Ming the Mechanic:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 France2003-05-10 01:17
picture by Flemming Funch

I'm still planning on moving. Mid-July. To somewhere in South Western France. Don't know exactly where, but around Toulouse somewhere.

It is a big deal to just move to another continent, of course. Its a hassle to move in the first place, but going to a different and new country with a different culture, different norms, different language - it's quite an adventure. And a family of five people, including teenagers, all with a mind of their own - that's a bit more involved than it was when we came to the U.S. from Denmark 18 years ago, just two young people and a little baby.

I have a bookshelf full of books about living in France. I'm frantically working on improving my French. More people are popping up with helpful hints and connections of various kinds. I'm sure it will all work out.

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10 May 2003 @ 12:48 by sharie : Opinions?
What was your teenagers' reactions when you told them you were all moving? Or was it a family decision?

Just wondering.  

10 May 2003 @ 13:39 by ming : Reactions
Well, in my family it is me who's the only one who will even get that kind of crazy idea. And my wife, who knows me and my instincts, and who's been through it before, concurred that it seemed like the right time and the right place. But she's just generally more connected with neighbors and the place we live, so it is a bit harder for her than for me to move. As to the teenagers (boy 16 and girl 19), the first reaction was mostly negative. Taking us away from our friends, schools, the mall, etc., why are you so cruel to us? Now they've mostly come around to accepting it and seeing the possibilities in it. My daughter is most wavering, but she's looking towards going to culinary school in France. She might consider it a temporary stay, until she decides whether that really works or not. My son is looking forward to it, but he's the most conservative in the family, who would have a big problem with just moving a couple of miles away. The little 4 year old, she's happy with it all and looking forward to it. But then again, that's the age where *everything* is a splendid adventure.  

10 May 2003 @ 18:23 by bri_outten : It IS an adventure
You will be fine, the adjustments come naturally for those with an open mind.
Coming here to Mallorca as we did just over 1 year ago, the toughest obstacle was the language (Spanish will get you through, although many prefer Catalan).
Bureaucracy was the next (something the french should know a bit about as they came up with the word, I think), which, a tad of patience, humour, organisation and resoucefulness, should be negotiable relatively quickly.
Its nice to see that you're thinking of heading down to this part of the globe.
Look forward to hearing how it goes.
Id love to offer any tips if I can be of any assistance, but I reckon you'll waltz it.
Bon chance and bon voyage  

10 May 2003 @ 19:03 by ming : Bureaucracy
Yeah, that's one of the things all my books spell out in excruciating detail. Bureaucracy. Getting something seemingly simple out of French public authorities, such as one's residence papers, requires endless patience and charm. But I think we might prepare so much for that to be a horror that when we actually get there it isn't such a big deal. The people we spoke with who live there shrugged it off. Yeah, many things require patience, but no big deal.

I've never been to Mallorca, but it's certainly a popular vacation spot for people from Denmark. Didn't know Catalan was the preferred language there. As to Spain, I've been to Costa del Sol, and to Barcelona, and that's about it.  

12 May 2003 @ 03:09 by jstarrs : Content...
...que tu compte toujours à venir dans le coin, Ming!
Tiens-moi au courant, ok?
(Est n'utilise pas un programme traducteur pour le dessus, eh?

12 May 2003 @ 03:41 by newdawn : enjoy
your adventure. If it doesn't work out the way you thought you can always return, surely.  

12 May 2003 @ 10:44 by quidnovi : OK :-)
I've been seeing those coming up here and again (simple, explicit and redundant.) And so I feel I cannot ignore this any longer.

First---and don't take this too seriously, it's just some INFP rambling (we INFP are funny that way :-)---WHY FRANCE? I can't explain why but for some strange reason, I picture you better in JAPON (Hmmm...yes, I can see how I am going to get very popular---NOT!---with the rest of the Ming family with that one. "Yeah, dad, that's all we need now, can we please move to Japan---as if France was not weird enough---and who is that Quidnovi geek anyway?")

Anyway, just a thought, eh? I mean, think about it, think about the energy, the new challenge, the new cultural/linguistic input---no telling what it will do to your little grey cells---here is "system thinking" for you! I can only see some good coming out of it in term of growth both for you and the children (Yeah, I know, easy for me to say---LOL)

OK, Ming, I'll lay it straight: I AM CONCERNED THAT YOU ARE GOING TO GROW MELLOW in the south of France. And we wouldn't want that to happen now, do we?

Now, after all that, if you still stubbornly insist that you want to go to France, let me know---If you think you possibly want to buy an apartment in Lyon or in St. Maxime, I can hook you up with someone who can help you with that (my mother actually.) I have not offered sooner because I don't like to mix friends, business and family and because I prefer to have as little to do as possible with my mother's business (she does her things, I do my own, and I rather like it that way), but on the other hand I do not feel that withholding information is good Feng Shui either, so if you are interested, as I said, I'll hook you up with her (she lives in Northridge) but I don't want to hear a thing about what goes on (or not) businesswise between you two after that---fair?  

12 May 2003 @ 12:41 by martha : such concerns
"and who is that Quidnovi geek anyway?"---- darn tempting to answer aboout FF, formerly known as Poopsie, but I'll control the urge.

Mellow- Now what's wrong with that FF? Oh the wine is wonderful and they take three hour lunches. You mean they don't run around at break neck speed like the americans do? No doubt if the french had joined in "Iraq Freedom" they would still be discussing the proper cuisine to serve the troops aboard the transport ships. (oh dear, that slipped out and is OST).

Please note ming that FF doesn't live in france. No doubt he might mumble something about the fair Dianne, or some such french excuse for living in the new world which only reflects the old only with more....

And the heck with Japan. Now Australia or New... never mind. Ming has enough on his mind without having to deal with a family revolt.  

12 May 2003 @ 13:26 by quidnovi : Aaah, Martha, such memories you bring:-)


If you must know, FF left France when he was 6, Martha.  

12 May 2003 @ 13:31 by quidnovi : Déjà vu?
How bizarre is that? I found a picture of Ming and his NCN merry companions.


Is this the past? The future? Or have we all met some times to come already ;-)  

12 May 2003 @ 15:17 by martha : no doubt
the monk in the middle is...  

12 May 2003 @ 15:50 by ming : Pas de probleme
Heheh, Jeff, j'ai le compris sans traducteur ou dictionnaire. Je crois mon francais s'ameliore lentement. Oui, je te tiendrai au courant.  

12 May 2003 @ 15:55 by ming : Merry companions
So, am I Picard or Data? Oh, I'd be happy with either one.  

12 May 2003 @ 16:08 by ming : Why France?
Well, yes, there's of course the risk that I get too damn mellow and comfortable, and I'll spend my days having 5 hour lunches, watching the vines grow, and discussing truffles with the mail man. I think I could use some of that for a change. Here in L.A. I tend to be continuously in a hurry and stressed, even though the sun is shining and I really don't have too much to worry about. It would be nice if relaxed living would be the default state.

I doubt that it would make me forget about what I'm doing. My instinct is that it would be a good place to withdraw to, to dream dreams from, but not necessarily the place to do them.

Quidnovi, I'm sort of partial to the Midi-pyrenees area, and secondarily to Aquitaine or Languedoc. Just to focus somewhere, and because it feels right. And we'll probably rent first, until we get our bearings and find out where we really want to live. If you think your mom might be helpful, I'd be most happy to connect with her. And I wouldn't tell you a word of what comes of it.

Oh, and as to why France? Well, I'd like to explore Europe more, do more things in Europe. I'd like to speak a language I might enjoy learning and have a bit of a head start in. I'd like a nice climate and I'd like people to be pleasant. I want there to be space. South West France seems like a good compromise, even though I sort of backed into it. I considered more 'wild' choices like Japan, but that would be all new on all accounts. It would be a little more than I would feel good about impressing on my family, and a lot more work. And nowhere near Europe.  

12 May 2003 @ 17:38 by quidnovi : Picard or Data?
(Or "Q" --- don't we wish :-)

Actually considering your affection for France and your propensity for "watching the vines grow", Jean-Luc might be more like it.


In so far as my mother is concerned, she can be a little bit on the overbearing/overwhelming side (Lwaxana, Troi's Betazed mother, comes to mind :-) So, maybe, I'll spare you for now.  

12 May 2003 @ 18:22 by ming : Picard
Well, it's just a matter of time before I'm as bald as Jean-Luc. But Q would be the very best of course.  

13 May 2003 @ 01:13 by ming : Allan
Yeah, let's meet up before. You're in San Diego, right? And drop by France some time too. And, yeah, whatever happens, I don't think it can be all that horrible. I mean, one can't have too much sherry and olive oil and good conversation, can one? Well, maybe one can.  

Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

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