My outrageously French friend, Isabelle is from Rennes in Brittany and since I’ve known her has been trying to get me to visit. Her pitch? The promise of hordes of Frenchmen who are well dressed and take some initiative when pursuing women. Oh, and it’s like Paris but without the snobs.
Isabelle often exclaims that in order to get a man to talk to you in bar in England that you must take off all your clothes and dance in the centre of the room. She’s probably right, so off I went to Rennes.
Isabelle came and picked me up from the airport and drove me into town. I get this wonderful feeling being driven about in a foreign country, especially by a dear friend. It’s a memory of the whisper of freedom that begins when you’re seventeen and one of your friends learns to drive. It makes me go a bit Thelma and Louise.
We’ve got a heavy weekend planned.
We drink until 4am, smoke incessantly and clamber over several Frenchmen. It’s funny, those guys look so appealing. They smell nice, they’re well dressed and are pleasingly forward but it does absolutely nothing for me. The conversations are stifled due to the language barrier and it dawns on me that I’m into standoffish, smelly Englishmen in novelty t-shirts who will insult me at random. That’s my bag.
Finally, we stumble to Laurent’s exquisite flat and sleep on the floor in a heap. I wake up to the most marvellous array of pastries and delightful hospitality. It’s like fucking heaven at Laurent’s place.
We take a trip to the coast and I struggle to find any vegetarian food so I relent and have some mussels and some oysters. The view is beautiful, we take a walk along the rocky cliffs in strong wind and my dress whips around me. It’s stormy and brisk but it doesn’t rain.
I start to feel a bit wrong on the way back to town and instruct my wonderful hosts to take me somewhere to lie down. I then vomit magnificently all over Laurent’s doorstep. It is the most revolting looking vomit I have ever seen. Laurent tries his utmost to be gentlemanly but is clearly disgusted and worried about what his neighbours will think. My throat is swollen, all the little blood vessels in my face have burst making me look like I have sudden onset freckles. I collapse, sweating profusely into Laurent’s bed.
Sexy French weekend fail. I’m allergic to seafood, yet another food group to rule out making me even weirder to the opposite sex.