I took a two day petit séjour from my election obsession to go to Hyères in the south of France for my first authentic French wedding . On Friday afternoon, we took the train from Paris to Zizou’s hometown, Marseille. On the train, believe it or not, I dreamt that I was writing a detailed post about how the government bailout was essentially a subprime loan — we lend money we don’t have, borrow from abroad to pay for it, and hope that a different party will be in power when the day of reckoning comes and taxes need to be raised to pay for it.
In any event, we arrived in Marseille and had a few hours to walk around the old port and Norte Dame de la Garde. Marseille is heavily influenced by it large immigrant population and definitely has a very special feel to it. From Marseille, we drove to Toulon where we set up camp and had dinner at its port amongst chanting French sailors. On Saturday morning, I dreamt that I was reading the New York Times and Washington Post, but then awoke and headed towards the very beautiful Hyères for the wedding.
What surprised most about a French wedding was that, unlike Spaniards, the French prefer dancing to drinking. No one was visibly drunk and, other than wine, there wasn’t very much alcohol. Nevertheless, everyone was dancing, especially the men. In Spain, speeches are rare, whereas in France, apparently, speeches and even fun skits and songs are the norm. Although I didn’t understand exactly what was being said at this wedding, I could tell that the speeches were moving. And everyone treated me with great kindness and friendship.
With the exception of having to answer a few questions about Joe the Plumber, by Sunday I had almost completely forgotten about the elections, giving me almost nothing debate-worthy to day dream about on the way back.