First stop for today was the obscenely extravagant palace built by Louis XIV(?), aka Versailles. Fortunately, King Louie burnt the bills for these buildings: it would be too shocking to know how much it cost. Keeping with the extravagant spirit, admission was like 5 euros ($5). France has personally paid back Mike and I for any and all aid the U.S. has provided for the French: we pretended to be under 18 to get in for free. This was one situation in which the language barrier was definitely to our advantage, as all we showed the non-English-speaking doorman were college IDs without any age on them. I might have felt bad, but the ice creams I bought instead more than compensated for any feelings of remorse.
I almost forgot to pass on the most important info I learned this weekend: French fries are called “frites” in France. That brings my French vocabulary up to a grand total of under 10 wrds: oui, frite, bonjour, merci, un-du-toi-catre-cinque-soi, monsieur, and that’s about all. Another important tidbit: making loud noises is universally understood as “look over here! Something’s going on!” This was fortunate for me at lunch: one of the restaurant’s garbage cans was billowing smoke as I walked by. After asking nobody in particular how to say “the garbage is on fire,” I basically just looked nervous and yelled “yo!” until a manager came and threw away a bucket of ice to solve the crisis. Last stop was some hunting chateau (translation: palace in the woods) whose claim to fame is a cameo in a James Bond movie. Then, another 10 hours of busriding banality as payment for having taken an organized tour. Guess I’ll make up for it next week by taking a jog with some angry cows…