July 15, 2008

Remi Joly

And then we were off to find Remi (uncle) in his town called Malijais, in his idyllic stone house, sitting atop a mountainous hill, overlooking Provence, with no neighbors to be seen. He, his wife and daughter reside there, eat vegetables from their garden daily, and heat and power their lives using solar panels.

Remi sat us down upon our arrival and delivered a condensed version of l'Histoire de France, according to Remi Joly. This particular version of history amounted to a half-joking, half-very-serious account of French superiority throughout all time over the English. From England's Gallic roots (most things stem from France, after all), to Jean-François Darlan's 1940 sinking of the French naval fleet in WWII, which was an action, according to Remi, motivated by a desire to keep French assets out of British hands. (I think the official version of that story is a bit different. According to most, it was the Brits who sunk the French fleet to keep it out of Hitler's hands - the difference between the two versions is only slightly important), and then on to the fact that, according to Remi, British people's buck teeth are caused by their constant pronunciation of the 'th' sound in English. His final, and most convincing point was the fact that little British girls’ panties smell like pee-pee. Ah, the joys of being Remi.

Remi is delightful. He cooked two incredible meals for us, using courgettes (zucchinis) that knocked our socks off. He also took us 4-wheeling: Remi style, in his crazy old, forest-green, big-tired car - the branches of trees assaulting us from both sides through the open windows as we were rocked up and down his mountain. His phenomenal dog ran ahead of the vehicle, showing the way.

A little video that documents our jubilant ride with Remi up and down the mountain:

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