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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Life – Hospitality


It was a soft summer night. Still light at 8:30. And comfortably warm after the day’s searing heat. Yer hero(that’s me, folks) was in his third hour of surfing this tiny perfect French village. It was the ole “good news – bad news” deal. The good news – everyone I met was more than overjoyed, delighted, and, yes, salivating at the prospect of having the exotic stranger from the far away lands(thats me, again, folks) dazzle them with his guitar artistry in exchange for a bed n’ grub. The bad news – all of the everyones were otherwise committed.

No Room at the Inn

The village Mayoress DID have guests. So, would have been perfect – except she’d already booked a cellist. Oh well! Jean-Marc, the baker had a housefull. Lucian, the IT guy(“information technology” – the French way of saying – “computer nerd”) had, not only a young baby, but also a 6 am wake-up call. (Read – no sleep for anyone in that house!) Logically, this village was a loser. Lotsagood vibes, but no possibility.Logically, most folks woulda shuffled on down da road.

Quitters never Win

But, as my regular readers know, da BG’s battery does not run on logic. It’s fired by heart. By the vibe of the people and the place.My engines fuel is FAITH. Unquestioned, unshakeable faith in the goodness of human nature. All this, unconciously confirming that the magic combo of interest and possibility DID, indeed exist here. Simply a matter ‘o keepin’ on, keepin’ on.



Faith rewarded

Earlier in my noble quest, I was advised by three sisters(not really sisters, actually, but, more on that later)to knock on a certain door down the street from them. This I did. Several times over the course of three hours. To no avail. However, as I made yet another pass through perfect village-land, I did spy a booty-ful woman(and are’nt they the best kind?) walking in my direction on the opposite side of the street. Naturally, I was instinctively compelled to point my steed in her direction. And, after her very friendly, smiling “bonjour” was further compelled to explain my gig.

Jana, then suggested it might be possible at her house. And beckoned me to follow. You know what’s coming next, dear reader, do you not? Indeed. Jana’s house was the one I was pointed to by the 3 (faux) sisters.

A Load off my Brains

After installing me on her sun dappled patio with a tall, cool one,(non-alcoholic) Jana warned soberly :”It’s alright with me, but, of course, my Husband could say no.” You’re ahead of me again, are’nt you? Happily for me (and this non-ribald tale) Roland, the Husband not only did’nt say no, but enthusiastically peppered me with questions, while Jana made up my room. (Actually, a suite!)

The Thick Plotens

After a long, refreshing shower, I returned to the patio to find the three (faux) sisters. Who were, in fact, Grandma, Daughter, and (teen-age) Daughter. They had each, thoughtfully, arrived with a bottle. To compliment the massive two litre one Roland had produced. Muchies festooned the table. Twilight crept on. The night stayed warm. The welcome was warmer. And so, a very memorable evening of wine,women(two men) and song. (Not to mention some great grub!)

Theres got to be a Morning After                                                                                                                                            

Next am, after a deep and peaceful sleep, I awoke to freshly baked goodies and strong Italian coffee on the patio. Again caressed by sun and a soft breeze.

After the farewell photos, exchanging emails, etc. your hero saddled up, and rode happily into the daybreak. But wait – There’s More! As I passed the house of the three(not really) sisters, poised to give them a hearty goodbye wave, they were on the front lawn wavin’ me in.

My Arm Twisted Again

Now, I ask you dear reader, after the wonderful night we’all had passed together, it would have been the height of bad manners NOT to accept their luncheon invitation – would it not?

But wait – (again) – This is NOT the punchline. The punchline is – This was two years ago. And since then, at every possible card/email sending opportunity – Christmas, New year’s, Easter, I get a message along the lines of “we never forget the wonderful time we spent together, and hope all is well with you.” Now that, folks, is HOSPITALITY! N’est ce pas?


What are ya thinkin’?

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3 Responses to “French Life – Hospitality”

  1. stephane landeret says:

    your demonstartion of faith is incredible§ and the story. great stuff!

  2. lawrence knight says:

    if this is the hospitality you can expect in France….i’m on my way!

  3. nadine carter says:

    this is a truly heart warming story. Shows you what can happen if you have unlimited faith. obviously.

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