Not long after we arrived here on the Rue I noticed that a house across the street, previously shuttered up tight, was slowly coming to life. Each day out came a serious looking fellow of a difficult to say age with a thick gray mustache and beard and a myriad of tattoos. He wore exotic leather sandals with soles that curled up over his toes, you know the kind you see on movie characters who ride Arabian horses through the desert and cut people’s heads off with giant curled swords. In my head he was mysterious, dangerous even and I had all kinds of wild stories attached to him.
Despite my intrigue, timidity trumped curiosity so I never got beyond a quiet bonjour to him. Then one day Neil and I were huffing up the hill and there he was again. He stopped in the middle of the street and offered us a deep and solemn bonjour and said, “Jean-Claude.” Finally someone in France opens with their name. He paused for a moment, looked at us intensely, “Do you like apples?” Of course we like apples. Then he raised his large arm and with a toss of his hand directed us to his truck.
Next thing I knew we were driving up the road with this stranger who in my mind was the local mafioso bringing the feckless immigrants to a local dog fight arena. He stopped in front of a large plot of land full of bushes and trees and got out. Curious indeed. I decided to trail behind the men you know just in case I had to make a break for it. Continue reading “Real Men Eat Tarte” »