Friday, July 16, 2010

M2D12: Bastille Day and Colonie Vacances

I am spending the last 3 days together with my children before they go off to their first "Colonie Vacances", a sleep away camp. I left Paris on Bastille Day, 14 of July. This was the sight below my window, with hundreds of horseback soldiers marching in their formal, beautiful attire, after the "Defilé", the official Bastille Day parade in Champs Elysées with the President Sarkozy (it's the theme of the novel and film "The Day of the Jackal"). The sound of horseshoes on stone pavements which continued for a long time, together with the military uniforms that's created to 'impress and awe', made me imagine what real battles in Europe must have been in the old days. Funny the sounds like this seem to make things more real. I saw part of the "Defilé" on internet TV, with the funny effect of seeing the military planes flying over on the TV then 'hearing' them going over my apartment a few seconds later.

For the "Colonie", husband had done most of the preparation in terms of administrative organization, from the beginning: finding the camp, contacting, applying, health-certification, etc. even shopping for clothing, marking them etc. etc. I just had to finish and tied up the loose ends, buy some missing things, mark absolutely everything with their names and then pack them. I think packing for two weeks together psychologically helped preparing them for the camp as well. Now they are all excited instead of being sad and worried of being away. Although it would have been easier if I had just packed them all myself quickly, I made a point of laying everything out for them, and let THEM pack into their suitcases.

We are in a small village in Picardie, near a town called Chauny. Here we get most of the supplies. A typical provincial town, their markets are great. Here we are, buying the famous French melon. You tell the vender when you are eating it, "one for tonight, one for tomorrow" and he will give you the ones with appropriate ripeness. And of course, they sell the forbidden-in-the-USA "Reblochon".

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