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le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

le weekend

 

 

April 3, 2001: Le weekend, part deux: eating, jumps and silliness
We were all set. Friday night, max and I had gone to the local supermarche (super marshay) to pick up food. Taking me to a foreign grocery store is like bringing an attention deficit disorder kid to see's candy or taking cornfed to a dog show at broadway and montgomery. I get so excited about foreign product packaging and changing currency that I forget the purpose of being there.

On saturday we had a picnic of fromage, jambon and pain (cheese, ham and bread), various energy bar snacks and those liquefied meat smears the french are so fond of, like foie gras, the smear made from the gorged livers of force fed ducks or geese. Beyond nazis, assyrians and the khmer rouge, few things are more cruel than french style animal husbandry.

Food isn't the only thing the french are liberal about. See if you can guess what gabriel was doing in this pixelized video. When we got stuck on a creaky chairlift for an extended time, gabi started singing. Loudly. Gabi is a fan of jerry lewis. I thought this was a worn out cliché, but no.

I put up some other short video clips as well, including this one of jonathan ski jumping, all of them going over a quick jump near the bottom, a run down the side of a steep peak and a dive off the last hill on sunday; this one can also be downloaded in a larger clearer version (9 megs, for fat pipe viewers only). Don't expect to be blown away; remember these are vacation pictures.

By sunday, I was making some real attempts to try french phrases, but this is definitely not something you can fake. It sure is difficult to communicate without the local language. I found that I am not at all funny in french, so I felt a little powerless and lame.

Then, just before lunch on sunday, I got all uncoordinated and loopy and had a rush of extreme dry mouth from all of the vicodin I had been taking. I was trying to follow the instructions, but hadn't been eating much or drinking anything, so it was probably mostly dehydration and over exertion on top of jetlag and, of course, narcotic central nervous system overload.

Don't play with drugs a home, kids. If I hadn't been in france and been spending away my last vacation opportunity for a while, I wouldn't have pushed my body so hard. I've seen people overdose from things milder than what I was taking, and it isn't pretty. It generally involves throwing up from every pore, shaking violently, hot and cold chills (or both) and the sensation of having an ignition coil discharge into your sinuses. I got by with spending a couple hours eating as much snow as I could, drinking a liter of orangina and tumbling down the hill with my board ahead of me (but not necessasarily in that order).

Just after lunch that day, we got into a contest of eructating and flatuence where I very nearly earned myself true french stripes, but greatly distracted a few people seated at the nearby chalet. One bystander said something that translated into, "yes that's very amusing." It was funnier on the slope.

Between saturday and sunday we were supposed to stay in a town called gap, but we changed our plans and stayed somewhere else, rather unusual. But that's another story.

More information about snowboarding, culture, customs and drugs:

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Where to ski and snowboard 2001
Walking in the alps
Learn to speak french
In the south of france
Rick steves' france
Distinction: a social critique of the judgement of taste
The french way: aspects of behavior, attitudes and customs
The essential guide to prescription drugs
2001 the treasure island experiment. All rights reserved.