September 6, 2008

Misadventures in Lamballe

Filed under: France — sensel @ 11:54 am

Okay, I hope I’m not starting a trend. Spied a laundromat (a lavagerie automatique, that is) while wandering around and decided I’d better do some (to answer your question Ray, there’s “home clean” and “travel clean,” and I’ve been mostly the latter. Or just plain muddy.) To make a long story short, I got my laundry clean and dry, but it involved awful noises, scooping the $1 worth of soap from one machine to another with a sock, and lots of verbose help from the 3 other people in the place, from whom I understood about every fourth word. (I can sure read French a whole lot better than I can hear it. Too bad the signs didn’t explain the broken washer… but I felt a little better when one of the French women had trouble with the dryer and needed help from the others, too. The dryer, I could handle.) It was kinda fun after the “ack!” part wore off. But then, after a tres sumptuous dinner — sort of a potato and fish brioche; I did better speaking etc in the restaurant than in the laundramat — I found myself locked out of the hotel’s automatic front door without a keypad code. After multiple tries, doorbelling, and even some attempts to hackĀ  the keypad, I broke out my phone card, found a phone, called… only to be told the door was open. Went back and the manager was waiting for me, and sure ’nuff, the automatic door opened automatically. But this one was NOT operator error, or too much cider at dinner, either — believe me, I tried many times, walked away, came back, looked for side doors, came back, had an idea, came back… before going to the effort to find a public phone. Perhaps only french DOORS are rude to tourists?

Did I mention the INCREDIBLY rowdy group of English bicycle riders who invaded first the hotel and then the restaurant dressed in pink plastic wigs, the big, hairy men in short skirts a la French maids, etc? Geez, and Americans have the reputation for being loud and obnoxious?! Never met Brits quite like that before. I’m sure I’ll be hearing from them again about 2 a.m., ha ha…

Okay, c’est tout pour maintenant. More adventures, undoubtedly, soon…

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