Obama, Fall, Customer Service & Water Salad

This week I attended a Barack Obama campaign event, held at the home of a long-time Democrats Abroad supporter.

The event was pretty much a cheerleading and organizing session and included a call-in by Democratic Senate candidate from North Carolina Kay Hagan (she’s running against Elizabeth Dole).

Not much of substance really happened but what was most notable was the number of people in attendance and the enthusiasm of the group. In a recently-released survey here, 93%(!) of French people said they supported Obama in the upcoming election.

Fall has arrived in full force here … the leaves are falling, the nights are cold and the big coats and scarves are coming out.

I’ve been going on morning walks in the Luxembourg Gardens and have been reminded how beautiful it is this time of year – especially how colorful it is (and that includes the characters hanging out there!)

This week also brought another less-expected change … good customer service. In unprecedented fashion (at least for me), both my new banker and a random insurance guy were ridiculously nice, patient, efficient and even almost fun with me during my dreaded appointments with them this week. My banker, who looks a bit like a French version of one of the nerd characters from the movie “Porky’s”, took a meeting with me without a previous appointment, typed a letter that I needed from him real-time and made a reasonable attempt to explain French taxes to me. He spent over an hour with me, which was probably more than the cumulative time all my previous bankers had spent with me. The random insurance guy, who I went to for a quote, was hysterical, calling his company “communist” (it’s a mutual), responding with “so you don’t do anything really” when I told him I was a photographer, and saying “on s’en fout” (meaning, in a very familiar, casual way, “we don’t give a damn) about me being covered when I travel in the US. I write a lot of negative stuff about French service in this blog so it’s only fair that I mention it when miracles like this week happen.

Speaking of miracles, I may have discovered the latest miracle product. It’s called Water Salad and can be described this way:

“Water Salad” is a “meal in a can” and belongs to the “near water” category. It is a light reddish colour, almost transparent and contains tomato extract as both a natural vegetable colorant and as a nutrient. “Water Salad” takes advantage of the marketing value of tomato extract by claiming on the bottle label that lycopene is “reported to control active oxygen.” Madness.

There’s really not much I enjoy more than Japanese marketing, products and their commercials, like THIS ONE featuring our beloved governor.

Some photos of the week …

Jardin Luxembourg
Parc Montsouris
I think he re-animated from the statue but only made it a few steps


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