There are owls! Yup, I had earplugs in last night so I didn’t hear them, but Tammy assures me they were hooting away. I have to feed coins into this thing to make it go, but by a special mercy of Providence it has an Anglo keyboard. The one in Paris justabout slew me.
What to say? All of France appears to be a particularly aesthetically pleasing method of passing along bacteria. You greet SHOPKEEPERS with a handshake if you know them at all. To secure the attention of the waiters, you sing out a particularly cheerful bonjour and then patienter. But if I ever have any money, I’m going to ask the city of Paris to permit me to install a plaque on the sidewalk in front of the Trinite station which reads in French, on December 1 2008 a Canadian tourist witnessed a Parisien stoop and scoop AND put the deposit in the trash. So it is possible for miracles to occur – I witnessed it from the window of the Cafe Rotunda.
French children are so well behaved that it’s ****ing scary.
I highly recommend where we’re staying. It has a laundry, pool, hot tub, nicely appointed kitchen, a view of the Seine, a view of a forest, and it’s on one of those freaking scary French roads which should be max 80k and of course the dear French folk think nothing of racing down it at night at speeds in excess of 100k, if the engine noise is anything to go by.
Tammy did the driving out of Rouen. If we’d had the sense to video our trip out of Rouen we could probably make money out of it. It’s a thousand year old town with streets and signage to match. If I hadn’t gotten a young man at a gas station to go “Connelles? Oui, je connais Connelles.” Then he told me to follow the signs for Vernon, which we did, past Igoville PSST LUDDITE THAT’S WHERE TRAIN PARADISE IS!!! and then we ended up on a freaking cowpath which turned out to be the right road after all. Now today I get to drive, and what a bowl of joy that will be. It’s a little gray diesel, standard, Peugeot. But it’s peppy! And it has a tach!
The library here has books in English, French, Russian, German, Hebrew and there’s even Joe Haldeman’s Forever War. What more could a girl want?