09.10.2011 - 09.10.2011 25 °C
Sunday, October 9th
You know when you fist pound and one person puts two fingers underneath the other person’s fist to make a snail? Ya, well that’s kinda become a family joke now. Hence the title. Mum and I like to say it with an English accent, “shnaio”, but Ali likes to do “escargot road kill” with Dad. This is accomplished by doing the snail, saying “escargot” and having Dad lay his hand out flat as if the snail has been run over by a monster truck. So yeah, hence the title.
So far on the blog it has mostly been Dad doing all of the entries. Okay, Dad has been doing ALL of the entries. I figure maybe I should do one to spare me from the inevitable future nagging from the rents. So I will talk about today I guess, in Malves. We woke up after a good sleep, Alison in particular. She slept for around 11h, she must have been POOPED. We, or rather, Mum, made crepes (egg + cheese, butter + sugar, nutella) for breakfast. They were delicious! We had spoken yesterday evening with Line’s mother about using four of their bikes so that we could have a bike around the lovely French countryside. They had left our bikes outside in the courtyard (just across from the castle!!!), and after some testing out, we left with the destination of “the next town”. Or as we say en français: “la prochaine ville”.
Here are some facts:
1. The scenery was B-E-A-U-tiful with the fields of grape vines lining the road, rosemary encrusted with escargot, and our little town and its castle that you could see if you turned around. We also had a look at the Menhir de Malves, an ancient standing stone about 5 meters high, with another 4 meters under the ground.
2. It was very windy. I’m not talking about wind; I’m talking about massive wind. It was like being in a hand dryer. Not just any old hand dryer in any old public bathroom, though. It was like being in a DYSON hand dryer, like the ones in the Wild Play bathrooms. Yes, that’s right. A (giant) Dyson hand dryer.
3. We got sun! Yay, for all the clouds threatening rain yesterday, the sun shone down on us the whole way. We took pictures for all of you who don’t believe us. Mind you, it’s pretty much the only sun we’ve had so far in France. (Note: Please remember that, so far, most of the trip has been 30+ degrees)
4. Despite all of this, some members of our team, erm, did not quite enjoy themselves very much. The trip started in tears for Alison who, it seems, could not control her bike against the tough wind, and was finding it hard to pedal. Not to leave any important details out, her bike was way too big for her in the first place. It was an adult bike, but a smallish one. Still, she is only a small girl.
We eventually made it to “the next town” of Villalier. Upon entering, we saw a sign pointing down to the left, away from the town and away from where we had just come that read: Chais du Terroir. Dad reckons it means: chair of terror. Hmmmmm... don’t think so, Dad. We found a park bench to sit down on and have our apples and our corn nuts which we had bought at the Carcassonne Saturday clothes market, which was almost entirely hosted and frequented by Moroccans. Not much to say about the town itself. It was windy. Oh, yeah and the streets were lined with plane trees (like the one in front of our house back home that you must have seen on Google street view, Joe. :P) We walked our bikes around the town (max. 5 min) then coasted all the way down the slight hill back to Malves. Dad and I (“And me too!” says Alison) leaned over our handlebars to go faster reminding me of Finlay V. when we go skating as a class.
As I type this, I am sitting at our kitchen table, eating Camembert cheese on day old baguette and drinking 100 percent grape juice out of a wine glass. It sounds so French (except for that they would drink wine, not grape juice) that I almost can’t believe it. But here I am. France, or Paris rather, was Alison’s request for our trip. Mine was Morocco. You might think that it would have been France, as that’s the only language in Europe that I am able to speak (‘cept for English in England), but to be honest I wasn’t actually looking forward to France. I wasn’t NOT looking forward to it, it’s just that I didn’t know what to expect. But all in all, I like it here. The small towns (Carcassonne, Malves) more so than the big cities (Paris). I have been (asked doesn’t seem like the right word. neither does forced. maybe advised?) to handle most transaction-making and direction-asking and hotel-calling etc. while everyone around me speaks a language that only I can understand in our family. That’s fine with me, I’m not complaining. So far everyone I’ve spoken to has been nice, sympathetic, willing to slow down their speech and repeat what they said if necessary. I don’t know why the French have a bad rep for being snobbish or mean. They all seem fine to me, other than being crazy drivers.