Monday, October 11, 2010
**This is a warning for what lies ahead. The target audience for this page is a group of about eight people, all of whom are curious about my new life and studies. I once had a travel blog that I used to email out to a huge number of people. I have decided this time around not to burden my friends directly with the details but rather to let people come and go as they choose. I will not be offended if you read no further than the end of this paragraph. **
Well folks, I've been here in Beaune more than a month. My French is improving, I am well-fed, I have some friends and a new bicycle. There have been great great wines and great little wines, and there will be plenty of time for you to read about them here. But this can't simply be a forum for my own particular brand of gastronomic pornography, and though I'm sure there will be days when I shall feel compelled to share all the filthy details of those conquests, I want to start off on the lighter side.
So let's harken back to last Thursday, when the day's work at Domaine des Croix finished surprisingly early. A free afternoon during the first couple of weeks of the vintage was rare and with the sun shining down it felt more like a month's holiday. So I wandered into the center of town, which was bustling with tourists to have a drink, read the Herald-Tribune and do some shopping for dinner, all at a rather leisurely pace.On my way back to my apartment, I found myself walking behind a very ordinary middle-aged woman, a bit shorter than me, with black hair and glasses, no different from any other that I could see had I been looking around.
But then she slowed suddenly, and as I quickened my pace to pass her on the right, she stopped for a split-second, lifted her left leg in a motion I recognized instantly... and farted audibly. I was stunned. Had I really just witnessed this? Her focus and determination on this single task would have made my brother (at age 15, not the 25 he turns this week) proud, and the length and volume would have made her performance a candidate for any child's joke noisemaker. I contained my laughter only as a result of having nobody to share this extraordinary moment. However I was also disappointed. In our house, the standard response to such an emission was always "Talk to me," and if this had happened on the streets of New York, I would not have hesitated to answer, even to a total stranger. Alas, my French is not yet that quick, and I was a further 30 feet up the road, before the words "Dit-moi plus," (Tell me more) popped into my head. But will I ever get a second chance?