Monday, October 16, 2006

Don't Worry, Be Happy or It's Only Money...
Pardon My French needs a new motto and she's taking suggestions

Yeah, the above two are too trite for my liking. First, the good news: the telephone is now working, and as far as we know we don't have to pay for the line repairs as they were exterior to our apartment. It seemed like magic, but in fact, it was the repairman from France Telecom. So, merci beaucoup, Mr. France Telecom repairman. I'm sorry I was grouchy earlier.

The wedding was great and we thought Brussels was beautiful. I generally love weddings, although there have been a couple of dark moments along the way. One memorable wedding this summer took place at a rented campground, so it was pretty cool except for the fact that no one thought to bring soap or toilet paper for the bathrooms. I think we all learned a lesson in planning ahead at that one.

Anyway, the bride and groom from this weekend are very artsy people and we had a beautiful location along with lots of good food and music. There were lots of special touches and entertaining speeches and for the most part, I understood people's various accents. I even got to say "nonante" a time or two, which is the Belgian French word for ninety. That part of the weekend was great.

The not-so-great part of our weekend involved a Twingo, a broken lock, and the loss of our stuff. On our way home, we stopped to buy chocolate for upcoming guests and have lunch, and when we got back to the car we noticed that it had been broken into and our suitcase and another bag were missing. I won't go into detail about all we have lost...most of it is just stuff, none of it covered by our all-risk coverage. I didn't realize at the time we signed up for insurance that our car would be broken into every year. We're two for two so far.

The weird part is that they left the most valuable thing in the car -- my husband's saxophone -- and they were also nice enough to leave my unfinished cross-stitch after taking it out of one of the bags they stole. I guess they just didn't like Winnie the Pooh. So, to be fair, they left two things that would have really hurt had they been taken. That sax is irreplacable and well, I've been working on that stupid cross-stitch for 3 years and I'm determined to finish it one day. There were other things in the suitcase that pose more of a problem, but we're handling it and I suppose everything will work out later on. Don't get me wrong -- there were things that I am really regretting the loss of (my favorite jewelry that my husband has bought piece by piece over the years, for instance) but now I've decided that I'm either going to wear it or leave it at home...I'll never pack stuff like that again. You live, you learn, as they say...but I don't want that as my motto, either, as it leaves a rather bitter taste in my mouth.

When I was in Japan, I remember reading about the oldest buddhist statue in the entire country having been destroyed by vandals. A complete random thing, I guess. The oldest nun at the nunnery (is that what I call it? I really don't know...) was interviewed, and she said something along the lines of, "Well, you know, everything is impermanent." She was in her upper nineties. At the time that really made an impression on me. I thought that if there were anyone in the world who loved that statue, it was probably that woman, but she had such a great attitude about it. In general, 90-year-old people tend to have great attitudes, though. I cut out the article so I need to dig around and see if I can find it again. I'm pretty sure it wasn't in the suitcase that was stolen, so that's a relief.

Come to think of it, "Everything's impermanent" is a pretty kick-butt motto. I think I'll keep it.


Pam said...

So sorry about the car theft! Is it odd that whoever did that actually 'sorted' through things? That is so creepy! (well, I can think of other words...)

I do like that motto!

angela said...

So sorry to hear about the car theft and strange to leave a valuable item like a saxophone.

Angela in Europe said...

Sounds horrible! Apparently breaking into cars is a pretty common thing in France that nobody really talks about. My friends car got broken into when we were in the south. It is such a terrible way to end a vacation, no matter how long it is.

Deb said...

Sorry to hear your car was broken into. We haven't had that happen to us (yet), though my MIL's car was scratched up by someone not too long ago.

Whomever did that to you will get theirs. What comes around, goes around. That is something I believe in!

Pardon My French said...

Thanks, everyone! I actually had another motto for a while, but I didn't want to put it in print because it was not very nice and involved a profanity or two. (I think as expats you can probably just about guess what it was...I'm sure we've all had our brief moments like those). I said it out loud in the shower the next morning as I was thinking about it, then felt ashamed since I'm going to be a mother and all.

Yeah, D., I hope karma will come back and get them. We were parked smack dab in broad daylight next to the biggest cathedral in Brussels on Sunday at noon. That's right...they stole from a church parking lot on the day of the cheeky is that?! I just hope someone will get some use out of what they took. The thought of them deciding it's all worthless and then chucking it is even more upsetting!

We still cannot get the locksmith to call us back and tell us when he's going to be able to make us new keys for the apartment and mailbox. *Sigh* Otherwise, we're about over the trauma.

Kim/Thomas said...

from my 12, almost 13 year old...."life is like a box of smelly markers....TAKE A WHIFF!"

how's that for a motto??

bcinfrance said...

I actually really like "Pardon My French" as a blog name -- I thought it was quite clever.

When we moved to Aveyron, one of the lowest-crime rate departments in France, we had our whole darn car stolen two weeks after arriving -- from in front of our house 18 km from Rodez! Talk about a welcome...