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Us Versus Them – Chablis Edition

April 20, 2012

My cab driver from Auxerre to Chablis told me that if I ever wanted to get a woman to marry me, that I just need to take her to Paris. He stopped taking women to Paris years ago. Too many women wanted to marry him. The first thing you notice (besides the endless rolling green hills and brown vineyards) in Chablis is the wood smoke — coming from the tops of chimneys from the tiny little houses. Smoke fills the air. And it reminded me of the middle of winter, not the start of spring. Trucks filled with stacks of wood run up and down Chablis’ narrow streets. Where the wood is going, I have no idea.

Chablis is a town straight out of a children’s book. Old men wear suits and walk with canes. Old women wear hats and scarves. Young petite women in heels walk with petite little dogs. Children, literally, walk with flowers or balloons in their hands. And people carry baskets from the market with baguettes peaking from the top. You can see the baker baking the breads from the windows. And smell the tarts in the oven. The butcher wears a butcher hat and cuts the meat with an oversized knife. The florist sweeps the sidewalk clear.

And there is every building from the Lego City set — a bakery, a school, a flower shop, the post office.

Chablis Collage

Chablis has one bus stop in the center of town. And the bus only comes once at a day at 7:05 a.m. — it also doubles as a school bus. I handed the bus driver two Euros as I boarded. I was leaving Chablis to head back to Paris and then to Obernai. The students, who still had the early morning sleep in their eyes, didn’t even look up with interest as I came aboard with my rolling suitcase. I wasn’t the first outsider to come and to leave their town.

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