Thursday, 27 September 2007

How Tina Turner saves French administration

July 4th, 2000...

I was living in Paris, had just quit my job and was enjoying the end of my life in France before going home forever. And what do you know? The legendary Tina Turner comes to Paris for her last tour EVER. I HAD to go so I bribed a friend - a fellow francophile who was visiting me for a couple weeks - to come celebrate July 4th with me, Tina and thousands of others at the Stade de France.

Being the die hard Tina fan that I am, I brought my camera - back in the days of rolls of film. Of course picture taking was forbidden during the concert. So my friend and I went to the coat check where we handed in our cameras. They stuck a sticker on the back and told us to come back after the concert. My friend and I looked at each other and wondered what kind of French organization scam this was since we had no claim tickets.

We danced and sang with Tina for over 2 hours. We marvelled at her 60 year old legs (better than either of ours would ever be!) and wondered how she could dance to "Proud Mary" on her signature high heals.

The concert ended and we went to collect our cameras, finding a group of people standing there, waiting. Since the French are genetically programmed to not line up, there was just a mass of people waiting. After 15 minutes or so, someone from the stadium showed up, unlocked the shed where our belongings were and began asking people what they had left in as organized a manner as possible since there was no line and no claim tickets. All at once, everyone started yelling. Camera. umbrella. coat. Etc. Meanwhile, the stadium worker sifted through what was probably hundreds of camera trying to find the black canon model whatever. One. at. a. time.

At this point, someone from the crowd jumped over the counter so he could help sift through people's belonging. Eventually, we got our cameras.

As we sat on the RER on our way back to Paris, we marvelled at the fact that we actually got our cameras back and wondered once again how this country could function and could be a world power seeing as the organizational skills were clearly nonexistent.

To this day, whenever I get annoyed in the Post Office or the Prefecture or any of the number of utilities people for their complete and total lack of organization, time, or general regard for others, I think back to July 4th 2000 and Tina makes everything all better.

1 comment:

frog4america said...

Oh my... it reminds me of every time we had to come back to France for 6 months. Because of the visa waiver program we stayed for almost 3 months, took turns to go back to France for a couple days and came back for another 3 months. The short stop wasnt a problem, our mindset was we were going to an exotic place for a short vacation before heading back to civilization, plus it was always a riot seeing freezing people in wintery france stare at my tan so it was quite enjoybable. But when we came back for a whole 6 months, my oh my, that was a different story. Up to the Air france booth at the airport everything was okay. Florida was way too hot in summertime anyway so, what the hell, we were better off in the Riviera until next winter. But as soon as we prepared to get in line at the luggage registration it turned into a nightmare. All these loud savages running around, bumping their luggage into other people to get ahead in the line... the expression on their faces when they were sneaking past us in the line. My wife and I would stand there, shaking, looking at each other in disbelief, brutally brought back to reality. We were like, hey let's call this whole disaster off, let's go back home. Right, if we do that we'll be illegal. Uh okay, let's go to mexico instead. errr no we cant. Well we dont have a choice, at least we're back in november. Just thinking back about it makes me shiver, 6 years after the last time.

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