Ok, Macron first. I’m not going to write about him and how he won the French presidential election. Everyone else has written about it. What I can say is that among my friends, mostly American, everyone was holding their collective breath. The media was saying he would win by a landslide 60% to Le Pen’s 40%. But we had all heard that before with Brexit and with Trump. No one wanted to be the one to say it out loud and then be wrong.
So it was with a huge sign of relief that the French went to bed last Sunday night knowing that their new President would be Emmanuel Macron or, as Le Match is calling him on their front cover, The Kid. I went to sleep hearing horns honking and voices cheering. I am in the 17th arrondissement and the victory party was in the 1st at the Louvre. So there were many happy people that night.
The majority of people were happy that Marine Le Pen lost. No one really knows what a Macron presidency will look like. Many in France didn’t vote or voted by leaving their ballot blank. Banker and racist to these people are equal in their sinister meaning. Macron’s party, Onward (On marche) is one year old. He now must have members standing for election in the next months and they must win. He needs the strength of his own party in order to achieve anything. He is the elite and no one is sure what that means. But I remind people that FDR and JFK were also the elite and we Americans look back on those two as two of the greatest Presidents in US modern history. So Onward!
I have been back in Paris for 11 days. I had probably the worst jet lag I’ve ever had. Friends were saying I made no sense when I talked and for the first three or four days, I had the affect of being on drugs. It occurred to me after five days that I was still less than three months from a serious hip operation. I had been doing so well, walking a number of miles a week, throwing away my cane! and acting as if I was totally recovered. But I’m not. The doctor says there is 90-95% recovery in the first three months then it takes an entire year to have 100% recovery.
Standard jet lag lore is that it requires one day of recovery for every time zone one goes through. I went forward nine time zones coming from Oakland, California to Paris. I think my body may have gone into a bit of shock with the altitude, the jet lag and the recent surgery. Sure enough, nine days after landing, I started feeling human again. I wanted to explore this new neighborhood I’ve landed in while looking for a permanent place to live. The weather has gotten a bit warmer and is much more inviting.
Something I keep getting reminded of and feel extremely grateful for is the importance of technology for someone like me. I haven’t had a working french phone until today and the Wifi in my little studio was, at first, nonexistent and then very sketchy while I tried to figure out what was wrong. On Thursday, I spent 1 hour at the SFR boutique with my not very good french (it’s amazing how much one can forget in four months) and my computer until the young man worked everything out.
I think it’s possible for someone like me to travel because WiFi, the internet, Skype keeps me connected to the world at large. It’s very hard to feel lonely. Cut all that off and it’s me in this small studio apartment unable to reach out to communicate. It’s a blessing I love to read so much – because that is what I did – read 4 books in less than two weeks.
I don’t like reading about the kind of hacking the world experienced yesterday. I feel grateful for my computer and WIFI every single day and want nothing to ever go wrong. Cyberspace is the Wild, Wild West.