Notes from behind the counter

Pontarlier, by Leon Friederichs

Le pon­tissa­li­en” is the loc­al hip­ster café: sterile atmo­sphere, fur­niture in a pois­on­ous green, one pop­u­lar offer con­sist­ing of luke­warm water with a sep­ar­ately served teabag. Featured on far­from­ready today: its bar­keep­er. 2nd of August, 14:00 Three men on three bikes are walk­ing to and fro in front of the café. Finally one comes in and […]

Missive from the midway

Dijon meal time: tuna, sausages and bread

Fancy lunch – tuna and wien­er saus­ages on, for lack of baguette, crumbly bis­cuits – in the vast empti­ness between Châtillon and Dijon. Appropriately, the closest vil­lage is named “Salives”. Nothing says “bike trip” like absurd last meals before insur­mount­able climbs of (cen­sored, so as not to fright­en my com­pan­ions) metres. Imagine, a land­slide would […]

When you just partially understand

Château de Chambord, a king Francis' affair, with Da Vinci and Polish heaters involved

Welcome to France. The land that made Caesar’s career, the coun­try that gave us Charlemagne, a place where you can­not name your pig Napoleon. A coun­try fam­ous for its wine, its cheese, and its gen­er­al soph­ist­ic­a­tion. A coun­try where if I listen to some­thing I par­tially under­stand ‑which hap­pens very often‑, I auto­mat­ic­ally con­sider it […]