Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Friday, June 20, 2008

France 2008 - Arles, May 20

Some more observations:

Most cars and especially larger vans have scrapes and dents down the sides. Not so much on the fenders front and rear but the sides are often bashed in. It is not surprising, given the narrow streets, many bollards and the tendency of every driver to think he or she has the right of way at all times. There are many one-way streets but people park in them (only temporarily!) and two cars often don't fit abreast. They love their mobility but maybe they don't care so much about the car. Since they don't have the road salt issue we have in Canada, they must not get rust like we do, so they don't fix up the dents so readily. Interesting.

We were sitting as is our wont, in the Place du Forum and suddenly we were invaded by Les Anglais. About a dozen loud people arrive and promptly rearrange the patio furniture. The fat and old ones sit down, the others mill about. We ask our waiter, "hey, les Anglais sont faire du bruit. Q'est que c'est ce passe?" and he replied that they had been to a wedding recently and seemed to have enjoyed the local wine.

Another Place to hang out is the Place Voltaire, cheaper than the Place du Forum and with mature trees shading it. This is where we discover that the classic Clouseau line really does work in France!

We're sitting at a table having a substantial salad (7 Euros) and white wine for lunch. We notice a black Labrador (an un-neutered male) slowly walking around the tables. No collar, a bit of white at his muzzle, lovely brown eyes. He's not casing the joint, he's just looking for likely customers. I make eye contact but he seems to know that Peter has asked me not to feed him (right then, anyway) and so he walks off. (I was going to write "wander" but he has more purpose than that.)

Eventually I decide to give him a little crumb of baguette (after we have finished our meal - that was Peter's stipulation), after I see he has not got anything from other patrons. I make eye contact again with him when he is a few tables away and he slowly but deliberately walks over. I hold out a very small piece of bread and say, "asseyez-vous". He does not seem to know "tricks" and drool slowly drips from the back of his mouth. I give him the bread anyway. He politely takes it and eats it. I give him several more tiny pieces and ask him to sit each time, but he does not. Then I hold up my now empty hands and say "c'est tout" and he sits.
France 2008
I take his photograph and he poses nicely for me. Then he gets distracted by some other people and I lean in for a close-up and I can almost hear him say "Yikes!" at the look of me, too close and with a camera in front of my face, so he gets up and moves on.
France 2008
So polite! Si gentil!

So, now for the Clouseau line:
Clouseau, seeing a man with a nice looking dog, asks, "does your dog bite?"
Man, "No."
Clouseau pats dog who snarls and bites him.
Clouseau, "I thought you said your dog did not bite!"
Man, "That's not my dog."

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