Just Merveilleux?

Life at № 42

I think I just heard the word motorway

routetoucastres

Oh, great. That’s our local mayor there in the picture leading the charge for a/the new Toulouse-Castres motorway. It would mean people could get from Toulouse-Blagnac airport to here in under one hour. The idea is it’s good for everyone because it would dramatically increase tourism to all the towns and villages within the area of the Haut Languedoc regional park

See original image

From left to right, Mazamet is the third commune at the bottom. We’re the gateway to the Montagne Noir.

Now I fully understand the economic importance of this sort of thing- the problem is it comes at an incredibly high cost. When they created the new motorway connecting Malaga airport to Sotogrande, everything changed. We had been a little, quiet, peaceful community (also on the edge of a natural park.) Suddenly we were flooded with people buying second homes. Construction boomed. Tourism was multiplied by five. Property prices skyrocketed (as did local taxes). We did get better infrastructure, but for that we gave up almost everything that had initially attracted us to the area.

France being France, I’m hoping the bureaucracy for this project delays it by many decades. It was so hard to find a town the exact size we wanted, with the right size and style of house, with the right size of garden, and walking distance to everything. I know it sounds selfish, but I don’t want it to change. I’m perfectly content for our house never to see an increase in value. I really don’t want to have to move again in 10 years. This is my town now. People should go look for their own towns somewhere else.

 

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32 comments on “I think I just heard the word motorway

  1. acflory
    November 3, 2015

    -hugs- I hope the freeway thing doesn’t go through as well. They’re trying to attract bulk tourism instead of those people who actually appreciate the beauty that’s there, hidden in its quiet nook. Once the nooks are all gone there’ll be no reason for anyone to come. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 3, 2015

      If it goes ahead, the projected date for completion is 2022. That means we’ll have only been in this house 8 years!

      Like

      • acflory
        November 3, 2015

        😦 I can understand your dismay, but a) it may not happen and b) it certainly won’t come in by the projected completion date and…all sorts of things could happen between now and then! Don’t anticipate bad things Pinky; they happen fast enough all on their own.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hariod Brawn
    November 3, 2015

    I can see you as Mazamet’s very own Swampy Mr.M.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swampy

    Liked by 2 people

  3. john zande
    November 3, 2015

    Have you joined the American Republican party? “I’ve got mine, screw you.” 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hariod Brawn
      November 3, 2015

      You have Nimby’s in Brazil/Aus?

      Like

      • john zande
        November 3, 2015

        Of course! Well, not so much in Oz, we generally celebrate egalitarianism, but its a vibrant subset here in Br… also known as babacas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        November 3, 2015

        That’s an acronym – for what?

        Like

      • john zande
        November 3, 2015

        No acronym, just means asshole… although my spelling might be wrong. Pink will know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        November 3, 2015

        Your spelling is correct 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • john zande
        November 3, 2015

        Thank you, Mr. GOP 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        November 3, 2015

        Bastard! Imagine how much I’d make if they do build the motorway considering the number of properties we have here now…

        Liked by 1 person

      • john zande
        November 3, 2015

        Exactly… So consider your neighbours, thinking the same thing, waiting for their boat to come in, like yours did in Spain 😉

        But seriously, I know what you’re talking about. Here in SJC we’re getting flooded with Paulistas’ who’ve discovered they don’t have to live in the SP filth. 5 years ago that was me, now I won’t road-blocks placed on north-bound Dutra. “We’re almost full, in a pleasant country sort of way, so fuck off!” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        November 3, 2015

        But if you ask me if I was happy a long time ago when Sotogrande was the middle of nowhere and property prices were low, the answer is yes.
        If the boom had never happened I would have happily spent the rest of my life there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • john zande
        November 3, 2015

        *…now i want road-blocks…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 3, 2015

      Not exactly 🙂 I’m just not sure this sort of development is real progress.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cara
    November 3, 2015

    So you heard the word “motorway”, but did you hear the phrase “eminent domain” (or whatever the French equivalent of it is)? Motorway is bad…means the tourists are coming. Eminent domain, if it happens, means your mayor can & will let the developers put that motorway in your backyard, in your neighbor’s backyard…it means goodbye picturesque gardens and hello “Holy fuck, I live in a truckstop”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. foolsmusings
    November 3, 2015

    Haha you selfish prick you. :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 3, 2015

      I was an only child for eight years 😛 One gets used to space, peace and quiet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • roughseasinthemed
        November 7, 2015

        Je suis une fille unique was one of my favourite phrases in French classes. I was also the only one in the class. And actually it is quite unique. There are few only children.

        Like

      • acflory
        November 7, 2015

        Hah! I’m an only and so is my daughter [minus population growth]. 😀

        Like

  6. siriusbizinus
    November 3, 2015

    Do they zone for historical preservation in France? Perhaps you can start a society which will keep the town perfect and the outlying areas congested with obnoxious tourists.

    If that fails, perhaps a high wall with a moat is the next appropriate step.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 3, 2015

      Yes, they zone here and the rules are incredibly strict. We’re in a preservation zone because this is a natural park and we’re also in the historical centre of town- but life changes a whole lot for a town if instead of getting 10,000 tourists in the summer, suddenly there are 40,000.
      One of the houses we were considering when we moved was actually on its own little island in the Gironde estuary, but Mike thought it would get exhausting to have t get into a boat every time we wanted to buy bread 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • karenjane
        November 5, 2015

        Buy bread…you should bake your own. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Devries
    November 4, 2015

    A lot depends on which party runs the towns involved and which party is in government. If they coincide, the motorway is on. If not, not.
    Years ago, a huge ring road was proposed for our local town….given the changing face of local and national government the work stopped and started for about fifteen years. Still not totally completed…run out of money.

    Anyway if they can’t open the railway station at Castres soon they may need a motorway…

    I’m quite chuffed as the white elephant airport near the house in Spain has finally opened – up go the house prices!

    Like

  8. davidprosser
    November 4, 2015

    Progress isn’t always beneficial.In this case though it might make the region more accessible the downside is it will make the region more accessible.Flooding the area with more sightseers and visitors will change the whole atmosphere of the place, losing something very valuable.
    Hugs

    Like

  9. theoccasionalman
    November 6, 2015

    In western NC, we always fight against new motorways, because the road itself would destroy the reason tourists come. They’re here for the trees on the mountains; don’t cut any down to make room for an ugly interstate.

    Like

  10. roughseasinthemed
    November 7, 2015

    I won a journalism award for a motorway campaign 😦 Not that I personally wanted it, but hell, we wrote what we were told. Hadn’t happened by the time I left though, if that’s any encouragement.

    First time we went through provincia de Cadiz was 1996. It was lots of windy roads on the bus. We do use the peage though. Mainly because it is quieter and there are less idiotic Spanish drivers who do not understand that pulling on is not a right of way. Jesus! Where do they learn to drive? (I know, Spain)

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 7, 2015

      Problem is change… I’m still having to get used to a place where people actually stop at stop signs! You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to re-learn following rules.

      Liked by 1 person

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