13 May 2009

2006: Madame

Please meet "Madame", an 82-year-old woman who is as cheerful as the day is long, who was/is apparently a champion "bouler" (somewhat akin to lawn bowling), and in love with her garden flowers. I can't remember the last time I met anyone who was as full of life and cheery as Madame. And yes, even when we talk with her, the "M" in Madame is capitalized. She lives next-door, and understands almost everything I say, and I understand perhaps 30% of what she says. Please don't laugh. A lot of what she says is "Oooh, la la!". Really. Hopefully, my ratio will go up, because it will be a Long Sabbatical if I don't figure out more quickly what she's saying. Her accent is a little difficult, and she speaks quickly-enough to get a speeding violation in some Southern states. As such, she's my best chance at immersion learning.

And she has yet to let me go by her front door, which I must do in order to see France, without asking about my day. She's been told (1) I'm American, (2) that I photograph things, and (3) I'll be around for a few months. So, the town knows me now. Thank you, Madame. (grin)

Petrol prices around Bretagne range from 1.25 Euros to 1.65 Euros per litre. Most vehicles are still very small, and I don't think I've seen anything larger than a Mercedes diesel sports car (excepting business vans and cargo tractor trailers). With prices like that, alternative modes of transport (bicycles, motorbikes, scooters, walking) are acceptable and used by almost everyone.

Birds seen:
Crows, Rock Doves, European Starlings, House Sparrows, Magpies (unknown variety, but widespread: paint it completely black, then put a white racing stripe on the top of the wing and underneath), and what I think are House Finches... Many types of swallows, at least one species of swift hawking bugs perhaps 100 feet above a town square in Lannion, and a few raptors (all unidentified).

Only one worth noting: the Boys took me for a quick trip through the area between Pedernec on the south, Lannion and Perros-Guirec on the north, and Treguier on the east. While in Lannion, I spotted a huge canine sitting in the doorway to a retail establishment. His demeanour and facial expressions were priceless, and will eventually be posted to the website. Greeting cards with his face WILL be made available upon my return.

[ 2009: Posters have also been made of his beautiful visage. Feel free to contact me for more information :) ]


Tourist Information in Lannion has informed me that internet access is available, if for limited times. Given the limitations, I probably won't be uploading photographs to the website until I can find access that doesn't mind more than a few minutes of upload time. As well, links that I would normally include in each missive will also be perhaps a few blog entries behind the original. Without access to the net while writing this, my ability to point you to interesting places on the web is lessened... Je suis désolé (je swee day-zo-lay - I am sorry). With luck, such access locally is available...

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