The two main dangers in France are death… and stepping in dog shit. I’ve been living here in Villefranche-sur-Mer for nearly two weeks now and I’m shocked that I am still alive. I’m even more shocked that my shoes are clean.
It’s time for a short French lesson. It is important for the story and also so you know that I have not wasted my money. I have actually learned something. The term in French for the quantity of zero is “pas de”. The French word for alot is “beaucoup.” Got it?
There are “pas de” sidewalks here and the roads are so narrow that one person and a motorbike can hardly pass each other. Pas de sidewalks makes for extreme danger of morte. Each day we walk up a hill as steep as Mt Everest with our arses flat against the retaining walls on either side of the road. The drivers take absolutely no notice of us but in case you think the French are heartless, they are very careful of cats that sit in the middle of the road.
Meanwhile as we ascend the giant hill every morning and return home each night, we negotiate constant dog poo-landmines. It is as if dog shit is a type of asphalt here, there is so much of it. There is beaucoup beaucoup dog poo. I’m just stunned that I haven’t hit one of the mines as I leap out of the way of the Formula One drivers who seem to live here.
But after two weeks, the danger seems as normal as speaking only French for eight hours every day. Very challenging but also very rewarding when you are successful.