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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Olympic Spirit

I wrote yesterday about the Olympic spirit in Paris, but I spoke too soon -- it looks like the unions aren't sharing the spirit: there is another strike today, a big one.

Although I'd heard about the strike a few days ago, I realize now that I was a little too blasé. There are strikes, and then there are strikes.

The train station was packed, and there was a special booth just for strike-related info (see pics below). The staff, all wearing cute little blue berets, were actually quite friendly, though they put me on the wrong train:

"Bonjour," I said, "Je voudrais aller a Jouy-en-Josas." (My French is improving.)

"Jouy-blah-blah-blah?" (I couldn't quite understand, though I heard "Jouy.")

"Oui, Jouy-en-Josas, si vous plait." (Trying to clarify here.)

"Il y a un train en ce moment! Allez vous rapidement!"

There is a train right now! Go quickly! I dashed towards the train, and waited. Unfortunately, it was not going to Jouy-en-Josas; it was going to Jouy Le Potier. My French is not so good after all.

Luckily, I found out before the train left the station. The train I did need to take would not arrive for another three hours, and the strike attendants, friendly as they were, could not tell me if I would be able to make my transfer. Given my sorry record with strikes, I gave up.

Now that I'm home all day, I went back to take pictures of the strike. I'm starting to take a European view: comic and darkly ironic, instead of angry that the train I'm paying for with my monthly pass is not working, again.


p.s. Amusing British news article on the strike in the Financial Times. Apparently the protests are both for a shorter working week and higher pay as well as in support of the Olympics. Also, great spin from the mayor of Paris: "the protests would allow the city to show the IOC that it can cope with adversity."