Saturday, December 13, 2008

The south of france, languedoc roussillion, l’herault. Layers of human history

Le homme de tautaval. Greeks romans and carthegians, visigoths and vikings, sarecens, cathars, inquisitions and crusades. Crossroads. Castles and keeps, artists and troubadours, knights, sunlight and seas. It all sounds so romantic, and I guess it is.

It’s what pulled all those folks here in the first place. But what do you do once you get here. It’s one thing to just be passing through, like Hannibal, you can see the scenery and taste the local flavors, and then move along where you’re going. But what do you do when you stay here, when you live here.

When the retiring roman legionnaire moved from his Latin speaking homeland and set up in Narbonne 150 AD he had the same question. The questions of the stranger setting up shop in a foreign land. It gets you thinking about what it means - to live. It seems made up less with the big ticket events of our memories and self myths, than with the quotidian business of the everyday.

You know - Going about your business. Arranging papers, making schedules, moving about, in short trying to make your daily bread, and that’s bread like in a buck, a george, a piece, a note, a Dollar.

That’s the point of this portal. It’s in english. In this case of the american species, but others too will arrive. This portal will be le vie locale for those who want to see it with english speaking eyes, ears, nose and mouth. It's another regard, it's why we all are here, huddled around this big man made lake filled with red water, volcanoes and inundated villages. This backwater region that began with vines and housing developments and constant invasions of foreign tongued people and has never really changed.

They all came with different desires, but never-the-less they came, and they have never stopped coming. Now we have come too. Here we are - dans l'herault. In a sense you could say that we are all just passing through. Locals and new folks alike. Intruders into an already existing society. In any case we’re all in it together.

So now we’ll open a small corner of the lacsalagou were you can find out what the life looks like with an invaders eyes. I mean speaking english, never mind being from england or america or ailleurs, you arrive with this. English. It’s the lingua franca of our days. And like any good invader, it has a keen eye for the riches. Vive le nouvelle pax romana baby.

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