Monday, October 31, 2005

Roundabout Halloween

I have taken back the reins. No more witching and bitching. No more talk about work. No more restraint or responsibility either. Right now I am fairing the pont. What’s that look for? Do I hear a “What you talkin' bout Willis??” I guess I should put a tattoo on my forehead as warning. Professional Franglaiser: Don’t try this it at home kids. For those not fluent in Franglais, Franglais may take one of three forms. The first is where you mix the languages together, cognizantly or not... randomly throw a French word (not synonym) into your English sentence or vice versa. The second form is where you take an English word and try to make it sound like it is French or vice versa. And the third form, which I demonstrated above, is where you take an idiomatic expression of one language and shift it into the other language. So that fairing the pont, what the fuck was that all about?? Well here in France we have religious holidays, even though in theory the country is not religious. Go figure. And the 1st of November is one of those. Halloween started as All Hallows Eve, and the next day was All Saints. You know devils and angels, heaven and hell; all that good stuff. Nowadays it is about the Americans wishing Halloween meant something abroad so they could rock a party with a state provided holiday for the hangover, and locals doing things like placing flowers on the graves of loved ones (which could or could not include Jim Morrison or Oscar Wilde at Père Lachaise). I hear you, I hear you- “BITCH what’s all that got to do with a pont?? What the hell is a pont??” Well now we start talking idiomatic phrases. First of all Babelfish will tell you that the word pont is French for bridge and "faire le pont" means to make a bridge. I would like to make clear as Bablefish is not the baby jesus of translators… I am not building a bridge. No, no- the French have this lovely phrase “faire le pont.” Faire le pont is a concept where in you “bridge” a day or two to connect a weekend with a holiday. This year Toussaint is on a Tuesday which means I could have my weekend, go to work on Monday and then show back up on Wednesday. Or I could buy myself a day of sanity and have me one long weekend. Dog knows I have needed this long weekend for a while. I have been fighting life, a cold and working like a slave to get ready for another work transition... So me, I am fairing the pont. A weekend without ANYTHING to do with work. A weekend in town. A weekend of regeneration. A weekend of catching up. A weekend of reflection. A weekend of action (rollerblading the Seine with friends). It is a 4 day weekend where I can do whatever I want, including sleep an extra hour due to that time change crap (I was raised in Arizona, the superior beings there ruled that there will be none of this time change fucking around with the body clock. So Tink still don’t get that bullshit). I knit (more on that in the next post). I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I recuperated a fair amount of necessary sleep (I am old, when I don’t sleep- seems I become crankier than normal :) I even celebrated Halloween. Which brings me to my experience living abroad. It is odd to see things from both sides of the looking glass. I often have to restrain myself from shouting FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT. The people that import American things DO NOT understand Halloween candy. They have brought over some bullshit version of Reeses Peanutbutter cups (which one CANNOT find here) much over priced caramel corn abounds and there are no Smarties or Candy Corn! It is a travesty… I KNOW!!! But fact stands that Halloween is on the decline in France. The French never really got the concept. I mean they show a Halloween special of a daily show (think Jeopardy type show)… on the 1st of November. According to TF1 statistics in 2000 it was at its height (70M euros) and this year it will be lucky to hit half that. Most adults have “come to the conclusion it is just a commercial holiday.” I guess it is, but to me it was always about the kids and candy (OH MY GOD WHAT I WOULDN’T DO FOR CANDY CORN!!!). I may be disappointed I am not dressing up for a Halloween party (my top three costumes of all time- a smurf, an oompa loompa, and following a trend I have done more than once as an adult… using a child’s costume and going as a sumo wrestler in the self-inflating suit) but beyond that I am thinking as an adult, it isn’t a bad trade off. Long holiday weekend, no Halloween. As a kid, I would have to say it sucks shit. I mean NO CANDY- the horrors!! Anyways- I am eating a rationed Reeses Peanutbutter Cup I had smuggled to Berlin for me. And I am wishing all of you a Happy Halloween. Bwahahahahaha


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