One of the reasons I moved here is because it’s a bit backward. This isn’t a slight on Paris or France, it’s a compliment; I’m not saying its corrupt with a tinpot criminal justice system like Italy or anything, it just doesn’t bother with things like postcodes or the internet just yet. France didn’t really concern itself with passenger trains too much until the late 19th Century, and once people realised how useful they might actually be, they went completely batshit mental for them. I admire cocking a snook at technology and the like, until you realise it might actually transform your life, but how often does anything transform your life? Ask yourself: “Is it as good as coffee?” The answer will almost certainly be “non”.
There’s just far too much superfluity one is seemly perennially expected to become au fait with, and I’m afraid all that stuff can just bugger right off because I’m not excited in the least by it. Email, I’m on it. Compact discs are great, what’s the matter with everyone? I even like Instagram (or more to the point I’m obsessed with it at the moment actually). I thought when Facebook took it over it would become Pentagram, but just now its still as it was and I find myself snapping things with my phone every 38 seconds and manipulating colour so real life looks delightfully cartoonish while hopefully not getting killed in amongst the traffic not looking where I’m going.
What I draw a line at is websites that tell your friends what you’re listening to and apps that let others know where you’re flying or whether or not you’re shovelling curry up your own bum… The Mongolfier Brothers would turn in their collective grave (presuming they got buried together like Ant and Dec will). That shit can fuck the fuck right off.
That said, I had to wait in today for a bed that was meant to come yesterday – which is probably why I’m a bit sweary. I’d spent the morning loafing in Montparnasse unaware that I’d have to give over my afternoon to hanging around for delivery men again, which meant I was suddenly rushing up and down the Metro carrying boxes and bags and cushions, trying to get everything done in an hour and a half window. I made three panicked trips between Saint Germain and Oberkampf laden down with crap and made it there on time somehow for more waiting. Waity waity wait wait. And had I not popped downstairs and stuck my head around the door then the man would have driven off in his van with the bed still in the back for the second day in a row.
Cookers are rubbish here as well. They’re the size of microwaves and it takes approximately four days to bake a tray of spuds. This is a surprising turn of events for a country that prides itself on its culinary expertise and invented the word cuisine. That sort of thing is quite aggravating but I’m prepared to put up with it if it means it holds off the onslaught of modernity for modernities sake a little while longer. Or something.
Unfortunately we have to go back to England tonight. Just when I was becoming fluent! The Eurostar was booked ages ago when we had no idea I’d be living here already. It’s worked out to be a good opportunity to return and pick my stuff up, though there’s going to be a bit of a hiatus, a purgatorial ten days. As I live here now then I suppose I should pretend I’m going on holiday to a country where they’re so wowed by gimmickry they’ve forgotten the basics like making bread tasty.