Saturday, September 6, 2008

Excerpts from My Diary & E-mails, Pissy-Poville, France

6th -- Pissy-Poville/Rouen

Edouard & Jean cuddled up together watching Saturday morning Tom&Jerry --

I met my old friend Gwen in Rouen today for lunch. Gwen's mum lives in Portugal now & she & Gwen are road-tripping it up to the Netherlands to buy special fertilizers and seeds for her organic gardens, so they stopped off to see me. What perfect timing!

I hadn't seen Gwen in 2 years. She was in London when I was in The Gambia, in Liberia when I was in Vermont, & she's been in Portugal this summer since I've been in DC. We had a great time catching up, discussing West Africa as experienced by white girls, talking American politics and world economics. (We didn't quite have time to make it to the subject of boys, which is a pity!) We laughed about old times in DC. Some of my most relaxing memories are from when Gwen & I inhabited our old 'flat' (as Gwen says) at 5th & U NW. I'd come home from work as she was preparing for work, and we'd drink wine and watch Ali G or play Katamari on her PlayStation.

Gwen worked as a bouncer some nights at the Velvet Lounge. I'd join her for a few hours some nights to keep her comfortable &, just to mess with her, would show up wearing frilly pink skirts and lacy shirts. It's fun to be a bouncer in pink.

I got charged 51€ for something that in the States would have been $15. Merde. & I froze up and just paid it without question or protest. I can blame it on my nerves surrounding my upcoming voyqge, but I need to get tougher. And fast.

I'm sitting at a cafe now & they've just brought me a decaf cap absolutely COVERED in whipped creme.... I'm exhasted. Gwen, Gwen's mum, and I downed a bottle of wine at lunch (as well as a pizza each!)

Here in Rouen, the streets are cobbled and crowded. The houses are wooden & worn, with flower boxes at every window. The cathedrals are grand; one is still covered in pock-marks from WWII shelling.

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