Le Gulp

Friday we went first to Cannes around noon, where I met The Frenchman’s mother. She took us to a fabulous lunch there on the seashore. I ate a ridiculous amount of mussels and a far less ridiculous amount of “frites,” topped with part of an apple tart and an espresso. Despite the bit of caffeine, I was falling asleep afterwards. I’d forgotten how mentally exhausting it is to speak only in French and to try to follow conversations. The Frenchman would translate at the restaurant for me, as it was far more difficult to hear his mother speak against the noise of the sea and the people, but later at the apartment, a visitor arrived and we reverted to all French. I felt like I was reliving Middlebury all over again.

Later that evening, we meandered to Cagnes sur Mer, where The Frenchman’s father has an apartment (the same apartment where The Frenchman and I spent our holiday last year), and I met both his father and his step mom, who made us a very lovely dinner that started with cray fish, sailed straight into a slow-simmered chicken dish with an eggplant and cheese dish, and dropped daintily into cheese and dessert (tiramisu). Oh la la!

The next morning, I took some new pics of the view from the balcony.

And after all was said and done, it seemed everything went well and everyone seemed pretty pleased to meet me and have me around for a bit. So, le gulp is over. Hooray!

Afterwards, this afternoon we went to Antibe and returned to the absinthe bar we went to last year. (Here are some new photos of the absinthe bar.) For those who are trying to figure out how this thing exists, we did more asking. Three years ago, France legalized the production and possession of absinthe, but it’s still illegal to sell it, especially in a bar setting. The owner of Balade en Provence told us that the actual prohibition is against selling in a bar any alcohol over 51 proof. So, there in southern France, where there’s more mafia than government, the owner gets around this prohibition by telling them that their alcohol is taken with water and therefore does not exceed the 51 proof limit. Crazy, huh?

We bought a delicious bottle of Muse Verte, but I can’t drink it now because it’s become clear that I have an ailment. When we got home, we went to the pharmacy. The pharmacienne gave me some special French over-the-counter medicine for it and said I can’t have alcohol or caffeine for a few days. (GAH! The timing!) Frankly, although I’ve never had this ailment before, I’m pretty sure every person I know who has had it has had to visit the doctor for antibiotics. But she seemed so sure it would help, we took the medicine and ran.

As soon as I have my body back, things will be better, I’m sure…

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