Book Review: Best White and Other Anxious Delusions by Rebecca Davis

51sUXM7+JlL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Best White and Other Anxious Delusions

Author: Rebecca Davis

Published: 2015

Genre: Memoir

Every so often, whenever I feel the need to laugh a bit,  I download books written by young South African writers. Let’s be honest, according to CNN and BBC, and very other media coverage on South Africa coming our way, it’s easy to think it is all doom and gloom, and that there will not be a country to return to. Of course, family and friends provide the perspective I need, but I do still need to read the humour, chucking away as CNN warns of the apocalyptic lows we’re headed for.

On explaining our migrant status to my nine-year old

Immigration-300x199One would have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the migrant crisis facing Europe at the moment. For a while, it was all we saw on television, then Greece’s woes became more pressing. But once again media coverage has shone its spotlight on the plight of people from Africa and the Middle East making that perilous journey to reach Europe’s shores. It is hard to switch off, change channels – or do whatever it is one could do to bury their head in the sand and wish this reality away.

I have never been one to shield my children from the realities of the world by not letting them watch the news. Which was how I found my son glued to the television, as once again, France24 covered yet another story of a boat sinking off the coast of Italy. Even though we hear it more often than we should, it has not numbed us to the tragedy of the lives lost there. And for this I am glad.

Le Grand Bistro, Paris

So we found ourselves in the 7th arrondissement on a random Saturday morning. Early morning birthday soccer game for my son’s best friend, which was why we were in that neighbourhood. After which we decided we might as well have lunch nearby. We randomly picked Le Grand Bistro as we drove past it because “it looked decent”. That is how some of the restaurant decisions are made by my family.

The Art of the Brick

Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick exhibition is currently on at Porte de Versailles. It is incredible to see the talent that this lawyer-turned-artist has when it comes to creating these amazing sculptures – using nothing but Lego pieces. From Rodin’s Thinker to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa carefully crafted to astounding similarity to the real sculptures. My children loved it, especially my nine-year old. I would highly recommend it as one of the things to do with the kids. Word of warning: with the sweltering temperatures we have been having, the Porte de Versailles – being an exhibition hall is not very well cooled. Go with your bottles of water – they will come in handy.
The exhibition runs until 30 August, 2015.

Taking stock and readying myself for ‘les vacances’

Funny how when everyone is winding down and readying themselves for their two months of vacation, I feel at my most inspired. I want to spend at least four hours – plan big! – writing everyday; to finish reading a book every two weeks; to go to an art exhibition every week; to try a new restaurant once a week; to write an opinion piece once a week; in between finding ways to keep my children entertained – whilst still letting them use their own imagination – and whilst all the while pondering the insanity of the northern hemisphere’s two month long summer vacation.

When a default is not quite a default

 I have been watching the news and the reporting on Greece’s situation – at the moment the highlight is on it now officially being in arrears with its debt payments to it creditors. It is amusing to see the euphemism being applied to what is effectively a ‘failure to pay’ its debts being referred to…

The Taste of Paris retrospectively

Building up to last month’s Taste of Paris event, the organisers of which  had gone to great lengths in advertising on billboards, television and other social media platforms, I pre-booked tickets online and tried not to get too caught up in the  hype.

Day one of the event was fairly lacklustre in attendance, and I dare say, in the offerings. There was an enormous champagne bar, courtesy of Laurent Perrier – and only one other drinks stand – which was really more like a corner café when compared to the LP stand. The only other places where you could have wine was the wine tasting stands, or the whisky stand if that was your thing. That alone should have been an indicator that the event had been pitched at a more wealthy audience, and touting more haute cuisine than simple good food.

Lunch in the neighbourhood – Le Saint Ferdinand

The pleasure of a short stroll around the neighbourhood and a late afternoon family lunch over the weekend. As much as the advice to anyone who wants a decent meal in the very many Paris restaurants is to make reservations – there are still some places, especially the neighbourhood bistros, which can always accommodate the hungry flâneur – stroller. One such place was Le Saint Ferdinand recently. We walked for a while, came across a fairly secluded but animated square with three restaurants within a 50m radius, made a choice and sat for lunch.

Musée Picasso, Paris

I had friends from South Africa visiting Paris two weeks ago, and it was during our moments visiting the tourist spots and walking around Paris, that I felt that thrill I once did before I moved here. The old adage that living in a place is a far different reality from visiting it still holds true. I have become somewhat jaded in my perception of Paris, but since last week I have a renewed appreciation for all things Parisian. Wanting to not lose even a moment of that renewed curiosity about the city, I planned a Sunday outing with my children – something we used to do often before our blasé attitude towards Paris and its many monuments became the norm. The Musée National Picasso was our art and culture excursion yesterday.