Day 149 (26 November 2010) – Américains Fous à Nantes

You know the movie “The Truman Show”? Sometimes Melinda and I think we are living like the main character in that movie, that we are the unwitting subjects of a reality TV show called “Américains Fous à Nantes” (“Crazy Americans in Nantes”). The producers keep one step ahead of us in the building of the sets while trying to anticipate our next move, creating novel scenarios for us in order to see our reactions. All the people we encounter are just improv actors responding to us (maybe even Chloe and Ella – now that is REALLY an interesting thought).

Before dismissing me as a complete nut, consider this. Permanent-looking portable buildings come and go all the time in Nantes. A circus shows up here. A carnival pops up there. An entire outdoor market appears out of nowhere and then is gone. And now it’s a huge, entire “Christmas Village” in the center of town, complete with a full-sized merry-go-round. I think it’s all being done to watch Melinda and me react, all to the delight of people all over France who watch this silly American couple respond to constantly changing scenarios in a French city.

Imagine the enjoyment of the French audience when they saw Melinda’s reaction today to her cup of VERY hot “vin chaud” (hot wine). I took this picture a split second after her first sip. But the French TV audience of the program must have been laughing hysterically. First there was Melinda, freezing cold in the afternoon mist, spotting the “Vin Chaud” sign and asking me if she should get some. “Why not?” I said. “You really think so?” she said. “Why not?” I said in a slightly different tone. What riveting dialogue. You can’t script this. And then the “actor” selling the wine convinced her to buy the large cup AND add a shot of Cointreau to the mix. He then made it extra-hot, causing Melinda to react with this face. Jerry Lewis, who’s still big here, I understand, could learn from Melinda.

Tune in tomorrow to see what the crazy Americans do next!

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