Canet, France
October 17
Cold and Mastless in Canet
By Gunter   


A deserted beach town with rows of houses with closed shutters, large condominium buildings without people, dog turds on the side walks calling for frequent “turd alert”, clouds in the sky with downpours at night, cold nights in an empty unfamiliar house, and a unfinished catamaran without a mast

That was our reality until a few hours ago, when the mast showed up in the shipyard. Now we are celebrating.

However, in truth, we learned to appreciate and savor little things to make our lives not that unpleasant: Every morning, the brief walk to the boulangerie to pick up fresh croissants, a flute and two chocolate specialties, with a nice conversation with the bakers pretty bra-less wife who guesses every morning whether I want un or deux croissants, laughing together at my French­­­--of course there is the big disappointment if she is replaced by her dour husband--fantasies of some funny games behind his back as the usual French movies suggest, meeting our fellow American Catana future boat owners exchanging the funny or horror stories of the day--quite often there is no difference, going shopping at the Supermarchet and guessing what is what and where, going crazy at the cheese counter looking at a fromage universe I’ve never seen before, asking for goat cheese by making a horn on my head with two fingers--the girl laughing and saying, “Oh, chevre!”

Being refused entry into the Casino because of wearing tennis shoes--my offer to enter barefoot rejected in excited French by the 200-pound bouncer, making the mistake of ordering a complete meal for lunch with wine--which takes two hours and incapacitates you completely for the rest of the afternoon, yet leaves you with a sense of completion, lack of ambition, and a deep understanding of French culture, the satisfaction of catching the last International Herald Tribune in the morning, so we can verify in print what we heard the evening before on our little Sony World Radio, and good thoughts about our friends back home; we appreciate all of you.  Some day we will have a working yacht, sail in warm waters under a blue sky, and experience what we thought the cruising life should be; until then, we are having our little moments of happiness and, regularly, tell each other: Whatever is happening, it beats working.


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