Friday, July 28, 2006

NYC French consulate

We are still in the states. We fly out on Aug 2nd. So, I will post this picture from our house hunting trip. This is the coast of the Mediterranean sea that's around the corner from our house. I snapped this shot quickly while we were with our real estate agent. I definitely want to return and shoot this area with some "artistic consideration."

Yesterday we went to the French consulate in NYC for our visas. This was an experience.
I always count on my wife's wisdom when dealing with people and she long ago taught me the 24 hour rule. Which is when your upset with someone or something and want to lash out either verbally or via a note give yourself 24 hours to think about what you want to say. So, it's been 24 hours since we got back to our home in upstate New York So here is what I want to say:

We had our paperwork in order at the consulate window which we were very happy about and told the man so. He said "don't thank me yet because I have to interview you and you probably will leave here angry with me". When we went back in the office for the interview this is what I think happened and this is in retrospect because, yesterday I would have said something different. I think the guy tried to get me upset to see is if I had anger management issues. Do you think that's possible? Do you think the French consulate is that Machiavellian? He seemed like a decent guy at the window but turned "bad cop" in the interview. Luckily, I'm a pretty tolerant guy and must have passed his test. So, I'm going to chalk it up as a "procedural step" and put it aside.

I suppose if I step outside myself and put myself in the position of screening people to enter my country I would probably want to know if the person was the type to to come across my desk at my jugular if I roughed him/her up a bit. Is that mature of me? I like to think so. Yesterday my post would have contained words like "jerk" and "@#$&%." So remember, 24 hours. We got our visas.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

There are palms.

This is one of the many side streets in the center of Montpellier. I added this photo because people usually don't associate France and palm trees. There are many palm trees in south France. I'm told that occasionally it dips below freezing in the wintertime but I guess not enough to kill the palms. What?. .No, I was taking a picture of the palm trees not the girls. . .Really, I was. . . .Don't go there.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Our house, is a very very very fine house.

This is the house we found. It had a 'Carlos Castaneda' quality to it. We found our "spot."
It has an olive tree in the front yard. I want to offer a branch to everybody.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A few initial observations about south France

We were there for a couple weeks to get settled into work and look for a house. Here's few things I noticed

1.The Streets are very narrow.

It would be physically impossible to drive an SUV on these streets. Even with the tiny cars that they drive you have to sometimes allow another driver to exit a street before you enter. Tiny cars are good because gas prices are astronomical.

2. There are beautiful trees (sycamores, I think) that line the streets.

I'm told. . And I can't verify if its true. Napoleon had them planted so his troops had shade.
Now there's a leader. Maybe they had no shade trees in Belgium (Waterloo.) Maybe the poor guy lost his final battle because the sun was in his eyes.

3. They had neat little old cars.

This is a Citroen, I have no idea what year. I saw a number of them while I was over there.
I thought they were the neatest looking vehicle. I kept telling my wife I was going to buy one and have it shipped home. She laughed the first time I said it and then less so as I continued to repeat it. Now I think she's scared that I'm not kidding. I am.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Welcome! Bienvenue!

Hi. My hobby is photography. I have been doing it a while now and enjoy it.
Do I have any talent you ask? . . .don’t know, not sure. Like I said it’s a hobby and I enjoy it. . .key words being “hobby” and “enjoy.” I’ve been keeping a photoblog for a little over a year which is called ‘Photography and thoughts.’ Please visit if you like.
My wife and I work at a large corporation and we just received a two year assignment
In Montpellier France which is on the Mediterranean coast between Spain and Italy. What a horrible thing to happen to a photographer! We’ve already flown
Out and rented a house which has a bike path out front that leads to the beach. Now we’re back in the U.S. closing things up. We will be flying out for our two year assignment in a week I am excited and anxious but also exhausted. The paperwork
Involved was phenomenal. Between the United States government, the French government and our corporation I have filled out thousands of forms and scanned my birth certificate, my high school diploma, my honorable discharge from the service and my marriage certificate. All were filed in triplicate and mailed to different places.
Since we first got this assignment I have been undecided about whether to just continue on with the photoblog I already have or begin a new French one. What I decided to do is start a new one which I will use as a photo-journal of my adventure and use my other one “Photography and thoughts” as a gallery for my better photos.

Welcome! Bienvenue!