it's true

when they say that French waiters are rude. Tonight I had a guy who decided not to understand my serviceable French, not to understand my mush-mouthed and idiosyncratic English, and instead chose to hector us over our choice of bun and switch our salads back and forth until not even we could decide if the 'Salade Marina' had the shrimp. Whatever salad I ordered turned out to be draped in bacon and cream cheese.

The good thing about dealing with crap waiters and foodstuffs that always, always contain internal organs is that I'm doing it in the south of France. And damn, is it ever nice here. It's disorienting to go in less than 48 hours from the near-frigid winds blowing off the Oosterschelde to an off-season resort with a seaside view, but it's, you know, the good kind of disorientation. I'm not going to tell you about the first hotel we checked into, with its standard of service that would make a barracks inviting, but I will tell you that I found an old contact lens in the BUNK bed in which I spent one comatose night by the A8 motorway between Fréjus and Cannes.