June 5, 2004

Concombres is French for Uborka

Bonjour, mes petits concombres, de Angers en France.
Lamentably, I’m here due to work, and not for reasons of love or passion (although I love my work and have a passion for it) and shall be travelling back to the UK just as soon as I’ve eaten breakfast. However, as this is the wonderful new Week of Luuurve With Graybo and Vaughan (or maybe not, who knows?), I’ve been pondering the curious notion possessed by some people (notably the British and the Americans) that France is a romantic place to be.
Certainly the Loire is very beautiful, even this far down the valley, and Angers itself is an attractive town with wonderful architecture and plenty of good streets for walking hand-in-hand with the person you might want to do that sort of thing with. Paris, I am told, is even more romantic. I’ve never been to Paris. However, I’m travelling through the city to get back home, and will have an hour to kill when there. As I’m passing through Montparnasse station, I’m told that there is a very nice cemetery nearby that is worth exploring. Whether this is a good area in which to discover "romantic Paris", I’m not sure.
My point is this – is France, and Paris in particular, truly a romantic place? Or is it, particularly for the English, a conveniently nearby place to take a short break with a loved one, a place where romantic experiences and memories can be created in an environment that is "foreign" and perhaps even a little exotic – after all, they speak a different language here, and eat funny food.
Or is it just a place for a quick dirty weekend, illicit or otherwise?
Maybe there is something about the atmosphere here, perhaps something in the water or in the wine, that brings out the soft and soppy side in the normally stiff-upper-lip British? I must admit that I’ve been feeling little pangs for my beloved back in Blighty (Hels, not Vaughan, you understand – although I miss Vaughan as well, of course), though that may just be because I’m a soft muppet, all loved-up with a new fiancée who will soon be my wife.
What do you concombres think? Answers on a comment-shaped postcard.


5 thoughts on “Concombres is French for Uborka

  1. I don’t think so. France has places that are quite good fun, namely Chamonix, the Rhone Valley, and the Massif Centrale, but it would not be my romantic destination of choice. And now that Prague and Venice are such hackneyed choices, I’m not sure where I would choose as an alternative. Although I’ve heard that people fall in love in New York a lot these days.

    Karen on June 5, 2004
  2. I spent a wonderful weekend in Paris with my wife. I love the place (and her).

  3. Why have a dirty weekend in Paris, when you could have a dirty weekend in Scunthorpe? Or Gilberdyke? Or, er, Porlock? (Oh, OK then. Not very good examples).

  4. I think they were very aptly chosen places, since Gilberdyke and Porlock contain the words “berdy” and “orlo” which everybody knows are Norwegian and Romanian (respectively) for the word contained within Scunthorpe. All in all, the best places anyone could possibly have a dirty weekend.
    Unless, of course, one does not favour the dirt afforded by berdies.

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