Victim of your origins

French lover.

Sorry about that, but yes, I am French. Nothing I can do about it: it is my nationality and I don't intend to reject my history. The problem is that with a nationality comes some stereotypes. Got the demonstration of that a few months back.

As a matter of fact my wife and I are expecting an happy event for September. As a wired urban I had to share the news with my network, using the social media and other technologies. However, when it comes to such statement, everyone recommends you to be cautious. Especially in the early months when shit can happen (well actually, shit can happen at that time, but no matter what, it will come any time soon anyway, literally).

You are then torn apart between your desire to share the news and the rational part of your soul encouraging you to play it safe. So ultimately you opt for the intermediary solution: you reveal the information in some cryptic way so that only the people in the know will get it. That is why I updated my status on
Windows Live Messenger by stating "3.1496063 inches of happiness". I was indeed just back from our first scan and had seen the face of the baby to be for the first time ever. And the Choosen One was no bigger than 8cm back then... The problem arose when three of my colleagues, who are connected to me through this instant messenger service, picked up on that status and made some questionnable inquiries. "You perv'...", "Stop boasting...", etc. So I wondered: is that me or is that just because I am French and that we have a reputation to focus most our interests around baguette and sex? And since everyone knows a baguette is longer than 8cm, the shortcut was easy.

Face your future.

Anyway, this was making me laugh because I like creating discussion. And as a matter of fact, people started talking about that. They were sharing assumptions. Some clever managed to decyphere the riddle, and did not stop at the obvious dodgy cliché. Other had to wait for the reveal that came after the third full month.

But the initial reactions remain engraved in my mind. Because with the realisation that I will soon be a dad came the first thoughts around the legacy. With two French parents, our toddler will most certainly inherit from our cultural influence. He will be expected to be a great cook, a charismatic doctor, a talented lover... But he will be born in the UK, so fellow pupils might not bully his predictable red hair as much as if he was born on the other side of the Channel. He might end up being a diplomat, or an over-paid football player. No pressure Junior...

And yet, the later might simply turn back and blame us for all that. That is double dose of expectations. So he might just look at us and say: "les parents, allez vous faire fuck yourself". Bloody youth, no respect for their ancestors. But after all, as David Mitchell says it in the following video, that might simply be well-deserved!

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Big fishes, in shallow waters.

Worrying commute.

As you know I am French, and therefore travel quite often between the UK and my home country. If I fly sometimes when heading to the French Alps, my preferred transport method is the Eurostar. Convenient and carbon-neutral, it has the great advantage to drive you from central London to central Paris in a couple hours. The only thing is the consciousness of going through the Channel under the water. Probably influenced by this scene from the Jaws movie where the shark attacks the aquarium tube full of visitors, I cannot refrain myself from associating the moment we enter the chunnel with the idea that there are stuff going on over my head.

It's a bit like the monster in the closet story from your childhood. Now that you are a grown-up you may be aware there is nothing to worry about in your wardrobe, but you cannot avoid double-checking... Well, that is also what I thought before a friend brought to my attention that my apprehensions might be somehow legitimate.

Nessie on a trip down?

The ‘
Association of Maritime Research’ was created in 1901 in order to promote a better understanding of deep-sea life and the curious and unknown phenomena that occur in the depth of the oceans and on the sea- bed. Their approach to research is to gather testimonials and question scientists specialising in marine research in an attempt to find a scientific explanation for the various sightings.

The AMR’s intention is to communicate their findings to the general public and enable them to participate interactively in the continuing research.

On 20th April 2009, it seems that a French couple who was enjoying a walk at the Boulogne Harbour, captured a large shape on camera . Intrigued, the guy has zoomed in to focus more clearly and saw a huge, dark, rapidly moving object, which disappeared within a matter of seconds. Something of an amateur expert about the sea and marine life, he knew this was not simply the outline of a whale or any similar creature and was convinced that he had sighted some phenomenon as yet unseen by man. He decided to contact the AMR who are pursuing further investigations.

Subsequently the AMR has collected a substantial number of further testimonials from different areas. The strong similarities between the descriptions seem to confirm the existence of a ‘gigantic’ and extremely ‘fast-moving’ creature off our shores.

Association for Marine Research - www.thechannelcreature.com

Of course we have all heard about those urban legends, and in this case marine legends. The Scots have been chasing Nessie for years. The Tibetans have their Yeti. The French Alps the Dahu... So why could not the people from Boulogne have their own beast. This could maybe explain the scars on Frank Ribery's face, since he was born there.

In any case, the AMR is calling for all witnesses of sightings of any strange phenomena in the English Channel to contact the AMR via their website www.thechannelcreature.com. A reward is even being offered for evidence leading directly to proof of this creature’s existence. I don't know you, but I will certainly keep my hears open when I will cross the Channel. That might help me get rid of my fears. Maybe not.

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