09 November 2006

Isn't jet lag wonderful?

I slept for 12 hours straight Monday night. Then Tuesday night I was up until nearly 3:00 a.m., but I slept until 10:00 (it's unheard of for me to stay in bed until so late in the day). Wednesday night I stayed up until 10:45, but I woke up at 12:30 a.m. despite having taken a Benadryl, which usually makes me sleep like a baby. So here I sit typing this at 2:30 a.m.

When I am awake, I'm in a fog. It is cloudy here most of the day, except for about 3 hours of sunshine in the afternoon. It gets dark at 5:00 p.m. or so. And it is so quiet! Nothing like the hustle and bustle of that month in the U.S., where traffic is horrendous and the parking lots are full and the stores are crowded.

On Tuesday I went shopping at Ed and there were eight cars in the parking lot. Wednesday afternoon I went to Intermarché and there weren't many cars there either. There were no lines at the butcher or deli counters, and there was no bousculade in the produce section. When I got to the check-out stands, one caissière was sitting there yawning, with nothing to do. She seemed happy to check me out, and was all smiles.

I guess I'm suffering from both jet lag and culture shock.


  1. When I return to the US from Europe, I have two overwhelming impressions: gazillion cars, and lots and lots of trash.

    As for jet lag, I had hoped it would get better with experience, but it's actually gotten worse. Hope you're sleeping right soon.

  2. The cars and parking lots really are impressive over there. The cars seemed like big boats floating around on wide expanses of asphalt or concrete. So many SUVs, and so many oversize pickup trucks everywhere. The parking lots are wider and flatter than the cornfields of Illinois.

    It's 6:00 pm and I just woke up from a deep sleep on the sofa. That won't help with the sleeping tonight. But I'm reading a good book (Jacques Pépin's The Apprentice) so being awake in the wee hours won't be a waste.

  3. Consumption, consumption, consumption...it's a wonder we enjoy any positive level of quality of life. I've been doing all my errands on foot because I can and I wanted to see if such an action could be sustained. I'm lucky to have basics within walking distance of my house. It is possible as long as you don't buy a case of soda or more than one bottle of wine (now that's a challenge!). Anyway, I feel more plugged into the neighborhood, though I suspect most people want to be plugged in only to their dwellings and that expanse of mall and parking lot. Absolutely fabulous seeing vous deux!

  4. Hey E.,

    While in N.C., I visited with an 84-year-old woman whose daughter went to high school with me. She said she had come to the conclusion that the American standard living is just too high. I think I agree with that, if you talk about material things.

    It was great to see you in D.C. You looked so good and I heard what you said about doing without a car and living differently, on foot, more simply. That's what we are trying to do here. Gardening. Cooking. Because we're in the country, we do drive, but sometimes we don't take the car out more than once a week. It helps that we have fresh bread delivered five days a week. The bread lady is one of the best things about living here. Come see us. Bises, Ken

  5. I certainly have enjoyed reading about your travels. I have several friends living in the Loire area..loved your photos. I do get there frequently, but not as lucky as you to live there..maybe someday.Cheers!

  6. Thanks, Jann. Nice to read you. I'm now getting back to the subject of this blog: France.

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