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Le Baillene…The Whale Lives On…

Where our Morton Salt Girl takes a vacation.

Yes, this title has little to do with anything other than I was fascinated by the sal de la mer of France. The mascot is a giant blue whale and when I tried to explain to my dinner host on Friday night that we have a a little girl with an umbrella he looked at me like I had just told him I had hidden away the treasures of Constantinople in my purse.

They get a whale. They do not get a girl with an umbrella.

When we last posted (we, me, I, whatever), I was on my way to Montmarte to meet my new friend for dinner. What he hadn’t exactly said is that he would be cooking. In France, I have been invited to so many homes for so many dinners that it makes me long for the 1970s when all of the houses in my neighborhood were open at all hours for food, games and candy.

A made a wonderful meal and while I kept trying to help, he said ‘non’ and sat me at his new dinner table. What can I say about the meal other than it was delicious? I don’t know. It was that good. He made a sauce of fresh mushrooms and peppers and grilled fish. We shared a bottle of wine and for dessert…Cheese. Yum. Brie should be a national food in the US.

We talked a lot about the march that was to take place yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of people were expected (and actually came out) to protest a law allowing gay marriages. In the US, when we protested the laws against gay marriage, we often looked at it as a law against love. In France, they see it as a law protecting the rights of how children are created. It is an interesting debate, and I found myself understanding the debate a little better as my dinner host described it. It feels so foreign, that in a land where so many people have come to find freedom, that love isn’t enough to start the dialogue towards change. I hope France gets this right, but as an American, my right might not be theirs.

Having spent a week talking with my new friend, I have learned a different side of France in comparison to all of the artist friends I have made over the past few years. I think there is something to seeing a place you love through the eyes of many. That’s why I come here and that’s what I always take home when I pack up to leave.

Next installment: Les Progress…The one in which I drink and dance until 5AM and meet my future.

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