Whew, 10 days chaperoning 5 International School kids for their week in the countryside. Their parents pay for them NOT to be in Paris. Arriving at DeGaulle airport in sky blue trousers and 50s purses, these androgynous & polished creatures changed clothes just to go out the feed the ducks. Very, very polite kids, but... not exactly what the people in the region are used to seeing at all. Our plan is to walk all the way into the village, visit the church and study the art. There will be one art history question to answer at the end of the day. Then we are to have a picnic. Last night I put out the idea of having a costume picnic… An idea EVERYONE liked! So, at the last minute I’m freaking out; there is nothing to take to eat, just old bread, a few sausages..all of which I’m about to put into plastic bags, but At the last minute I find the old, old picnic basket from the 1920s, lay a white linen napkin on it and put the food. I tell the kids I’m ready, and they say “Vincent, it’s not really fair, that you came up with the idea and you’re not even dressed.” As we walked in the heat down deserted country lanes to the deserted village with our proper picnic baskets draped in white linen, it was as if we existed in a time warp. We studied the rennaisance terre cuite sculptures in the village church and enjoyed one Coca-Cola each.
Then we marched to a lake in our starched shirts, straw hats and smoking jackets only to be greeted by a clique of local teenagers dressed in jogging suits, drinking beer and fishing while 5 year old Britney Spears songs blared from their car stereo... We were a bit more precious lot with no boom box, but many, many charcuteries, grilled eggplant & chicken (that had once walked the courtyard).... A nice memory.
Lots of fun, really. It's nice to re-connect with Bay Area style. They had a night in Le Mans. We had lots of night barbeques. We went to the Loire River and did the peddle boats, where the object was to 'capsize!'
I learned all sorts of slang 'cutty', 'spooj', etc, and also, 'hella', which is still in use (in California).
All-in-all a wonderful time.