Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dinner (and observations about the French)

Daniel was returning to Poland early Wednesday morning, so Dirk and I went for dinner by ourselves on Tuesday night. On recommendation from Loic we went to the restaurant at the Hotel du Pins in Haguenau. I ordered duck with potatoes, vegetables and cabbage (choucroute). It was delicious.

For dessert I ordered meringue, which was also very good, though a couple of bites threatened to break my teeth.

After dinner I needed to get online to check email. My room was supposed to have Internet access, but the wifi signal was not strong enough to reach my room. In order to get online I had to go to either the hotel restaurant or to the hotel lounge.

While in a lounge I encountered two things that proved to be regular occurrences during my time in the bar, one charming the other one not so much. Charming were the enthusiastic soccer fans. I'm going to use my week in France to make the following generalization: French people love the English word "shit". There were numerous times when I heard a French person complaining or yelling in French, and that word in English was never missing.

Not so charming are the smoking habits of the French. They smoke everywhere, all the time. The hallways of the hotel reeked of smoke. The restaurant had a smoking section, like I remember restaurants used to have when I was a boy. The kind where there was nothing dividing it from the non-smoking section. In the bar almost everyone was smoking but me.

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