Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rising to the French Attitude

One never feels so dejected as when one is totally ignored.  And the French ignore you better than anyone.  Today presented challenges and not so much of the confrontational kind, but of the non existent kind.  I will give you that proper French etiquette is not followed when you don't know for sure what it is.  But if you stand in a restaurant long enough you should hear, "Je suis désolé, nous avons réservé aujourd'hui" We are booked or come back later, "Je suis désolé, pouvez-vous revenir plus tard?"

And just about when you are ready to starve, you stumble on The Breakfast Club.  Friendly, warm and gracious.  The waitress/hostess is fabulous and I am sure she is part owner.  She switches from Brittish English to French in a second and is comfortable all the way around.  She is so welcoming.  She tells us she has reservations for three of her ten tables.  If we will eat within an hour, she will let us have a table.  We tell her, Americans eat and run all the time and we sit.  The breakfast is fabulous.

And as promised, we were out of her hair in less than an hour and off to tour the streets.

The cold can be a bit piercing when you have just left a warm meal and space.  So the winds told me to not ride bikes, which was our plan.

Skateboards and scooters are considered transportation; bicycles always have right of way.  Pedestrians can cross anytime on their dime, but en masse they can cross anytime.  The preferred way of travel is the less costly.  Better to have good boots and a good coat and ride on the public transport than to have stylish plastic boots and ride a scooter.  Quality is a life thing here. So we walked and stumbled on Notre Dame number two ( the original being in Paris, there are twelve in France).

 Then off to town center and back through the Christmas market. I am scouring the City windows for boots or shoes, surely I cannot leave France without a new pair.  So we are vigorously window shopping for boots when we pass an exclusive leather store for bags and purses.  Oh my.  We duck in and the lady is so friendly and spends 20 minutes telling us how she lived in London and New York, how she hated Miami loved the Keys and how Paris is only a place to visit and it is expensive and crowded.  She explained that Bordeaux is the new Paris.  We talked of the people and the issues that Morgan and I have faced.  She told us the French are secretly jealous of the Americans and their vast country and that is why they are aloof. She said she did not even fit in the the French place even thought she is a French person. She was a lot of fun and her products are fabulous.  I took a moment to be thankful that we met her.  She explained in twenty minutes the culture we had been in for five days.  Ahh to have her as a friend to escort us to restaurants.

We decided to tour the Wine Museum ( Musee du Vin) and Modern Art Museum (Musee Maritime Beaux Arts).  Both were interesting in their own way.  The modern art Musee was really a modern film exposition and it was rather interesting to go through in English.  The Musee du Vin was very interesting as they explain the history of the region, the wines, the labels, the merchants, the fighting.  Money and good wine always brings out the best.
I have never seen wine bottles the size of my body, but I have now.  I understand labels, chateaux and merchant and picture.  I understand blends and regions.  Wow, what a great tour and this is only the musee!

The wine tour tomorrow is the best part of the day.  Morgan and I will strike out early (that has been around 9 or 10) for food and walking before the wine tour.  we are going to Saint-Émilion.
It should be fun and a learning experience. 

Morgan currently has her phone connected to my computer for battery, so I will show you some photos from Saint Michel that I did not include in the last blog.  These cows are at a store in Mont Saint Michel