I’m attempting a gradual workdown to stateside levels of wine consumption. It is unseemly, these excesses.
On New Year’s Eve, I dined and danced at a village community center in Montlaur, pop. 500. Many family-style courses served under blazing fluorescents. I remember venison at 1am, a “Norwegian omelet” at 2.
Games were played, with boisterous whooping, red faces, and quirky, murky rules. Many songs were shared, in Occitan. Wobbly folks stood on their chairs and swayed. Festivities were steeped in tradition, specific to this tiny corner of the world.
Of course, there was evidence we do live in a global village:
I got lost walking home, and spent nearly an hour stumbling around the cobblestones. I wasn’t scared, shut up, I am tough, not scared, no. Even when the dogs snarled, I did not whimper.
Insider tip: if you’re lost and drunk in an Old World city, pretend you are playing Zelda and that nothing is real. It will give you the courage to approach a half-naked muscle man, changing clothes in a dark alley. “Excusez-moi monsieur…”