Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Chez Monique

Chez Monique,
St. Lothian, Jura, France,
28 August to 5 September 2001

The Arrival: Tuesday, 28 August 2001

Once again we found ourselves in the required location for an event and no accommodation in the town. Tired, hungry, grumpy and late; things were not auspicious for finding a suitable room for six nights leading up to the Belvedere Duathlon for which we had travelled 1,600 kms in a day and a half.

An unlikely looking Hotel on the edge of town seemed our last bet, and turning into the driveway a car reversed into us, despite much yelling, banging on doors and honking to indicate our (right of way) presence. Without a common language, much confusion on why an accident report form needed to be filled in, however all seemed to be resolved over the next hour.

We still needed a bed for the night.

The Hotel of the Incident was full, however rang a nearby town and arranged for us to stay at Chez Monique. The name summoned up visions of leggy, blond loveliness and it seemed as though our luck had turned. However by this hour, Rob was too tired to eat – at all – and my food experience in France having been restricted to a packet of fat reduced potato crisps and diet coke from the service station, I had been keen to eat out. With a race in few days, I was back on my special liquid diet from tomorrow.

There had been a heatwave during the days we were driving in France, and St. Lothain seemed to be an ideal position. In the extended twilight, it appeared a quaint, quiet and small town, where the weather had brought locals out to sit on the chairs at the tables outside.

Monique was not as envisaged.

Aging, mainly visible on her legs and increasingly apparent deafness was a caricature of the loud rural French woman with a cigarette permanently descending from one corner of her mouth. Her voice grated with harshness that we were unaccustomed, especially compared with the enticing seductress of our Renault each day.

She showed us the room with shower and WC, a reasonable 220FF for one person, 260FF for two beds occupied, and 60FF for each extra person or 20FF for each animal. AS we were to occupy two beds – one of us snored, Bob explained – we were charged 320FF for the night. Too tired to argue or negotiate, we paid by credit card upfront (back into civilization!), and hit the sack(s). With just the barest of necessary luggage brought up in our packed overnight bags, it was perfectly safe to leave the gear in the car.


Post a Comment

<< Home