Monday, November 24, 2008

Wine, snow and the strike

It is now three weeks that I am on French soil. Thousands of miles far from my home I am trying to make life from scratch. Hostel hopping had been my moto all these years. But now I have to go looking for mundane stuff like appartment, grocery etc etc. Well thats part of life I have come to believe. I started my stay with a bottle of French wine, though it is widely believed that original French wines are no more and all the good Frnech wines trace their ancestery to Californian wines. Well its a different story, what I meant to say is, come to France and wine or `vin' in local dialect should be your starting point. For the last few weeks I have tasted quite a few wines mostly the very moderately priced ones. Only problem here, on the street very few people will understand anything other than French. Well so far so good, then came the snow. That is not so good for me. Though it seems quite exciting to stay in a area covered with snow but the accompanying cold and wet weather is sometimes extremely irritating. Especially when you have to travel to your lab or go to the shop to grab your grocery. I have yet to face the heavy snow nut the slight snow that I faced has sent shivers down my spine. The last thing new for me here is a French strike. I say a French strike because in India where I come from a strike means to cripple everything. If in the process a few people end up dead then it is a very successful strike. But here strikes are completely different. Say for instance the workers of the canteen where I have lunch daily were on strike on day. It is not that they did not prepare food, they did what was required of them, but outside the canteen they set up another stall serving sandwiches, coke and water free of cost to all those who support their demand and do not have food in the canteen. It was amazing to see how eagerly people were supporting their cause. There was also option of giving some voluntary donation for the food being served. Things like this may sound completely amazing or astonishing but then different people different culture.