9 April 2019

"Now this is what I call a hotel!"

In France, a local town hall is a mairie, where the mayor (maire) presides, and might be labeled hôtel de ville, three small words that have confounded many a foreign traveler. Years ago, with friends driving from London to the south of France on our way to one of those three-day château weddings (in this case a great-great-granddaughter of Victor Hugo), we decided to stop for the night. Arriving in a small town in Burgundy, the driver, a Brazilian banker who fancied himself Ayrton Senna, upon spotting the elegant hôtel de ville stopped the car, jumped out, and proclaimed, "Now this is what I call a hotel!" and began to unload the bags from the trunk. Leonie, his usually cool and calm English wife, fed up with being cramped in the car for hours and bickering with him at almost every kilometer (he'd taken a wrong turn at least twice and refused to ask directions), leaned back, closed her eyes, and said, "That's the town hall! For Godsakes pleease get back in the car and stop being so tiresome!" - BPJ

Above: L'Hôtel de Ville, Paris' main town hall


[Many who've known me for years and follow this blog have been encouraging me to recount some of the tamer "adventures" we've shared without giving too much away, as a book might be lurking in there. Somewhere.]

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