Thursday, July 08, 2010

A couple of posts about feet

Je ne sais pas sur quel pied danser...I don't know which foot to dance on.

Which actually means to not know how to react or which side to take, which decision to make with regards to someone or something.

I like it in French - it sounds just a little bit whimsical. And of course it calls up an image. French is good for that, colorful expressions that easily lend themselves to images. There's actually an adjective that means just that - imagé - colorful but not in the full-of-color way. You know what I mean.

Anyway, back to dancing on one foot. Or the other. I've been doing it lately. And while I love to dance, I'd like to stop.

Monday, July 05, 2010

And on the same day

I got a letter in the mail from the Ministry of the Interior. That's generally a bad sign, or at least it has been for me.

I live here legally of course. And I have provided France with two adorable little French (and American) citizens, so I don't usually worry about getting kicked out of the country or things like that. But you never know.

I opened the envelope with a certain amount of fear. And was considerably relieved when I saw that it was about the speeding ticket I got last October. As the car was still in the ex's name, it had taken them - with our help - this long to update the information about who was driving the car. Mind you, they cashed the 90€ check I wrote to them to pay for the fine months ago. Anyway, the letter was to inform me that it had been "revealed to them" (duh, the ex and I sent them a letter telling them I had been driving) that I had, in fact been driving the car and would lose a point from my driver's license. Which is fine, I now have 11 out of 12 remaining. And if I behave myself, I'll get that one back in a year. If I don't, it'll take me three years to get it back.

So as I read the letter, I thought, oh man, I've got to be really careful all the way until next July? Pain in the ... and then, the French administration amazed me. They started the year countdown from the time of they were told I was the driver. Not the day they sent me the letter. Which is shockingly efficient and fair. Two words I don't always associate with government agencies or ministries. I need to work on that.

When you see a '98 Punto driving carefully down the street from now until April 2011, you'll know it's me.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Drive on

I spent the day with the French administration.

First there was the whole car title thing. The car's been in my ex's name since we got it and I never bothered to get it switched over to mine after the divorce. But after a speeding ticket (oops) led to all sorts of administrative hassles, it became necessary. I had to provide all sorts of pieces of paper proving all sorts of things that they already know, given that it's the same building where I got my resident's card and my driver's license. But assuming any kind of interdepartmental communication would be silly of me. So I proved where I live and I proved that I have the right to live there and I proved that I'm divorced and I proved that the car was declared mine in the divorce. I also had to prove the car had passed inspection in the past six months. It had been eight months and inspections are actually valid for two years but I had to have it inspected again because the car was changing owners. Hoops! I love jumping through hoops. You might be thinking that all of this sounds like a lot of work for a '98 Fiat Punto. You would be right. So, a few hours and 141.50€ later (112 - inspection, 2.50 - title, 27 - license plates), I officially own the car I've been driving since 2003.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

That place

I went to see my acupuncturist this week. She did the stuff that acupuncturists do, felt all the pulses on each wrist, looked at my tongue, asked 20 questions. She sighed and let her hands fall to her side. She suggested I try to avoid weeks like last week. Or at least letting myself get into such a state after a week like last week. And she's right, of course. It's not what happens, it's the story we tell ourselves about what happens.

The ear tack wouldn't even help this time. Drastic measures.

There are really only two acupuncture points that I HATE having needled. Given how many there are, that's nothing. The first is Kidney1, which is in the middle of the sole of your foot. Hurts like hell. Seriously. And I never say that about acupuncture. I love acupuncture. The other, I discovered this week, is Governing Vessel 26. Which is about one third of the way towards your nose up from your lip, in the middle of that little groove. Which probably has an official name. It's an amazing point and stimulating it clears the senses and promotes resuscitation. Which I definitely needed.

It's also a beautiful point. With lovely acupuncture names. It's the first of thirteen Ghost Points. I have no idea what that means but I like the way it sounds. This point is also known as Ghost Palace or Water Channel. See what I mean? There's also a sweet story about that groove in French. It's said to be an angel's fingerprint, left when s/he gently presses a fingertip to a newborn's lips, to remind the baby not to reveal to the world the mysteries of the universe, which it is born knowing and learns to forget.

Lovely names and stories aside, given the pain that needle inflicted, I have vowed to no longer visit the state that led me to it.