Thursday, September 17, 2009


We were invited to go to a wedding while in France; it was Laurent's friend Laurent (no, not the Laurent whose house we were hanging out at, the OTHER Laurent) who was getting married, and our Laurent was best man. So we ate chevre melted on toast and drank wine, and abjured Catholicism, which states that you can't have a big fancy church wedding if it's your second time around, even if your BRIDE has never been married before, and might potentially want to wear a floofy white dress. I told Ray, "Time to switch to Protestantism," if only for the veil and gown.

Apparently French weddings are half wedding, half roast. We found this out when the bride's family, her tiny little mother and father and her cute younger sister and her younger sister's Madagascar-ian boyfriend all came out to sing a song about the bride, who apparently played the clarinet in her youth. It was very sweet and harmonic, and the chorus was a beautiful repetition of "Clarinete, clarinete," except that they were pointing out such things as "When your sister was born, you hated her and would happily have pushed her down the stairs," and "Gosh, you sure like beer a lot." It finished with "If you liked this song, we#re happy to repeat it, and if you don#t, stick it in your ass." I translated for Ray.

Then the groom's eleven year old daughter stood up and sang a song, accompanied by a younger boy on dramatic re-enactment, about how much her new stepmother liked beer, and how now she was allowed to drink beer, and it made everyone fall down and act silly. The bride did not seem to be that much of a lush -- she actually seemed very lovely and nice -- but it was pretty funny. I guess lots of things rhyme with "biere".

Then we went to Paris, wherein fall seems to have come all of a sudden. The streets are cold and grey, and full of people in monochrome, looking far better than anyone else, and knowing it. I saw a motorcycle with a bumper sticker that said "I {heart} nothing...I'm Parisien" which kind of sums it up, although I pointed out that most big-city residents like to go on about how nihilistic and jaded they New Yorkers. We rode the Metro a lot. We ate a lot of food. We stayed in a French hotel that had a shower and toilet IN THE ROOM, which you may not understand the miracle of if you've never been to France before. Suffice to say, I would have fallen to my knees in dramatic appreciation, if there had been room in the room to get down on my knees. Hotel rooms are SMALL.

Then we hopped on a TGV and ICE combination and made our way to Germany, land of hilarious words like Eisenbahngesellschaft and Gefahrt and Geschmacht. I don't reallz know more than a basic smattering of German, and Ray knows none, so it's fortunate therefore that we are staying with my old high school friend and his delightful family, who speak English, what with him being from Canada and her being an accomplished filk-singer who's toured in the States. The baby doesn't speak anything yet, but she sure is cute.

And here we remain until we go to Belgium, although I'm tempted to go back to France and see if we can make it to Chamonix. It's so freaking cold right now, though, my only long sleeved shirt is getting a layering workout. I can't imagine what it's like in the Alps. Yikes.

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