travel diary [Charente, Dordogne and Paris, 16.04.2011 - 26.04.2011]


four hours again at CDG. possibly i've spent more time in this airport than i have swimming in the sea. the oceans of the world miss me. i miss me. huge chunks of my life wasted to bad coffee and slippery metallic seats. i can't remember a single thing about how i got here. but this is a blessing. the olive bread is good, the toilets are not.

in a restaurant in angouleme and the woman next to me is eating a pizza covered in mussels, topped with a whole lobster.

bric-a-brac markets are a funny thing. everyone with their tables full of all the junk they should probably just throw away. give away. recycle maybe. but they're so very cute. i'm just left wondering if anyone actually buys anything apart from beer and giant donuts. so many old vhs tapes, games for out dated computer systems, broken toys, rusty tools. any excuse to eat triangular shaped biscuits.

the swimming pool looks like it's full of ectoplasm

the bad smell on an otherwise perfectly fragant spring afternoon turns out to be a badger. in the ditch beside the road. as we approach there's a splosh as an unidentified animal leaps away, perhaps a frog feasting on the flies feasting on the badger. laying their thousands of eggs inside its cold and delicious organs. a couple of days later the carcass is bursting with maggots, but it's still recognisable. we poke it with a stick, but it's definitely dead.

the next day we find another badger, fresh roadkill on the way back from the restaurant. we kick it out of the road and it's limp like a bean bag. by the next morning it's already stiff.

dinner had been half outside and half in. beer and wine, of course. at one point limp biscuit could be heard coming from the kitchen, but there was plenty of good music too. the exorcist still lives just down the little street, behind the church. we eat well.

at the large weekly market in riberac i find a copy of the handmaid's tale for 2 euro. an english book store of course, and in my head i'm pretending all these people aren't tourists. i'm speaking danish.

baguettes are hard to eat with delicate teeth. baguettes seem to be everywhere in france.

then i'm told off for helping myself to icecreams out of the icecream freezer. the woman explains that although that might be how it's done in england, it's not how it's done in france. i wanted to point out that it's how it's done everywhere, not just in 'uncultured' england, it's why they have the little display on the top with all the prices. but she had lent us plates and cutlerly, because we'd been stupid and forgotten our own, and she'd even gone to the special effort of microwaving the coffee before serving it us, so that it wasn't cold. i said nothing, just acted sheepish. but i'd love to see her in paris trying to convince the shop owner to fetch the icecream for her. anyway. we'd broken many rules that day on the velorail, no problems here.

sitting in the afternoon sun on top of my hill, my acoustic bass and nothing to stop me.



versaille is all dust and tourists. all tall trees and fountains, when what i really want is grass and flowers. and a maze. and no queue for icecream. foreigners must think france is one big queue. it's a half hour queue just to get into the carpark. people trying to push in, blocking off the main road, getting into fights. oh, the french.

hotel halfway up montmartre, which would be great (is great) if it wasn't that the moutain seems to be leaking piss. and it smells so bad when heading upwards. so much worse than roskilde.

spring tourists have no shame.

back in the same great restaurant. same main course and same wine, different table.

in amongst all the garbage at the labyrinthine antiques market, an area expertly desguised as a rag market, emil finds a 'crystal' skull. the man-who-was-full-of-shit said he'd just sold it yesterday for 4500 euros, in cash, and it was being shipped to los angeles tomorrow. rubber.

lunch in cafe's and dinner in restaurants. day beers in the sun. not creme brulee in cafe des 2 moulins. eating surprisingly good food. rocking montmarte.

spring tourists ruin my every photo.

on the top of montmarte, where old tourists go to die, a pint of leffe served in the wrong glass by a man in stylishly old fashioned trousers, who doesn't even speak english, will cost you 11 euros.

pro-tip: instead of going up the eiffel tower follow the river around a bit further east and go to the sewer museum instead (which you wont find if you don't know it's called le musee des egouts de paris). i'm so happy we finally got to walk the sewers.

the bastard at the door of dolce & gabbana wasn't going to let us in (that's his job). we force our way in anyway, and feel a bit uncomftable whilst we look at crap we have no interest in, because we can't leave straight away, because then they'd have won. even though they've won anyway.

shopping for pregnancy clothes in paris, because we're so chic.

and all that.

were not wasting paper [or grammar]
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