Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Mayday, Mayday! Pandemonium

In France everything stops for May day. Public transport, shops, everything closes. Although I did notice that the English shop was open for business, and of course the restaurants.
The idea is that everyone takes to the streets and marches to show the government how strong the unions are, and how much they hate the government. Unfortunately the weather was not good. It was raining and cold at the time that the marching in town was due to start. Madame had told me that everyone would then go down to the banks of the river Ariege and have a picnic.
I saw setting off (still driving Bee-boy’s loaner car) at about 9.30am, half an hour before the kick off of the marching.
I factored in French timing, and the rain all but stopping before I put an apple into my pocket, donned woolly hat and gloves and raincoat and set off at about quarter to eleven. By the time I
arrived, the marchers had come to a stop.

A few were calling for a National strike, Now!
A sure way to kick start the economy, if ever I heard one.
People milled about a bit, and I discovered that a few of the regular Friday marketers were in the square and even the Halle was once again blessed with dead animals etc for sale.
I walked down to the river, in pursuit of all the happy picnickers, but I could see no evidence of them. On my travels I saw this poster in the Tourist Information Bureau window.

I expect it is a French version of a Punch and Judy puppet show only with a cunning name change.
About a mile along the road out of town I followed a sign which I thought might lead to an open air sports area of some kind. Perhaps there would be some swings a slide and a roundabout?
Wrong! it was just a place to park municipal vehicles.

Peering through a window on my return journey, I stumbled across a place called Pandemonium, which would appear to be an indoor climbing facility. Unfortunately it was closed, but I bet it’s probably what I would be good at.

As I neared home, I saw that Madame’s loaner car, was home before me. So the picnic must have been very short. I then remembered the apple in my pocket. No need to waste it. I’ll save it for next year

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