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Thursday, December 04, 2008

She Knows What I Did on My Summer Vacation
See here for pictures
As Told by D-L Nelson, Novelist and Journalist
on the exPat Writer Blog
Observations about living in Switzerland and France on a daily basis by an Swiss repat from America.
Sunday, July 15, 2007

Not the average holiday activity
Read first and then Click here for series of pictures
This was the second time M&B came to Argelès from the States. I’ve known him for decades and it is approaching a decade when she entered his life and I met her at Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, MA.

He reminds me of my parents' habit of talking to strangers. The fact his French is minimal is only a blip for him.

On the unseasonably cold and windy Sunday night the three of us were the only diners at La P’etite Pause, a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Haute Savoie: tarteflettes, fondues, etc. Nadine, the owner-chef, was training a new waitress and we began talking in French, English, Franglais. She described how she had done much of the reconstruction work herself and how she planned eventually to add a mural of her beloved Mont Blanc. Before B’s wife and I knew it he had volunteered to do create the mural of her dreams. I was pressed into service as translator to make sure she got what she wanted. A day was set aside for the work (eat your heart out Michelangelo.)

An adventure to find a new art supply store was followed with prayers of thanks offered for the good road signage that is a French specialty.

B painted for 12 hours, plied with coffee and food to keep up his strength.

Nadine didn’t quite believe it. It was unheard of that an American artist would appear at her table then add her dream to a wall and not accept money. She insisted we have an inauguration, an unveiling. Within 48 hours a fête was organized attended by locals, vendors, tourists and friends. Best dress was rolled out as were delicacies from the region and party was on.

As the last person Nadine whispered to me that this was a gift from heaven, but not only that when late at night she walked by the mural illuminated only by the moon through the window, it looked just like the real Mont Blanc did in the moon light from her childhood bedroom window.

And although we visited local sites, ate at good restaurants, talked with people together, and although they beached and biked, painting a mural is definitely not the average vacation pass time, but maybe the world would be just a bit better if it were.
See here for more pictures
Posted by DL NELSON at 2:54 AM

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