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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fest Diez

I finally (finally!) went to the local pool on Thursday and the whole experience reminded me again of Polly Platt’s wisdom in asserting that a fundamental French sentiment, intrinsic to how all of France operates, can be surmised just by going to the pool; that being that French people would much rather have something be beautiful than simple or efficient. More particularly, I always go to the pool with visions in my head of the laps I will complete and the strokes I will use and invariably I spend the whole time choking on water as I collide into oblivious be-Speedoed men cutting across lanes and dodge little groups of chatty women. From what I’ve seen all French pools come with those nice, straight lane markers along the floor, to keep one on track, but I have yet to see anyone actually notice or adhere to them. They seem to be just a waste of tile. My adopted compatriots would much rather swim in circles, or across the short width of the pool or not at all, preferring to tread, clustered together, right in front of the wall that someone might want to touch and complete her (or his!) lap. To paraphrase Polly Platt, Le place de l’etoile in Paris, around the Arc de Triomphe-that horrendous, accident-causing nightmare-is not an accident, but very much on purpose. Ben ouais…why make it simple when it can be pretty…?

My Sunday afternoon plans were almost completely ruined today when the bus I was to take—the only bus for hours—drove right by me as I was heading to the station, paused for 30 seconds, and then just kept going! And more than five minutes before the time on the schedule! However, I am ever astounded by the kindness of strangers as Manchester (the assistante in Landivisiau…) made a phone call and arranged for a woman to come pick me up and drive me to Landi so as to not miss the Fest Diez that occurred there today. I had never been to a Fest Diez (like fest noz, only during the day) so I was relieved to not miss it. At one point early on, Manchester and I were dancing next to eachother, minding our own business, when we noticed that the photographer present at the event seemed to be hovering around us two quite a bit. Strange. And then when the song ended he strode up to us and asked ‘which one of us was the American and which the English?’ He got the spelling of our names and where we were from as well.

As I just keep saying, I’ve never been so famous than as I am in Finistere.

1 comment :

Pekka & Halle said...


hey, at least you SAW the bus. if we want to catch one around here we have to like lay bait, set up traps, and make bus-like mating calls.

h x

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