Jour Cinq: Oui Oui, France! - France on a roll -- depending on charm - CycleBlaze

June 15, 2011

Jour Cinq: Oui Oui, France!

Wow, I never expected to meet a Frenchman who liked George W, talk about bizarro world, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Aside from that it was a good day; I'm in France for crying out loud! I didn't get much sleep last night, which didn't help my cold, but what are you going to do? Stop the show? I think not.

So, I got up and out and headed for the ferry. It was there I met this Frenchman who had a little daughter with him... see, before I left I bought little lapel pins with crossed U.S. and French flags. I had planned to save them to give out if people did anything nice for me but I figured there is no time like the present to start foreign relations. So I gave the little girl a pin, which she liked very much. It was then her dad said, "You are from America, oh, I like George Bush!" Thinking I misheard him I asked him to repeat and sure enough that's what he said, "Why?" I said in amazement. And he said something about him being a happy guy from Texas, or something... None of it made sense if you think about it?

Anyway, I was glad I gave the pin the little girl, she liked it.

After that I headed off the ferry and my new adventure in France. It was my first chance to practice all I have learned over the past two months. So I qued up with the other cars until it was my turn. Here it was, my big chance, conversation #1
Me: "Bonjour Monsieur"
Him: "Bonjour Madame"

Done! Did it! All I can say is I NAAAAAILED it! YEAH, baby!

Of course then he switched to English, which I assume was because he started looking through my American passport, and not because he detected any kind of an accent.

Conversation #2 was even trickyer...

Me: "Bonjour Monsier" (to a man on the street)
Man: "Bonjour Madame"
Me: "Parle Vous Engles?"

Once again, NAAAAAAILED it!

But the conversation didn't end there...

Me: "Ou ay (where is) la tourist...a....tourist office?"
Man: "Aaah," he said in English. "It is right behind you."

I turned 180 degrees. He was right!

I am getting GOOOOD at this!

OK, so I had a couple of conversations that were a little more complex. Like one where I wasn't sure I was on the right road to the bridge from Le Harve to Honfluer so I stopped at an industrial park and asked the two woman in an office if they spoke English, they didn't, not a word. So I conducted the following conversation, in French...

Me: "I am lost. Where is the bridge to Honfleur"
Them: Pointing and saying something I didn't understand.
Me: "Is it straight ahead?"
Them: "Yes, straight ahead," along with some stuff I didn't understand
Me: "Bridge with bike?"
Them: "Yes, yes, something, something, bike"

Not bad, eh? I got directions, in French, and they were correct I might add.

I sure am glad I learned to ask "I am lost" or "Je Suis Perdue". My ears perked up when that one came up on my French lesson, I assumed I would need it.

Anyway, I'm in Honfluer. I had planned on camping but the town was so cool I got an inexpensive hotel so I could stash my bike and explore, which I did. I will be camping more now though, especially since I'll be hitting more small towns.

Well, I'm popped. That's the update for today. Vive La France!

Hmmm, useful. This was in England but there are similar signals in France. It seems like pedestrians, cyclists and motorists peacefully coexist in both countries without any problems. Why does it have to be hard in the U.S.?
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The Girl Friday, along with the other bikes ready to board the ferry
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I saw these two on the ferry. I guess that's one way to keep the sun out of your eyes? Though you can't see if some crazy cyclist is going to take your picture that way.
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The Bridge to Honfleur. I'm pretty sure that means slow? If so, what were they thinking? Look at that grade, will I be doing anything BUT slow?
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The top of the bridge over the river seine
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Another from the bridge
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One more of Honfluer
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This is where I ate :-)
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Today's ride: 45 km (28 miles)
Total: 120 km (75 miles)

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