Yet More Montpellier

Montpellier Travel Blog

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July 21


Following last night’s extended partying, a sleep in till noon seemed and felt most appropriate. Headed back to beachville and set up shop amongst the dunes after fighting off a particularly nasty mini-windstorm. I was involved in discussions with the gang regarding a potential trip to Andorra planned for the upcoming weekend, which I mis-heard as Angora and proceeded to embarrass myself mightily in ensuing discussions.


Dinner that night was in an Italian restaurant with Anthony and Ellen – she a rotund, hippotine Montrealer who was big into feminism as most ugly girls are, but was surprisingly open and human about the subject in a dry (not surprising), self-deprecating, jocular fashion. She has assigned herself the role of Earth Mother for the younger girls on campus. Sort of a human rallying point to deal with questions from the young ‘uns of uncertainty pertaining to morality, activity and behavior of those far from home for the first time. Girls with perhaps a bit too much slack on their leashes. She is an interesting choice as the person responsible for re-establishing a tether, given her own personal life experiences over the past few years. Like Jay, Ellen is a commentator on all world events, both micro and macro in nature, but unlike Jay, she has the information and credentials to back her opinions, as misguided as they may be. Ellen was the first person I had met in my life who told me that she had had an abortion. Ellen, as promised, here it is in print, albeit thirty years after the fact.


Our meal in the trattoria was accompanied by copious consumption of vino, followed up with an after dinner joint on the besotted walk back to the dorm. Anthony and I hung out, talked about people in general, people in specific, how Monty Python has influenced and precipitated a change in the world’s sense of humour, reviewed parrots, cheese, and the twin peaks of Kilimanjaro and I said good night to him with a nudge and a wink. I left hoping to find Sabina. Walking down her corridor I was excited to see that her  room light was on but when I knocked on the door, it was locked so I left her a note. Bummer, I must like her because I was really disappointed that she wasn’t there for me.


And now for something completely different – a brief sketch on some other Canadian women populating the mix. First there’s Sarah, a pert, perky, pretty sixteen year old. By far the youngest on the trip. Despite her age, she carries herself with aplomb and distinction. She mastered the topless routine as if she was born for the mission. Sarah looks sweet and innocent; she is a perfect link to both sides of a generation – comfortable with the older crowd without coming off as a poser. She lives with her parents but has developed well founded and properly grounded notions of independence that I am certain will be put into practice not too long after she returns home. Unless her folks are particularly enlightened, I can’t help but imagine that Sarah, feeling stifled and suffocated by the norms of those living around her in a mundane existence, will take off from the nest to make her own way very early in life. I would be curious and probably delighted to follow her down her path to see what awaits her as she grows.



Linda, a Vancouverite, lives with her Norwegian fiancé. She communicates well and is insightful. A bright woman in a quality headspace, Linda, none the less, seems to suffer from a deep seated problem that comes over her like a mist at times and renders her noticeably saddened and causes her to lose her gusto appreciably. When pressed, Linda refuses to discuss what is on her mind but does not deny that there are issues. The woman is crying out for prodding, but I do not have the time or the inclination to get that involved. Besides, She already has Lars – let him take care of it – unless that itself is the problem. At the age of 23, Linda has assumed the role of group matron and wonders what a woman of her age is doing with all of these children. She was intent on and consumed with the notion of marriage at 19 but all that has passed; or so she claims. My view is that she has pushed the non-realized fantasy of conjugal bliss to the furthest recesses of her mind, but it remains a painful, unexorcized demon that will neither vanish nor subside.

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photo by: Marina2710