June 2010: An Adventure Through France

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June 7th 2010
Published: February 14th 2012
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Rennes was an interesting place. It was a reasonably sized settlement where, it seemed, the students had a grasp of the streets. Graffiti everywhere, but not the usual commonly found French graffiti, here it was street art. That and the dirty, stone, medieval buildings gave it a slight Gothic but definitely grungy feel.

I had not heard from Mr 'T' since I had contacted him a few days before leaving home. The arrangements were vague and general, “not sure which day but I’ll call before I arrive”. I had tried to call but I hadn’t received an answer. We were nearing the outskirts of Rennes, when he finally got in touch. We arranged to meet in the town square.

The square was alight with atmosphere. There was a collective of bars and restaurants many with outdoor seating, it was a vibrant cool summer evening perfect for a drink in the sun. Mr 'T' was nowhere to be seen. We decided to settle down at one of the tables outside a bar and ordered two beers. the American and I chatted for a while but were constantly drowned out by the shrieks and squawks from a pack of drunks. They seemed to be having some sort of a disagreement between themselves but also appeared to be having trouble keeping track of who was on which side of the argument, this resulted in sporadic scuffles every few minutes. Eventually, Mr 'T' called saying he was in the square, we got up from our table to look for him. It was at this time I had a personal welcome from one of the drunks in passing. This was in the form of a scream in my ear, causing me to turn towards it, closely followed by a fast and unexpected thump to the eye, which, when I looked at the guys hand was actually a large bottle of water being jabbed in my face. A brief moment occurred like that of a pistol duel in a western, only neither of us had a revolver and I did not have a water bottle to contend with! The moment was broken by him ranting again in French and me saying that I don’t speak French – in English- and him backing down. I thought it best to get going. We found Mr 'T'.

I hadn’t spoken to him in a while, we ate in a restaurant and caught up, I explained my trip so far. We stayed in a hotel for the night. I had convinced the American that the first few days of Le Mans would be worth seeing and hoped he'd stay for the race, but he explained that he needed to be heading to Holland soon. We decided to spend the following day in Rennes before setting off for Le Mans the next evening.


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