I awoke in Carcassonne France a little rough around the edges this morning surrounded by mostly naked men.
Bastille Day in France had treated my very well. I enjoyed it sitting along the edge of the river in Carcassonne France picnicking and drinking a little too much French wine while waiting for the spectacular fireworks show that was the grand finale of the day.
I know where you think this is leading; I can see the gears turning in your head. If you read my previous posts, you might remember that I was in France without my husband…
I am sorry to dash your hopes for a good scandal, but despite my best efforts to create one, I am somewhat disappointed to report that it all has a reasonable and mundane explanation.
The four bed, coed shared dorm room that I had booked before leaving for France somehow shape-shifted into a 40 bed, coed shared dorm room. I was still ok with it; it was cheap and considering how full town was for the celebrations, I was overjoyed not to be sleeping in the car.
Upon arrival at my bed at the end of the evening, I fell into a deep and sudden slumber (the type of deep slumber that only too much to wine can give you) and awoke not enough hours later so we could get to the airport for our flight to Portugal.
I awoke to the sound of cell phone alarms were starting to go off around the large room, the drunk revelers from the night before were starting to stir. Opening my eyes, I made a quick check that all of my vital pieces were still there (fingers…check. Toes…check. Clothing…check. Passport…check) Then one foot at a time, I stumbled towards the bathrooms.
Others were also starting to stumble out of their beds. This is where the naked men come into the story. I learned quickly that French men have no qualms about presenting themselves in their underwear with strange women around, and men’s underwear in France don’t leave very much to the imagination.
While I was not offended, the deeply ingrained sense of morality when it comes to the issue of nudity that is hammered into my head in the United States piped in and said, “No, that’s not right!”
Still half alseep and not wanting to gawk awkwardly, I averted my eyes and continued on with my business, a little less naive about the ways of the world than a had been a few minutes before.
Bidding goodbye to France is always hard for me. The fact that we are not heading home but to Portugal first is providing a distraction to keep me from thinking about how much I will miss France.