Friday, 25 April 2008

The day of rest. Okay so He waited until the seventh day, and this was only our forth, but frankly he wasn't flu-ridden. Flu probably hadn't even been invented then.

Like blithering idiots, we had planned to hitch today, but after a stroll around the narrow streets of the old city in the sunshine we have both reached the same conclusion. It is time for a hitch sabbatical, a day off. We head to the main boulevard on the riverbank, where we lounge by the enormous river Garonne and discover the mirror d'eau, a huge lattice of marble slabs located in front of the Place de la Bourse, which bubble an inch or two of water.

Shoes and socks are removed with indecent haste and we splash around like children. Sofia's robotic slow-mo walk through the water looks incredible. We stop and watch some dancers performing beautiful balletic moves, the water lapping over their toes. Sofia then makes the schoolgirl error of splashing me a bit, so I feign injury and then when she comes over give her a faceful of water, before sprinting to the side and using an elegant French family as a human shield. A truce called, we run into two charming Americans. They give us a lesson in the anxieties of liberal Americans abroad. After apologising for their nationality and assuring us that they aren't 'patriotic' and that they don't worship Dubya or American foreign policy, we have a nice chat. Since they have been speaking French to each other for the last six months, we give them a chance to refresh their native tongue. They are heading to Spain soon. We encourage them to hitchhike, but bus tickets have already been purchased. Shame.

In the evening, burning with a yen for crepes, we take to the streets. After some confused wandering (the randomness of the hitch has sent my usually reliable internal compass into a spin), we alight upon the mother of all crepieres. I have a salmon, asparagus and bernese sauce crepe, which leaves me feeling full for the next 48 hours. Afterwards, we head back to Tom's impossibly glamorous bar. Feeling the urge to satisfy my piratey desires, I demand forceably that he "grog me". This shall serve as a catchphrase for the rest of the trip.

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