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This is Arles, a small town in the South of France, where
Vincent Van Gogh spent some time. 

French Impressions
by Diannek

July 2001: I just returned from a quick trip to France. It's been on my list of places I definitely want to see ever since my high school French class a few years ago (well, make that more than a few years ago). I've been looking through my photos and while none of them truly do justice to the beauty and grandeur of France, here's one that typifies some of the everyday sights. That's a Roman coliseum on the right, a gothic church in the background, and a cluster of umbrellas for those wishing to eat, drink and talk, things the French do very well. 

Here's a list of my lasting French Impressions:

Decaying buildings, some more than a thousand years old 
Gothic churches with their needle-like spires rising high above the villages
The grime of ages covering everything
The French people doing their favorite thing: eating and talking in cafes
Everything looked smaller than average
Paris! a living postcard
French poodles sitting on chairs in restaurants

Horns honking and drivers pantomiming driver's lessons to each other
American music piped into public places
Tinkling glasses, cups and bottles
Motor bikes
That see-saw sound of police wagons
French greetings: bonjour, madam; bonsoir, madam; d'accord; merci; 
au revoir, bonne journee

Cigarette smoke
Car and bus exhaust
Body odor
Dog poop
Mold and mildew
Old plumbing and rusty pipes
Coffee and fresh bread
Over-ripe fruit

French wine
French salade
French cheeses
Pomme frites -- in fact, all French food tastes French to me!

Starched sheets
Thin bath towels
Buttery croissants and hard rolls crumbling between my fingers
The brush of cheeks as we greet each other French style


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