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The Semi-Regular Newsletter


France, July 2, 2001

A Rainy Day in Paradise

Hi, I'm Wayan and I have a French cafe addiction

all that sunshine
What we came for
so much sand in their pants
Now that's more like it!
too cool to care
Kids in the Scene

Rain, rain, go away and come back again another day. Come back on a day when I'm at work, trapped in a hermetically sealed office building, not when I'm on a beach in the south of France, hoping to play in the surf and sun. Why does it trap me in this hotel room, when my wife and I traveled a long way to see the sun? Was I bad in a past life? Did we error when we enjoyed Paris? Why does it torment me so?

Hmm.. I can't think of anything. Lets see.. I flew the red-eye to London, grabbed Jingmei and jumped on the Eurostar (where its now possible to go from London to Hong Kong by train) to Pairs. How could I anger the rain gods with that zip trip?

In Pairs, Jingmei and I enjoyed the city, launching our forays into French culture from a box-sized hotel room with rocket-engine loud street noise and after midnight porn channels. We saw the Eiffel tower, the Camps de Ulysses, Notre Dame, the Pompidou Center, the Louvre, and Montmartre in three days of walking and ogling. We even met up with Fanny, a girl I'd met on my first flight to France ten years before.

Could it be payback for us not meeting Fanny again on our last night in Paris because Jingmei wanted to find the non-existent Chinatown? Maybe it was Jingmei's dissing of Michelangelo's Marble Slaves or my bad thoughts about the shitty French waiter.

I'm not sure what we did, but I know it happened before we'd even arrived in Biarritz, for Jingmei's first words as we stepped out of the train were: Its raining. Since then, the rain gods have tormented us. The whole first day we watched the rainfall, sometimes horizontally when the wind kicked up, from the safety of our hotel room on the beach.

The second day started out the same, but then the clouds broke and we quickly scampered on the sand. Being the industrious husband that I am, I built first a wind block to keep my wife warm when the wind picked up, then a wave barrier to keep her dry when the tide rose. Luckily, she was warm and dry enough to stay on the beach the whole afternoon, and is now a little burnt from the sun.

I was hoping for a second day of sun, to give us a final beach hurrah before we left Biarritz to head home, but I see the rain gods will not be so nice. We will be dodging raindrops between shop awnings and dancing around puddles in the street while we spend the afternoon lounging in cafes.

Ah, French cafes, the one great aspect to France that not even two days of rain can dampen. Jingmei and I are very fond of the French cafe scene, preferring it greatly to the dark pubs of England. She sips cafe au laits and I savor heffevizens as we both watch, and are, the scene. She had just one small complaint: no butter for the bread. Jingmei was so annoyed by the lack of butter for the tasty French breads, she began to bring her own butter to the cafes!

I guess I should relax and let the rain fall. We've had a great mini-honeymoon so far, with a week of France and not once yelling at each other or the French. Anyway, Jingmei is too burnt for the sun today, looking like a tiger shrimp with her bands of burnt red and ass white skin. That and now we have a great excuse to drink the afternoon away in yet another French cafe.