Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Gimme shelter

Another weekend, another hike. This time it was quite simply a walk in the woods; there were no rocks or gates of the devil, no castles, no mountains. Despite this, we still managed some adventure when Luc, our guide, decided that we were on the wrong path and therefore led us through 400 metres of thick, thorny underbrush to get us on the proper path. Given how itchy my legs have been since, I’m not sure all the vegetation was of the non-poisonous variety (though that does not include, I hope, the mushrooms Amynah picked for dinner).

Foxglove, aka digitalis - very poisonous, though not nearly so menacing seeming when you translate its name from English to French and back: "The gloves of the fox."

On the other hand, we did see a stag, and I learned that Amynah and Luc are apparently coordinating their outfits before leaving the house in the morning.

The day before, we were at a farewell party for our friends Danielle and David. Danielle was my French teacher, and the woman who introduced us to Sami the Finn, along with many other good friends we've made here.* Danielle and David are moving to Great Britain for David's job, and the party took the form of a picnic on the German side of the Rhine. We're very sad to see them go - not only have they been good friends, but they've been an excellent source of English-language movies and books. It was slightly cheering, however, to be biking over the Rhine just as the fireworks from the Foire St Jean Baptiste reached their climax.

Unfortunately, the organizers of the party had neglected to tell us that they were planning on giving the guests of honour a photo montage of their friends here, for which we were supposed to bring photos of ourselves. To my chagrin, Amynah happened to have photos: spares from our recent renewal of our passports, in which we were forbidden to smile. Thus, my farewell gift to them consists of a photo of me looking like I want them dead.

* For whom I cannot think of any good, mobster-esque nicknames. Fast talkin' Lama? Breakfast mix Qi? Catalan Carlos?

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