Sunday, July 13, 2008

St. Tropez

I went with Eric to yesterday's excursion to St. Tropez. We drove to Sainte Maxime, then took a ferry across the bay to St. Tropez because there are always traffic jams going into the village. We first visited the Musée de l'Annonciade. The museum, a converted 16th century chapel, features post-Impressionist art, including pointillism and fauvism. Zari is a great connisseur of art. She pointed at every female nude painting or sculpture and signed "nurse"! She also said "nurse" several times, which sounds like "na na."
We ate the famous Tarte Tropézienne created by A. Micka--a round brioche filled with a creme anglaise and topped with rock sugar.

Zari napping in her stroller.

Splashing in the small beach in St. Tropez

In front of a modest 135' yacht
Seriously, it's pretty disturbing to see the amount of wealth and privilege in this former fishing village. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be wealthy enough to own a yacht like this (which, in relation to the others around it, was on the small end) and to have a staff of servants. I concluded that I wouldn't like it. I mean, I just couldn't handle having someone else clean my toilet or wash my windows when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself. I would always be painfully aware of the class differences in such a setting. What makes it fair for one person to lounge around in a 100+ foot yacht, sipping whatever glamorous drinks a rich person sips, while a crew of people--who work hard yet earn very little money--do menial tasks such as polishing the yacht's chrome handrails?


  1. Very good point. I noticed the same kind of class differences when we lived in Saudi Arabia. There were streets filled with palatial mansions being swept by ragged, dirt-poor men working as hard as they could earning money to send back to their families. It was very sad.

  2. Yum. Pretty beach. :) Ben's been seriously practicing his spanish in hopes to at least kind of live up to Eric's billing. :) We have a cup of Zari's--if we see Sue before we move I'll give it to her, otherwise I'll try to find a family that needs one. Looking forward to seeing you sometime. Soon? :)

  3. Thanks for the pics and the lovely summer report. I love Zari's art analysis! How sweet.
    Kelley? Saudi Arabia!? Tell us more!
    I think it's poverty in the presence of great wealth is what leaves that bad taste in the mouth -- to me at least, it's not the fact of not having to scrub toilets per se...

  4. Hehe. I agree, Judit. I personally wouldn't mind being a bit wealthier, but you're right. It truly is the contradiction between great wealth and grinding poverty that is so hard to swallow. I'm not for a Robin-Hood-type "rob the rich to pay the poor" thing in any way, but that is still hard to take.

    I think I've posted about Saudi Arabia on my blog. I'll go see if I can find it for you.

  5. My SIL married someone very wealthy. We came from the same frugal backgrounds, but somehow she developed the idea that name brand was better, bigger is better, etc. She went from not wanting kids and divorcing her husband, to pregnant and married in less than two years. Despite not having to work, she attempted to go back to work at 6 weeks post-partum (delayed it to 12 weeks). When the baby was born, she had so many relatives AND a nanny helping out, but yet breastfed for only two weeks (without seeking help, because it just wasn't 'going well'.) When they visited, it was obvious that her older, wealthy husband was much more smitten with the baby than his bride (and my husband and another friend told him he was a sucker cause he had to get up during the night and they didn't, LOL). Now their baby is two, and she has TWO live in (foreign) nannies because they work too much to legally just use one. I don't get it. The nannies are doing all the work and sending the money out of the country. I can only imagine what else the nannies tell their families. I know I'd like a little more money these days, but I don't want a nanny to push my baby around my 11 000 sq ft house in a $1200 stroller either.
    Sorry for venting, LOL, frugality and living within ones' NEEDS is important to me and I don't get how someone who learned the same lessons turned out so different :(


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