(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

merci madame la maire!

I found out last night that I am the talk of the village ....

see, after four years of hearing about it, this winter work commenced on the road outside my house. Big improvements are underway; it is all very exciting! The electricity and phone lines have been placed underground.  The street is being redone, it is being made narrower with a reduced speed limit more fitting of a road that passes by commerce and a school.  And best of all, sidewalks are being installed, yay for me and my shop!

yes, the work is a righteous pain in the ass.  I have never seen the level of rework in various stages, but I guess it is necessary because the road is a main artery in and out of the village.  So trenches are dug, work performed below, everything covered up and then a week later a new team arrives and trenches are dug, work performed below, etc. etc.  The street has been torn up since November, to varying degrees.

This is a major investment for the village and it is being accomplished in partnership with the Conseil General for our departement (county).  Just the modernization of the electricity is over 200,000€.  The project is a huge win for us, it improves the look and functionality of the road and ultimately the value of our property.  So, to me, it warrants the inconvenience.

The mayor's office has been quite accommodating. On more than one occasion, when I have had a question, I have been welcomed to the office to discuss or invited to meet with the project architect (a woman I might add!) to address my questions.  I greet the workers with a smile vs. a complaint, they are doing their jobs and in the end, I will benefit!

Many other folks along the road complain. and scowl. and grab the workers or mayor's representatives to provide a piece of their mind or whine about the inconvenience.

So when they arrived in front of my property (kind of in the middle of the entire project) on Valentine's Day to install the first tranche of sidewalks, I smiled.  Already I have heard grumblings because there are no parking spots alloted in front of my house or store.  Now I have a great expanse of beautiful walkways, and they are not just in plain cement but are pebbled which are really attractive.  The sidewalks are two meters wide!  It is like having a terrace in front of the house!  and on either side of me nothing has been installed.  The lead guy for the sidewalks told me 'vous avez la chance' I am lucky, because they are starting with me ... and a wink!

So I had to laugh last night at our soirée des filles (girls night) when one of the the women told me everyone is talking .... Yesterday was market day in the village and many people pass by my property to and fro.  This gal is a real Perigordine, and hears all the talk and chatter.  People are trying to figure out why I am the first to have the work done.  She told me someone said it must be because of my blue eyes ... ?? lol

I told them it is because I am the only one on the road who is not continuously kvetching but I always have 'une banane' (big smile) for everyone and guard my patience.

Probably it is just business as usual and the plan was to start at this point.  But it makes me chuckle to think of me as the center of the buzz!  tant mieux!


Les Ganné said...

Congratulations, Kim, on both having such an important project well-underway and on being the talk of the town simply for having been easy to get along with and encouraging of everyone's best efforts.

I couldn't be more delighted for you!

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

merci madame! biz

Rosie said...

What a lovely space. Are you allowed to put table and chairs - specially painted by you of course - and other customer attracting things? I do hope so.

A banane works every time :-)