Disco inferno!

We set the alarm for 9am, but didn't manage to get going until a while later. We ate breakfast and took turns showering. While Nico was having his turn, the TV was on and there was this Belgian documentary on the Saturday morning kid's programming, all about blogs. If the sound had been on, I'm sure it would have been even more amusing!

In the morning, Becky and I went shopping together while Nico busied himself with less girly pursuits. Well, I imagine. I don't actually know what he was doing, so he could have been getting his legs waxed for all I know.

At H&M, Amande will be proud to know, I got a pair of pants, a skirt and a shirt for $25. Hooray for the nation-wide season of soldes! We also browsed at a few other stores, saw a whole store full of sale-price shoes I didn't want :( and then met Nico for lunch.

We had salads at a sidewalk table. I don't like it when my food looks at me, but I ripped the heads off my shrimp and tried to avoid looking at them. The salade norvégienne also had some rather tasteless smoked salmon and was, on the whole, rather disappointing.

We were also one of the few tables that didn't have an umbrella over it, so it was at this point that I realized that I had neither applied nor packed any sunscreen. Ouch. My nose, forearms and chest are bright red, although my chest has a strange V-mark from where my neck-scarf shadowed it. My scalp is also painful and itchy from my sunburned part.

After lunch, we all went our separate ways and continued our shopping individually. I bought a few new scarves (because my sunburn isn't strange enough already), then we all met up.

We wanted to go wine-tasting, so we headed for the area of Menetou-Salon, where there are several vineyards. We didn't know which one to go to, though, so we went to the local château first. It turns out they have their own wine there, selected by the owner - the Prince of Aremberg - himself. So as long as we were there, we tasted that wine. I rather liked it, but we decided to move on to the next vineyard, asking the guide for recommendations. She gave us the name of a few other places, but when we drove to them, they were closed on Saturdays.

We drove around in circles for a while and my hair got bigger and bigger as the wind whipped through it and I tried in vain to finger-comb it. Finally we found another cave that was open: les caves Teiller. Apparently 2003 was a good year for them and their 2003 blanc is so popular that they've had to limit its sales. Becky bought two bottles and Nico bought one, but I actually found that I preferred the château's white wine and realized that I don't ever just drink wine, so I refrained.

We drove back to Bourges and Becky and Nico dropped me off at the train station so that I could get back to P--------. I called the abbey to see if someone could pick me up and ended up giving an ETA that was off by an hour. Luckily the person I was talking to figured it out herself and didn't have to sit at the train station for an hour!

I got back to the abbey and relaxed and ate dinner, then we went to the nearby village of Ouchamps for a fireworks display. I had no idea why anyone would be having fireworks on June 26 when the fête nationale isn't until 14 July, but it turns out today is the fête de Jeanne d'Arc. So although there was a nice fireworks display, the really unusual thing for all of us American interns to see was the burning of Joan in effigy.

Don't we usually burn bad people in effigy? Maybe there's another story behind it that I don't get. Maybe that figure up there was supposed to be some English person. They built a huge pyre - sort of like a thatched cottage filled with logs - and Joan was tied to the stake (with her arms out, so really she was crucified in addition to being burned!) on top of the roof. They lit it afire and it burned for hours while the DJ played Johnny Hallyday's Allumer le feu about a hundred million times and people danced on a makeshift dance floor. It was all very strange and foreign and fun.,

srah - Saturday, 26 June 2004 - 7:14 PM
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Comments (5)

gravatar Mr B------ - June 27, 2004 - 4:23 PM -

Who's Amande?

gravatar srah - June 27, 2004 - 4:32 PM -

It's French for Almond!

gravatar Jez - June 27, 2004 - 6:27 PM -

There's no excuse for playing Johnny Halliday. Ever. One weekend, he did a free concert by the Eiffel Tower - so myself and my friends skipped town until it was over.

gravatar alfie - June 27, 2004 - 7:27 PM -

Oh, fete de Jeanne. I thought it was fete de Jean when I was there and they had the huge bonfire across from my French house. I guess it makes more sense now.

gravatar srah - June 28, 2004 - 3:04 AM -

<groaning as if in intestinal pain>OH MARIE... si tu savais...</groaning as if in intestinal pain>

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