Some X-mas trees in Courchevel are apparently coming from Hell, and that’s quite understandable, for the Demon of Glamour and his cousin, the Demon of Consumerism rule this village in winter, especially during the so called “Russian week” (the first week of January). At this time, the village is flooded by Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs and corrupt government officials with their wives, lovers, prostitutes, and bodyguards. A few years back, the Russian president firmly advised his minions to spend their winter holidays elsewhere, but they still come en masse, in force, and in the state of constant drunkenness. Hell can seem an attractive place if you are possessed by demons.
Speaking about Hell, here’s the racist remark issue I’d like to hear your opinion on.
Today, my son complained he’d gotten furious on a chair lift, when a Russian lady was complaining to her daughter about James, my son’s snowboarding instructor.They just happened to sit through the lift on the same chair. The lady said she was feeling uncomfortable around negroes, because they seemed dirty to her, among a few other comments about James’ black skin. I think I would have translated her words to James, and then called the police. If that Russian lady got her visa cancelled that would be the least punishment she could hope for. I believe racist remarks of this sort are a criminal offence in France, aren’t they? What would you do, if you happen to know two languages and happen to be on a chair lift with a racist doing these remarks in his or her native language, expecting no one to understand what he or she was saying? You have to take into account that the lady was with her husband, a burly man, probably a corrupt KGB officer or similar.
Fortunately, not all Russians are corrupt officials or thieves on a grand scale, and there are still a few places in and around Courchevel that can be enjoyed in unglamorous way. Besides, I have friends there, true friends who can be called in the middle of the night. I can stand glamour, if I am friends with these guys.
Good friends are like this inviting warm glow of lights:
And, of course, the mountains.
P.S. Courchevel 1850 is a ski resort in the French Alps, a part of the Three Valleys skiing area, the largest in Europe.