration dinner of a colleague when he started talking about how this weekend is going to be a long weekend. Seems Monday is Sports Day holiday. I was quite annoyed that he didn’t mentioned it earlier, or else I would have plan something or somewhere. Well, we already planned to visit Bayeux on Saturday, but its just 15 minute train from Caen. I refuse to accept that trip as a weekend away from home. So, that night we rush home after the dinner and plan a long weekend involving short train trip to Bayeux and a longer one to Cherbourg. Will write that one down also.

 

What’s special about Bayeux? Its the Bayeux Tapestry. I have never heard about it before moving in to Caen.

a masterpiece made in the 11th century, is the only one of its kind in the world. Its in fact an embroidery produced on a linen cloth using a variety of coloured woolen yarns. Over 70 m long and 50 cm high, it tells the story of the Conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy and King of England.

 

However, personally I would visit Bayeux again and again because of its city center. Its a small city with lots of small lane full of beautiful old building. Moreover, we found a porcelain shop, on rue des cuisiniers, unfortunately was close that weekend. Definitely a motivation for me to go again.

 

Bayeux Marche was also on Saturday. Though it was quite a rush for us after the Bayeux Museum, we were able to buy cheese and some fruits, as we planned to have picnic for lunch. Honestly, I prefer market in Bayeux than Caen Sunday market. After lunch, we spent a little time walking around the city center as “Prix Bayeux-Calvados des correspondants de guerre” was going on before taking train to Cherbourg. It was a very nice afternoon.

 

* I found few picture of Bayeux Tapestry on Instagram, despite there were clear instruction of not to take picture of it. Its for the purpose of protecting longevity of the tapestry. I can’t understand how even for such great cause some people just couldn’t care. Some of the instagram post really shows how the person is more than proud going against the request.

 

7 October 2017

Voice it out loud

It was 10 Oct 2017, I knew it from all the flyers and pamphlet we saw all around the city since the week before… but I guess it just slip out when I was soo excited walking towards Abbaye aux Dames to explore the city on my own and walk in the rain.

 

It was my first hand experience of French demo. Its something about the relatively newly elected President. Emmanuel Macron.

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I didn’t thought its going to last that long. I had a hope that the tram will move after 1 hour or so since the demo started but ended up sitting at the station for almost 2 hours. It was mix of scared and excited.

 

I am scared because I was alone, not understanding what they were shouting, and not being able to tell them that I am with them, in the spirit of wanting a decent life.

 

I am excited because its my first time to see French demo, you always hear the story and jokes about how French loves to go on the street. The demo, at least the one I saw that day in Caen, was a gentle one. They were loud, but half of the people are singing and dancing. And I saw lots of smile in their face. They look so honest to me. Really wanting the change. They are far from just lazy bunch of people that don’t want to work and just bothering those having normal day sight seeing in the city center.

 

That spirit…to speak out loud, to share your thought…plays big role pushing me to start publishing my writing. It might be just a ramble to some people, but I believe that it could means an eye opener for some.

 

Honfleur, Normandy

Its the weekend before I travel back to Japan. Most people that know me was laughing..how I can’t get over Japan, or Japan seems can’t to let me go. But its not the time for me to talk about that. Its now about Normandy.

 

I saw the poster of big yacht coming to Le Harve from their trip around the world. Seems like a very interesting first trip around Normandy for us. Besides, Bus Vert is having special summer offer. Kill two birds with one stone. Unfortunately, the yacht is only arriving day after tomorrow, the day I am travelling to Paris. Therefore we settle for the small fishing village of Honfleur. It was a great decision.

 

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Well, I wish I had brought my camera despite the rain. We will need sometimes to get used to Normandy weather. Seems like we need to go there again for the picture.

Its a very lovely small village. Great for those who loves to enjoy cafe break in between little walk.

 

Honfleur, 30 August 2017

 

Hate speech is not a Free speech

IMG_9925I am sad, angry and scared…..I was attacked and ambush by an old lady at the Market.

“Why don’t you learn French?”

Just like that she pass me by dropping the harsh comment.

Does she knows me? No!!! I don’t think so..in fact I am sure she don’t. Because we never change even a single word.

So I run to find her and ask her “Why are you so rude?”

Her..”I am rude? No, I am concern. You have been here for months and months, in fact years and you don’t speak French”

Me..”How do you know how long have I been here? How do you know I am not learning French and push to study 20 hours of French per week?”

Her..”Why are you soo aggressive?”

Me…”Because you are sooo rude and have no respect for humanity…”

Her…”Oh you are sooo aggressive and I can’t even understand your English”

Me..”Oh I don’t understand your manner, you are sooo rude and thank you for showing me hope for humanity”

For me she is not just a random old lady…

For me she represents the government, the majority of French people, the bureaucracy…

She speaks out loud on behalf of those people who don’t even smile, don’t even acknowledge me. The person at the counter of a bank, supermarket, café, that can’t even say hello or thank you to me.

And my frustration is not just for me. But just thinking of what others felt. Those that born with darker colour. Those that really can’t afford education..those that can’t take thier passport and just walk away.

Its soooo sad. How a random, fragile looking old lady can be sooo harsh, sooo mean, sooooo harmful.

20 Oct 2017, 11:25AM

 

16:12 PM

I refuse to acknowledge her act as a Free Speech. She don’t even know me.

She don’t even care to know me…

AND I didn’t even at any point of my life tried to be within her private space.

It’s just a plain HATE speech.

Is it her frustration towards other people..and today she saw me…small Asian woman..and gaves her the will…thinking that she is SUPERIOR of me. That I can’t harm her…and she could just GET AWAY with her act?

No..I am not going to let you walk away and feels like you are a WINNER to speak out your rotten mind…

I am sorry OLD LADY…

I am a native of MALAY, ENGLISH, High level of master in JAPANESE..I read and write ARABIC.

And I have been going to French class, learning French for the past 1.5 years.

So mind me..but you are just plain RUDE old lady.

I have no respect or what so ever of you..You can call me any name you want to call me…you are the one that walk into my private space!!!!

First blog post

So I have been wanting, thinking, feeling the urge…to write, to share, to put my thought into words for years…. But its been postponed, delayed, canceled soo many times. For the fear and uncertainty of – I am not a good writer; I don’t know how to write; my final products will be boring. But today, I am going to put all that aside and just start writing, for my self…recently I just realize that its all about practice, so today I will start with the hope that one day…be another year, another decade, even if it took  more than that I won’t be panic because the main point is to keep practicing..like they always say..Its the Journey that matters.

written on 12 January 2017, 9:39PM

and tomorrow, 21 Oct 2017..I am again 17…as what my late abah told me on the same date few years ago…I am always his Sweet Seventeen daughter