Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Sweet Shop

"The Sweet Shop" is the name of Jodie Sweetin's personal website. I mention this only because it shows up in the brower bar, whenever I type in the address for Josie's website (since they both begin with 'jo'.) I get such a kick out of seeing that I don't ever want to have to clear out the stored sites from the browser...which, I might add, is one of my favorite little things to do. It's like cleaning, with just the click of a button!

This introduction merits two other comments:

1. This morning, I jumped out of bed at 8, then had my entire apartment cleaned in an hour. Floors washed and all. An hour! Whoever else is impressed, please raise your hand.

Okay, you can put your hands down now.

2. I have looked at Jodie Sweetin's site recently, since she, for some reason, came out with some big public statement about how she was a meth junkie and has cleaned up her act. I was telling Catherine about this news, but I couldn't remember J.S.'s name, so I kept calling her Stephanie Tanner. When we got back to my apartment, the first thing I did was fire up google and searched "Stephanie Tanner meth." Sure enough, all of the first ten hits were about this story. Catherine said, "It's so great that we live in an age where we can find this sort of information by typing anything we want into a search page."

Still with me? Good. This afternoon, I went out to do some sightseeing with Bernard and Pauline. Today we actually went out of the Jura into the Burgundy region to Tornus. Tornus is a town that really embodies this strange understanding that I've had about human culture and civilization, since I've come here.

Think about rural America, the small towns that you drive through in rural areas. From what I've seen, in the midwest, it seems like people go to a spot to work; other business is brought in to sustain those people there. Fartsville, IL (pop 2,657) is a town of farms and a big clown shoe factory. That's why people live there, because they can make clown shoes. In order to sustain them, Walmart and DairyQueen have been set up, in addition to the other local stores and the John Deere dealer.

Here, on the other hand, rural towns seem more like an example taken out of basic history books. People came to this area for whatever reason, probably because it was on a river, and started to civilize. To build civilization. How can all of these people live here? We'll start stores, based on basic supply and demand, in order to establish a system of trade for goods and services. Is there a factory? No. How about farms? Yeah, some. Five bakeries on every block? Hell yes. An antique book store? Why not? A basket shop? People need baskets.

It feels bizarre to go into these towns, even if they're somewhat poor like Tornus is, and see a thriving little community full of cafes and specality stores. And it all exists simply to sustain itself. Even crazier is that it's existed like this for a long time. How long? Well, this church was built by Romans in the 9th century.

This whippersnapper, on the otherhand, was built in the 11th century.

This, of course, is the other reason a lot of these towns still exist: tourism. I went there today, didn't I?


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