I’ve been travelling through a country made for travelling in: France. Everything works for travellers. The stylish service areas; the roads; the hotel franchises.
A journey to good capitalism and back, it seems to me. Though perhaps some of the workers – who appear to work very hard without fail – might argue with me on that particular point.
Our first night in this gorgeous country was spent in Caen at a B&B hotel. No photos taken – and not much to report. The lack of air-co made sleep a little trying, but it was as good as can be expected – and the hotel’s buffet breakfast was nice.
The next night was just south of Bordeaux, in an Ibis Budget hotel. We swore last year never to touch Ibis again when one of the chain’s hotels – in Vitre I think the place was called – charged us a supplement for a pre-booked room the webpage had told us nothing about.
Nevertheless, bad capitalism relies on customers acting against their own interests.
Bordeaux looked like this to us, for the brief stay we spent.
And on Facebook I got called a total capitalist bastard (yes, really – on Facebook no less!!!), for posting the following photos.
1) A totally mad personalised jukeboxed McDonald’s:
2) And outside:
The service, I have to say, was absolutely perfect: attentive, thoughtful, definitely going an extra handful or two of kilometres.
And yes. Spookily, at the very moment I tweeted, I got an Avaaz email telling me how rubbish McDonald’s is at paying its taxes (something I’ve already mentioned with regard to other notable corps – along with possible solutions). But I still think being called a total capitalist bastard was going a tad too far.
The person later suggested they were joking.
I’m not entirely convinced.
The following morning awoke us thus:
Addie’s gorgeous music then serenaded us in a melancholic register, down the road to Biarritz – and in particular, Anglet.
The beach was grand, and met us in the following way – even as I couldn’t avoid being a little bit grumpy for some weird reason:
We walked back to a drink (oh, and don’t you just love it how they never uncap a Coke or mineral water until it’s down on the table in front of you?! Now that, that’s service …):
A morning view as grand as this:
And a fairly soulful goodbye to another wonderful example of capitalism, competently implemented:
Once in Spain, we stopped for diesel at €1.17 per litre …
… and finally got to our destination at around 3.45pm, local time, after three delish snacks in the Parador at Tordesillas …
It was a good journey, this journey to good capitalism and back.
Mind you, a lot of what was done so well could also be done just as well by a hyperlocal capitalism of honest endeavour, given a fair crack of the economic whip.
So what do we do now? How do we progress reconstructively? How do we move forward so that everyone benefits from this change we surely all anticipate?
How, in truth, do we go about sensitively squaring the circles of glocalism?