Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Being French

Yesterday, when I suggested we may be short on sleep, I certainly didn't expect to be awake at a time which could only be described as uncivilised. It came therefore as something of a surprise to find myself staring into the day at least seven and possibly eight hours before our train was due to depart for Paris.

One of us managed to fill in a bit of time by washing and cleaning and tidying and making sure everything would be just so on our return, while I busied myself getting to know the beautiful interior of one of our Dutch neighbours' boats and passing comment on the quality of their coffee.

Despite the distractions, time failed to pass at all, although eventually despite our anxiety we managed to find ourselves in the foyer of our hotel in Paris, with a delightful concierge asking us for passports in accent free English. Naturally being bone fide residents we had not considered passports to be a necessity for travelling internally, so had left them securely on the boat four hundred kilometres away.

Tentatively, I reached for my identity card and placed it on the counter.

"Oh," she said, "You're French!", again the words were spoken in a version of English so perfectly pronounced that the Queen herself would be glad to hear, "You don't need any identification."

We wondered as we waited beyond midnight if it works that way at the bank as well.


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