The Long Necklace
The charming French sea-side village nestles cosily just off the main highway in this corner of France. The buildings are all short and sturdy which gives the impression of a neighbourhood that’s squatting in the face of the strong westerly wind. I blink to get the sand out of my eyes and continue walking.
The whitewashed walls disguise the true nature of some of the buildings. There is a sense that an over-zealous capitalist streak convinced some home owners to convert their living rooms into outlets selling ice-cream, trinkets and over-priced clothes. I’m sure that the entire place is a hotbed of activity in the summer but in the cooler wintry months, the place seems somehow fake. It’s almost as if I am on a movie set, and not an actual village.
I meander the narrow streets that either shield me from the elements or channel the cold wind towards me. Feeling the familiar rumble of hunger, I decide that it is time to stop and grab a bite to eat.
There are a few touristy places that I choose to ignore. I’m not so sure that the other places are somehow more authentic but the blatant rip-off prices do put me off.
I slip into a rickety cane chair, seemingly made of bamboo, which reminds me of the chairs my grandmother had at her house in the darkened study that always smelt of my grandfather’s cigarette smoke, flint and the myriad adventures of the past.
The waiter motions to the menu with a smile and I murmur an order for a drink as I pick it up. Being where it is, I expect the place to have a selection of fresh fish and I brace myself for the inevitable difficulty I sometimes have trying to translate French fish names into English or Maltese.
This time there is one that truly stumps me:
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