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The mayor's study trip

scandal in the village

View Wine Expeditions in France, Italy, Spain and Other Places & France – gossip and giggles from the middle of nowhere on westwind57's travel map.

[http://images2.travbuddy.com/1829587_1328838827791.jpg]on strike on monday - on internship on tuesday - sick on wednesday - late on thursday - and on friday, tired - do like i do - become a public officialI hope that I will not be generalizing too much in this entry, but let me tell you that in France many people want to become a public official, a "fonctionnaire". In some way, it gives a job in which you cannot really be fired, a good old age pension, early retirement, just a lot of security.

And because the privitization of government services in France is lagging behind compared to a lot of other European countries, many French are still public official. Those who work for the train, the mail, te utility companies, hospitals, etc. Many of them have the status of public official.

Attempts to reduce that number will meet a lot of resistance. That is why almost every group of houses around a tree has the status of a municipality, with its own mayor, vice mayors, and "city" employees.[http://images.travbuddy.com/1829587_1339308093962.jpg]every little town not only has its own mayor (plus assistents etc.) but also its own monument to remember "La Grande Guerre" (World War One)If I counted it correctly, the average municipality in the Département (province) of Creuse has somewhere between 400 and 500 inhabitants. That should tell you something, even if the public official functions are sometimes part-time functions.

A small village close by here has a mayor too. He is a man of status, that's why he has a wife and a mistress. Everybody knows that, and it's fine. It is one of the privileges of being in such a high position. So the mistress is not often the subject of gossip in the bakery.

Yet, for quite some time, there was a lot of gossip. The mayor, together with a group of other French mayors had been away for two weeks. On a study trip. Not to the province capital, and not to Paris, oh no.[http://images2.travbuddy.com/1829587_13393080932781.jpg] ... The study trip had been to... CUBA !! And it was a very important mission. You never know, it could result in important economic ties between Cuba and that 283 souls village. This is why it was considered useful. Wow, can you imagine how honored the Cuban authorities must have felt to host a group of French mayors, some of them from 283-souls villages.... :)

But neither this fact nor the spending of tax payers' money was the reason for the gossip. The really scandalous fact was that he did not bring his wife, he did not bring his own mistress, but rumor was that he had brought a 76 years old woman with him to Cuba... For weeks, the people were talking about it in the bakery. That rude man, for heaven's sake, a 76 years old woman, and that woman was even from a different village, which make things even worse! How could he do that? How could he insult his wife like this? And how could he insult his regular mistress like this?

Things have calmed down a little bit now. But one thing is for sure: he has not done himself a favor in terms of his chances to be re-elected. People don't forget things like this. Not in the Creuse.

Posted by westwind57 03:27 Archived in France Tagged nature france countryside forest roadtrip creuse la_souterraine gueret

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