Early return to France

12th of March


Susan’s birthday is a month away. We planned to celebrate it after returning from a trip planned from late March to early April:  a roed trip Florida to New York and back. Trip canceled due to COVID-19. So by anticipating the anniversary date, in secret, I reserved a table in a small restaurant that had been recommended by the locals, the Bistrot l’Escargot. With Susan we had already tried the Rendez-Vous, in fact an old BierStube (Germanic Brewery) converted into a pseudo French restaurant. Disappointing, we were therefore on our guard.

The bistro is run by a perfectly English-speaking French couple. The warm welcome, the reasonably reduced lunch menu guarantees that most of it is prepared locally. My fears came mainly from the wine list. In the US, as well as in France, the Thenardiers have the annoying tendency to crush chalk on the price on the wine list. Multipliers of 5 are not the exception. Here for $ 56, I was served an honest Pouilly Fuissé that I find at Costco for less than $ 20. With a coef of 3.5, it is quite expensive but it is not a scam.

On the menu Susan and we chose as apetizer a casserole of snails and mussels as main course. We really enjoyed ourselves even if the mussels, in my opinion, had stayed a little too long on the gas and the marinade a little too salty. Seen from France the check seems high, seen from Florida it is not ridiculous. The welcome and the setting will have pleasantly participated in the celebration of Susan’s birthday. We’ll come back for an orange duck that seems to be one of the flagships of the boss’s menu. Cross our fingers, hoping that this last dish is up to our expectations.

March 15

Due to the viral pandemy, travel becoming perilous, especially when is comes to the reliability of reservations, in agreement with Susan, I made the decision to return to France prematurely on this Friday 13. Some will say that the date brings bad luck . I braved superstitions, history has proven me right, I arrived whole and alive. Having said that, when you to conquer without danger, you triumph without glory.

So for basely financial reasons, but not only, my wallet and I, we prefered to get sick in France. On this Friday 13th the flight Fort Lauderdale-Paris was 2/3 empty. I even had the rare good fortune to have three seats for myself.
Arrival in an empty Roissy CdG.
Rushed through immigration in 20 seconds.
No lines.
Baggage claim in 10 minutes.
Almost never seen.

I left an almost normal Florida. In my opinion, because of ill-prepared by an administration installed in denial of reality, the pandemy will strike hard. I made it in a France which takes its responsibilities. Macron or not, the example of the Italian disaster requires a restrictive path of social isolation. This is now the case. The social isolation should help spread the crisis over time for a less chaotic return to normal. The stupidity of White House populism, initially denying the coming crisis, shows its limits. It will be difficult for them to deny the reality of the pandemic. Hoping that my American friends are spared.

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