In the past four days, we've dined with friends, some new, some longtime, of 12 different nationalities: American, British, Canadian, Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Romanian, South African, Spanish, Swedish, and Swiss.
We've shared stories about how each couple met, how they came to Argeles-sur-mer, and places they've experienced in their respective lives. Many of the stories roaringly funny, many touching, a few sad but survived.
For a tiny village in an out of the way place, the interconnections are amazing. The first couple we had dinner with was leaving the next day because the third couple was renting their ASM home starting the next day. Couple 3 are good friends with one of the young men who owns the hotel up the street, the hotel which our landlady had previously owned. They're also friends with a couple of our UK chums. (We had not previously met Couple 3, except through Facebook.)
While we were at La Noisette on marche day with Couple 3, a British friend ambled in, followed a short while later by new friends who had just returned from an errand in Italy. We'll call them Couple 4.
Couple 2 includes a longtime friend and former co-worker of Donna-Lane's and his wife, who is the closest to a south of France 'local' in the group. (She praised my attempts at speaking French, bless her.)
Couple 5 from Sweden and our landlady from Denmark joined us for a Scandinavian evening where we served ... what else, lasagna!
For a guy who used to go out socially perhaps four times a year, four days in a row is rather heady stuff. It's great fun ... and the food is merveilleux, prachtige, vidunderligt, underbart, meravellós, wonderful.