I have noticed how quickly I become picky and dissatisfied. My first spring here, I was fresh from drought-stricken California, amazed at and delighted by the drifts of daffodils that just popped up out of nowhere, with no supplemental irrigation. In this, my third spring here, eh, daffodils, whatever. Just King Als. I need to order some other varieties. And they were thrashed by the recent storms. I brought in a few; even shredded ones brighten a cloudy day. But they don’t thrill me like they used to.
I spent part of the morning at the prefecture, renewing my residence permit. My first year I was so pleased that I had more or less gamed the system. Folks in Paris dread this process, thanks to horrible waits, rude staff, arbitrary rules and all. Out here, the appointments happen spot on time and there is no hassle. Believe me, I am still pleased that I don’t renew my titre de séjour in Paris but why wasn’t the guy more friendly? I remember them being generally friendly. My friends have been teasing me, saying now that Trump is president, maybe I should apply for refugee status. This guy did not look to be in the mood for a joke, so I let it go. Still no hassle, for which I am still grateful. But where is that “welcome to France” vibe that I got used to? Does he think I voted for Trump? If so, maybe the joke would have gone well, after all.
Some things do still please me. All is not lost. One morning a couple of months ago I awoke to this little flood in my entry hall. My contractor did how much work without ever mentioning that oh, guess what, the front doors leaked like a sieve? How much? Over how many years? And he didn’t so much as throw in a little weatherstripping? So the floor was wet but I was steaming. Out with the old contractor, in with the new. Google to the rescue. The new guys are here today replacing these doors, sacred original fabric be damned. I think my new doors will withstand a hurricane. I hope never to find out.