By Gémina Gil Flores
It’s World War III
Being in the UK for two months now almost made me forget my dear France.
It is only by living in Canada for few months earlier this year that I realised how much I love the country that I grew up in. I often denigrated France because of people’s mentality, which was not open enough through my eyes. French people are sometimes closed to strangers and like to think that they are the best, forgetting the importance of diversity. But traveling made me realise that we’ve got something essential.
We’ve got the value of good things.
We know how to dress. We know how to make things looking good. We are polite: we always say “enjoy your meal” and we wait for everyone to be served before we start eating. We have principles. And most important, we know what good food is. We don’t put brown sauce in everything we eat. We don’t even know what brown sauce is.
So, basically, we have taste. And just in case you didn’t notice, we’re a humble to.
Anyway, even if I finally realised that I love my country, living in an other one isolates me from what is happening over there, because I have to be honest: I don’t follow the news with a lot of diligence. This is something that I need to solve in the coming weeks, also because I had a hard time trying to make topical ads.
I was really surprised when I heard my mums voice on the phone few days ago. I was expecting her to be calm and reassuring as always, but I found her worried and stressed. When I asked her, “what’s happening?” she seems a bit disappointed that I wasn’t aware. Aware that France is actually a mess. A movement called the “gilets jaunes” was born a couple a weeks ago in response to a new gas tax introduced by the government. March take place every day in all the country and this give rise to violence and blockages. People are upset because they think that they pay too much taxes, they have the feeling that they work hard just to fill the government coffers. The situation is especially difficult on the Reunion island (french island near to Madagascar), where my moms lives. Apparently people are particularly unhappy there, because they feel abandoned by the government. It’s been over a week since my mother couldn’t go to work: she is a teacher and the high school where she works is blocked by the protesters. Many shops are closed, as post offices or petrol stations.
If we listen my mom, it is actually the 3rd world war. But she is a bit dramatic, luckily my father-in-law was there to reassure me: the situation is going better and tomorrow the prime minister is supposed to go there with “concrete solutions”. Hope the situation will get better soon. It taught me that I needed to learn more about the news, to prevent my mother from blame me for not being interested in her life, and simply being more open to the world around me.