Joie de vivre
Here is The Bean in a bag. A Bean bag if you will. She looks so full of life, so vibrant. Which she is. A positive ball of energy madly running around nose to the ground sucking up whatever scents are assaulting her snout with a joie de vivre that leaves us breathless much of the time. This particular day was excessively hot so we popped her in a handbag to save her overheated, fatigued legs. We are careful of this Bean.
Last September we made the trip from home in the Cantal to Paris (about five and a half hours by car). I had an appointment with the US Embassy and in deference to my tense disposition at the thought of the impending Green Card interview, my husband booked us into our favourite Hotel des Dames du Pantheon. We have stayed before and The Bean is treated like royalty and always referred to by name by the excellent and delightful fully multi-lingual staff. As ever we were given a room with a ‘vue impenetrable’ of the Pantheon in all it’s beauteous glory. I had an appointment with an Embassy endorsed physician (there are two of them in Paris) for my medical. I was nervous. I’m not very good at medical for me. During my morning away being examined by this charming Irishman, having chest X-rays and blood tests and vaccinations for things I have never heard of and am sure I certainly don’t want to be acquainted with, The Bean reclined regally in our room. She had taken the air of the Cinquieme Arrondissement before breakfast, enjoyed a little smackerel of brekkie stashed in a napkin and smuggled back to the room for her delectation and was entirely happy to be fully relaxed and generally recumbant. In the afternoon we walked. She doesn’t get to run much off the lead in Paris but people are largely very dog-friendly and she is always happy to take a petit café an apero or better still, a meal with us because folk have a habit of slipping her a pat and a morcel of something nice.
The following day we made our way by car (which had hitherto been parked in the underground carpark nearest the hotel) to the Place de la Concorde. We were a little late out of the starting gate and had to be at the Embassy promptly at One to get through security. These were our emphatic and clear instructions and we did not want to put a foot wrong. We had about 49 minutes to park the car,sneak a quick lunch, return to the car to deposit dog and get in line for the main event. Lunch would need to be somewhere around Fauberg St Honoré which runs along the back of the Embassy and about 5 minutes walk from the car. We hot-footed it, taking lengthy and rapid strides towards our goal of a likely lunchery. The street is fairly narrow and we were stuck behind a posse of rather bulky people walking excessively slowly. So I put my foot on the imaginary throttle and powered past, The Bean (the Athletic Bean as she perceives herself) gambolled along behind me. It must be noted that I was at this point in my life uptight to boil-over point. We had been waiting for two years for this moment, jumping through a seemingly endless series of hoops and I had absolutely no idea what questions I was going to be asked. It is rather akin to being asked to interview for a job but with no job description to guide the prep. As I passed the entourage a woman’s voice rang and twang in my ears ‘oh that poor little thing being dragged and choked near to death’. I snapped. The world slowed down as I span round like Wonderwoman and eyes flashing squared up to the offender. ‘She is neither dragged nor choked so I suggest you SHUT UP!’ I spat – my clipped, polished and perfectly enunciated English worthy of Maggie Smith at her most pithy. The woman was clearly appalled at this deranged firebrand addressing her. I imagine she had assumed I was French. Assume as my youngest daughter reminds us makes an ASS out of U and Me. For my own part I have only just recovered my equilibrium, so livid was I at the unjustness of the flung accusation. It was only as I glided on my way, sure in the knowledge that I had put that wench squarely in her place, that it occurred to me. She being American and in the street that runs down one side of the Embassy building that she might, might easily be the same person who would interview me for the fabled Green Card that very afternoon …. mercifully this was not to be an occasion to add to my overstuffed portfolio of ‘oh bugger’ moments. If she is on the Embassy staff she at least wasn’t confronted by me twice that day. But not for the first time, I wished I was that person who has the ability to just waft by situations. Lunch did not slip down easily as the lump in my throat expanded. The Bean, yet again was the winner …. she rather likes saumon fumé au fromage frais de chêvre though I believe she was less than enamoured of the salade.
PS: I post this in response to the Daily Press Weekly Photo Challenge entitled Vibrant. For me vibrancy is about a state of being not simply about vivid colour (though that is a reasonable interpretation of the word and many have quite brilliantly here) and The Cruelly Treated Bean is vibrancy incarnate.
Bean is bon! (I can’t help parading my elementary school French on your posts!) did she go to the interview with you?
I love your French comments … they make me smile 🙂 She didn’t get to enter the Embassy and instead stayed in the car which made me even more nervous but it was the only option because my husband needed to attend with me as the US Citizen. When I got back to the car full of anxiety she was fully chilled and ready to take a turn round Place de la Concorde (after coffee and cake, of course 😉 )
It sounds like dogs – and their people – have a very nice life in France.
Certainly in my area people love dogs and are very understanding and tolerant of them. She is quite cute which helps her cause though 🙂
Sadly, when I read “bulky posse, moving extremely slowly, blocking the way, I was sure it was american tourists.. Wasn’t, the posse blocking the way slowly moving.. The bulky is what made me think american.. But I will say that rude tourists come from every nation and the rude ones stick out like a sore thumb.. Like standing in a group blocking a sidewalk or or ordering line..
I’ve been behind groups of them speaking every language I think.. Tourists in general are rude, I think in part because they spent and are spending currency and feel entitled to saunter and dally and speak as they please.. They act as if they rented all public and private places, instead of just their accommodations..
Outside of the U.S. I’ve only been to Canada and Mexico, I try to be polite in the way polite is expressed there.. Even in the U.S., different regions have slightly different manners..
The Bean bag is very fashionable 😉
But you’d better be careful, those peta people are everywhere and they’d probably throw dog poo at you for the suffering of the poor Bean in the bag.. 😨
Feeling a little snarky about americans today? 😀
English tourists are worse actually. Quite shaming when they are abroad. 🙁
You are absolutely right about the rudeness of the average tourist … it’s the same everywhere and I always try to remember that I am the guest and the one needing to show politeness and respect. These were Americans but I only flag the fact because it fits the story (trying to get a green card and bites at an American right outside the US Embassy – hmmm whose the not clever one today?!!) As for Peta …. they can sling all the dog muck they like at me – The Bean would doubtless bite them!!
Oh yes, the irony of them being american wasn’t lost on me.. I was surprised that in your state of mind in the moment, you didn’t take it as an omen and run back home 😂
But I’m glad you didn’t 💛
The Bean biting peta, good doggie 😊
There are many, but not enough, good animal activists and shelters.. But as far as a national or global group, no.. Children and Animals are the most vulnerable and defenseless in this world.. Yet the most under represented.. We hear alot of news and efforts but the laws, enforcement and penalties are trivial compared to the crimes committed against these innocents.. Nothing makes me angrier then some rat bastard pig abusing a child or animal..
We are on the same page in the same book. I would have no hesitation in seriously damaging anyone I saw hurting a child or an animal. People who half the defenseless should quite simply be made to endure whatever they have inflicted on their victim. Try living in a house with no food or water and eating your own excrement because there is nothing else for example. And no term to the sentence either – just as long as it takes. Of course I am branded a nutter for thinking this way but I am not – I am wholly sane and reasonable. I just lose it when animals and children are concerned. I do what I can but it is no-where near enough … people need to wake up and take a stand. You should find Susie Kelly in my followers list … she is ardantly anti animal cruelty and also happens to write excellent travel books. Better still – here she is https://nodamnblog.wordpress.com/ you need to forage around a bit but there are some really good pieces about animal cruelty.
PS can I steal ‘rat bastard pig’ please … I love this label 🙂
I will click the link, thank you..
Yes you may steal rat bastard pig..
You may also steal asswipe, as it is one word that is complete in it’s description for some ppl..
Duly swiped, thank you 🙂
Oh by the way – the bag is my daughters …. she and I were having lunch in Rocamadour in the Lot on a boiling day and The Bean was struggling with the hot narrow streets packed with tourists 😉
Such a happy look on the The Beans face. love your description of Vibrant – fits so well.
Thank you Claudette – I’m now working on my Emotograph for posting later today 🙂
Yay, I just read it and it was great. Hope is a wonderful thing to nourish and nurture.
Sadness should always be followed by hope because without hope we might as well stand still and surrender 🙂
Great story and lovely piccy. Of all the loud-mouthed ignorant tourists you’ll have to go far to beat the Brits – they can be truly appalling when off the Island. Are you going to tell us what happened at the interview or is it top secret? Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! And absolutely agreed over British tourists …. the absolute nadire of visitors pretty much anywhere in the world. I walk the other way if I hear an English voice in my neck of the French woods 😉 I’m here in the US for most of the year which will give you a clue as to what happened at interview 🙂 There is more and that will be written but the main thing the absolute main thing is that I am here with my Boston Bean (oh, and Two Brains, of course)!
Love the pic. She looks great (love her smile) and why not?
I think I’d be more vibrant if I had her diet and lifestyle!
I’d be more vibrant too, if I did! She’s a honey and has been my lifeline and actually at risk of being ridiculously whimsical, I am convinced she takes her responsibility very seriously (when not feasting and being fêted, that is)
She looks to have attained Near Nirvana in that bag!
I always imagine her on foot, so please shield her eyes from my “Chilled to the bone ” post that she might deem to be casting the odd unwitting aspersion her way.
She is generally on foot …. my daughter and I were in Rocamadour on a blistering hot day and there were oodles of boodles of tourists (as ever there in summer) which was making it a struggle so we popped her in daughters useful Zara bucket. She certainly enjoyed the ride – little tart! I will ensure she is not looking over my shoulder when reading your post 😉
I never actually thought her to be so teeny. The large personality and lack of reference points to size fooled me into thinking she wouldn’t fit in a bag!
She believes she is large, witness the number of times she hurtles towards a normal sized dog hurling abuse, back-fur up in a fin and tail hooked fiercely only to realise as she gets closer that the foe has suddenly grown to the size of King Kong. She will then wheel round and swagger back with an expression that reads ‘It’s all under control … I’ve sorted it – it won’t be any further trouble to you’. It’s entertaining 🙂
What I always pick up on in your adventurous stories is your sense of humor. “Bean” is such an affectionate name. This is the first time I’ve been without an animal to “buddy up with” in a long time.
I want to ask you, out of respect for your comfort zone, would it be alright to run this story in my animal right’s category? An animal’s right to comfort IS written in stone.
Of course you can …. I’d be honoured. I can’t imagine life without her and he is the latest in a long line of dogs (and cats). She is eight years old now and when she came to me I had 5 others – 2 rescued from the shelter and 1 fostered in addition to my non-barking labrador and my daughter’s pug X. The pug lives but all the others have passed now. I can’t wait to be more settled because as my daughters will tell you – mummy will fill the house with dogs that need homes!
I do so love said Bean. Archie and I are definitely looking forward to making her acquaintance when we put the charm offensive into practice in Springtime in Ardington….
So long as you aren’t humming those words to the melody of ‘Springtime for Hitler’ from The Producers, I’m with you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmYIo7bcUw …. The Bean is very much looking forward to saying ‘pleased to meat sorry meet you’ too 😀
Oh Mel Brooks!
A wonderful image…
In my top ten EVER films and his version so much better than the re-make. I’ve been strutting round singing the song all day – thank goodness the neighbours are quite far apart here!
Try singing under your breath perhaps…. 😉
‘Bean’ – What an awesome and apt name…Cheers!
And right now she is The Boston Bean 😉
You know, as I think on it, I’ve never met a rude Guyanese or Kenyan.. Everyone I’ve met from those two countries have always been polite and kind.. Those two countries are the only two that I can say that about, though I’ve met people from many countries visiting or on a visa here that have been nothing but a pleasure to meet.. A man from Saudi Arabia really stands out in memory.. I was getting ready to make chicken and potatoes with a tossed salad and asked if he’d like to share in my meal.. Oh he did and he made the salad he said was how his country prepared it.. Everything was just about minced and it was delicious !!! It was almost hypnotic to watch him deftly dice it all with my veggie knife.. Oh I wish I could do that as well.. I’d throw out the food chopper if I could.. So I guess I’m saying, a few bad tourists give every country a bad name..
You are so right …. sadly as a race we tend to focus on the bad apples but in reality I find most people, wherever they are from to be delightful. And it is one of the joys of travelling be that to another country or just to another village that one has the opportunity to interact with others. I love this story of the Saudi gentleman – I would have love to have witnessed those knife skills (something I do NOT possess except in my dreams) ….
I’ve heard that if a person concentrates only on the behaviors and problems of others, it could be an indication of their unwillingness to look at their own behaviors and problems. I’ve done that. Not a good place to be.
FYI: There’s an organization called Children’s Rights that focus only on representing children in court, changing and amending laws to benefit the children. Main office is in N.Y. Their track record is great.
Me either, if I tried that, I’d have you in stitches reading a story of my stitches
And he was pleasant to share a meal with, his conversation was easy and interesting.. Since the time I could comprehend the intricacies of relationships and motivations, I’ve not yet comprehended what motivates human nature to be so selfish, even though I’m a guilty human as well.. Sure, there’s greed and ego yada yada yada.. But, considering the consequences of what drives us, you’d think the “most intelligent” species on earth would learn its more productive individually and as a species, to get along in peace with each other and nature.. 😕
If we would, there would be more of those meals shared in beautiful surroundings..
AND there would be no bad tourists or peta !!!
Say yes to that dream 🙂
😄 You and Jane really bring out my voice..
I’m so grateful to the introduction to Jane …. she is hugely inspiring, provoking and productive. She gets my mental juices flowing and I love that 🙂
Petit café, Saumon fumé – now there’s a discerning aristocratic animal. Now wonder you love your Bean so much. Clearly the interview was successful and they let you in. When do you go back to France?
I return to France at the end of next month for a week or so and then onto England for another week or two. Then back here. I’ll be repeating the pattern til the end of October I think and then the idea is that we will be in Grenoble for 6 months so I may have to finally say goodbye to my beloved rental apartment – meantime business as usual …. still searching for the perfect maison principale and still wrestling with Maison Carrée but with the added frisson of distance 🙂
‘Bean’ is quite the cutie! So how was the interview? Great post, I enjoyed reading it. 🙂
She is … mostly! Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 The interview? Well, I’m here but of course, being a storyteller that is not the end of it. For now The Boston Bean and I are able to live with my husband for the first time in our married life and we are safe til the end of October. Hopefully the rest of the story will be complete by then 😉
Very good, I am glad to hear that. I look forward to the rest of the story! 🙂
It’ll come along the way 🙂
The Bean looks very satisfied in that bag…in an earlier era she might have been approaching the American Embassy in a sedan chair with the same expression of unconcerned entitlement.
Tourists? We see – or are aware of-mostly Americans here…dressed for the beach or imitating Crocodile Dundee as they take coffee in the classic splendours of the Teatro Nacional…
She was in Rocamadour and being rather low slung the combination of intense heat and massed tourists was a trifle overwhelming for her hence being bagged. Normally she prefers to strut on foot. I rather like this idea of a sedan chair, though …. with Bean on lap! I imagine tourists are an irritant or amusement in equal measure throughout the world but looking at the Teatro Nacional as I just have, may bring out the worst qualities of any touristique tribe – I tend to find the grander the surroundings the worse they are!
They do stand out somewhat…..my favourite of their accoutrements is the shooting vest with cartridge belt…
Oh fantastically bizarre!
It is indeed! You wonder where they think they are…what were their expectations…
Still we have so far been spared the English families wearing cross of St.George tee shirts but British Airways are now offering direct flights from London so you never know your luck…
Stand aside for the Great British invasion …. but wait – ‘wot’s the tea like?’ ‘do they ‘ave chips? And pie. And chips. And battered cod (rock’ll do). And chips. And curry. And chips. And kebab. And chips. And beer. And chips’ …. if not mate – you aint never going to make it as a tourist destination. ‘Ere – Costa del Costa? You’re aving a larf!
It could be worse….it could be the earnest middle class intent on meeting the indigenous peoples..and buying their appalling artifacts imported from Guatemala….
Remind me not to make you mad!
I just get very English which makes the F word sound comic 🙂
Bean looks extremely happy in her bag…..and the Latin quarters were where we stayed in Paris…I think my most favorite part of the city….glad you made it through your interview… love your post….Is Bean a mini pen?? My sister has 2 of them and they have the best personalities….very out spoken too!!! kat
She was very happy to be bagged that day – it was terribly hot (in a lovely place called Rocamadour in the Lot) and the place was heaving with tourists making it a struggle to walk … my daughter’s big handbag was just the solution we needed 🙂 The Latin Quarter is my favourite part of Paris too … we always stay there because it’s close to the Sorbonne and the Observatory for The Brains and The Bean and I get to potter artistically 😉 She is a cross between a jack russell terrier and a chihuahua – most French people assume she is a min-pin and some think she has a bit of dachs but I’m fairly confident of her parentage. She is extremely outspoken – to the point of rudeness on occasion but most people just think its funny thank goodness 🙂
some say ‘it’s good to be a cat!’, but it’s even better to be a Beanie… 🙂
* * *
I love Rocamadour… 😉
She’s a lucky puppy! Rocamadour is a perfect Jewel – perfect for perfect beauties to enjoy 🙂