La Fête Nationale

Monday was France’s national holiday, so we had the day off of school. We got to sleep in which was nice. Being in a foreign country and learning a new language can be exhausting.

In the evening, we picked the Coffey’s up from their house, and drove over to the sport fields at the Stade Mager to join the French in their festivities. Chambéry was finishing up a 10 day international folkloric festival, so we got to see dance troupes perform from Israel, Slovakia, Macedonia, and Zimbabwe. That was followed by a surreal ensemble performance by all the groups, that was a strange melange of American cowboy theme, pop, disco, rap, and rock, narrated by someone trying to speak French with an American western-film cowboy accent.

After that, they set off a beautiful fireworks display that went on for a full 25 minutes.

As we left, we got to witness another funny spectacle in our growing list of French driving oddities. We had parked our car with two wheels on the sidewalk like everyone else (otherwise there’s no room left in the road to drive). What we didn’t expect was that the main cause of the gridlocked traffic after the fireworks would be people who were performing 3- (or 4- or 5-) point turns in the middle of the two lane road. Fortunately our car was already pointed the right direction, so we didn’t have to try it ourselves.

-Jeremy

[See photos of the festivities]

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