I know, I know…. It was going so well and then I dropped of the face of the Internet for ten days. The good news is that for the first seven following the hairy chickens episode, I was in southern France, mostly in Provence.
It was a holiday characterized by delicious, heavy food (yesterday a French friend said to Tim, “How many meals a day did you eat in France?” and Tim said, “Three: breakfast, lunch, dinner,” and the friend moaned and said, “No, no, too many!” This explains a few things.), Roman ruins, medieval cities, and beautiful farm country where tomatoes and grape vines grow against pomegranate trees and figs. Let’s just say: I’ve heard that French people are very proud to be French. And after what I saw last week, I think I get it. I’d be proud of it too.
But the bad news is…
The day we flew home from Nice to Amsterdam (less-than-two-hour flight on budget airline Transavia), seven days of travel, new food, using public facilities, and touching things in all sorts of markets and shops finally did me in. I felt weird that morning, and by the time we landed in Amsterdam I had vicious chills and was so weak that picking up my purse was almost impossible. Thanks to a mechanical problem with the usually-stellar Dutch rail system, we didn’t get home to Delft for three hours after that (as opposed to one). When we got home I had a 102 fever (102 F, Europeans) and in summary, the day got worse from there.
Having spent two solid days emptying the entire contents of my person—brain included, I think—and then one day stable but exhausted, I have not been able to write a coherent post about our trip, so I will start with the following: my favorite sign we saw in France, which turns out to be strangely applicable.
This sign belonged to a beachside cafe in Nice, and I loved it immediately: Restauration non stop. I thought the good old French had noun-ified the act of restauranting (which I may have just gerund-ified) and turned it into some frantic round-the-clock pursuit. Turns out M-W OK’ed restauration with the definition below (from the French, surprise), causing me to realize that the basic root of restaurant, an eating establishment, is to restore us. So you might say that I had seven days’ restauration (nonstop, even) followed by two days’ sickness and now two more days of a different restauration. Interesting.
Also, though the nonstop is humorous, I eventually figured out there was a standard meaning for that word, appearing on some restaurant signs. It means they don’t close for the two-hour early afternoon respite that is typical in France.
Main Entry: 2res·tau·ra·tion
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: French, literally, restoral, restoration, from Middle French — more at RESTORATION
: RESTAURANT; also : the purveying of food (as by a restaurant )
“restauration.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (19 Oct. 2010).