(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)
Saturday, October 3, 2009
it was a month for visiting ... and juggling ... cousin nate arrived first. drove up to Angoulême to retrieve him ... he's an artist in a variety of genres (drawing, painting, comics, photography, web design) who lives in Chicago and has had a very interesting, mostly non-mainstream life. I feel like I've known him mostly as a kid, so this visit really provided the opportunity for me to get to know Nathan the man. He's over 30 now and a very cool, laid-back fellow. I've always admired his ability to blaze his own path ... and he has even served as somewhat of an inspiration to me. a little bit of a fear abater (hell, he has gone a non-traditional route and hasn't turned into a pillar of salt!!).
anyhoo, he and I had nearly a week together before Johnelle arrived. I don't think I was much of a hit in the entertainment department (not counting his 2nd night here, which I'll describe shortly) ... I didn't have a hits-packed list of sites and tours and visits to provide. But he seemed to enjoy just sitting in my garden, drawing ... or wandering down to the village to people watch and draw some more. We did venture off to Perigueux a couple of times, he patiently followed me around in my treasure hunts in charity shops ... and we stopped off at the Roman ruins which were judged most interesting and photo-worthy.
another day we drove south ... I hoped we'd have lunch in Tremolat, a little hamlet with a good restaurant that was, naturally (!), closed. just about the time we discovered this fact we also discovered I was low on gas. now Nathan, if he was here, would interject that I had stated that rather optimistically. fact was, it was an impossibility that the car continued to run as it had been on red for some time. I however will interject that the gas light was not yet illuminated so it wasn't on fumes yet, just dribbles. to complicate matters, along with many shops and restaurants ... apparently fuel stations also close on Mondays. we were in territory where there is MAYBE one fuel station in a village ... and the next village may be 20 kms away, so if the one you wanted was closed you MAY have an issue.
this of course was our scenario. I accosted an unsuspecting victim in the village who patiently pointed me to the fuel station. I told him it was closed and I had an urgent situation. He asked me if the fuel light was on (!). No? okay, you just might make it to Lalinde, a slightly larger village with 2 or more stations. Nate was no longer chuckling at my laissez-faire attitude as we wound around tiny roads in the middle of what appeared to be nowhere but cow country.
We found Lalinde. We found the first fuel station, closed. We inquired, again, about where the hypermarché was. Not TOO far, we found it and fuel. And then we ventured into the hypermarché to profit from their air conditioning and to stock up on beer. and a bottle of whisky for good measure. See Nate, I told you the gas light wasn't on yet! After that, we passed a brocante that I recognized as the very first brocante I ever visited when in France. I had to back up and go there. I found some good stuff and so did nate. but he didn't want to spend the 4 or 5 euros on the cool old mags he found there. heh heh. he didn't need more 'stuff'. of course, later he had massive regrets. I'ma gonna try and get back down there this week or next and pick some up for him. in spite of himself!
okay. nate's 2nd night here, I over imbibed. I confess. I hadn't eaten anything but a bowl of warmed up rice all day. it was a Friday night and Jean Yves stopped by with a friend, to do a few 'honey-do' items on the shop. Those were wrapped up by 7:30 and we decided to have an apero. ha. we'd all already had a beer (or 2). We brought out the rum and had rum and lime cocktails. the music got cranked up. I had the pleasure of dancing with all of them at one point or another, sometimes at the same time!
all I know is that by 9pm they were leaving, an entire bottle of rum was missing and the room was starting to spin. later in the week Nathan told me that he heard me snoring in the bathroom.
that's as much as I'll divulge about that fateful night. I guess I'm not the only one who saw a new side of their cousin during September!
(the pic is me & nate bein' silly in the store)
more on visitors from america ... next time...