i saw the tour de france. in grenoble, an elfin
little city in the french alps. home to more fantasy
bookstores per block than i've seen anywhere else,
miss kittin and the hacker, and, allegedly, lots of
little gnomes, though i've never met one.
i did meet a very special goat in grenoble.
but clearly a goat is not a gnome. unless gnomes have an
ability to transmutate; that i am not so sure of.
it was after seeing ze hacker spin in his hometown in
some castle. i knew nothing of grenoble then as i
took a night train after my hitchhiking partner had to
work late and cancel. in the morning there was this
incredible craggy facade of mountains slowly being
carved into the sky by gradual sunlight. and these
wierd arcs of smoke left by barely-visible planes,
munching little trails in the sky like fluffy white
caterpillars. all of this, fronted by a smiling
plastic elephant bathing himself in water with his own
trunk. he wanted you to see him and get your car
washed there. so that was my first glimpse of
i was so happy i climbed one of the mountains.
couldnt believe no one else thought to do that!
so i bounced along up the mountain and found
a resting point to watch the city lights gradually
give in to the baby blue-ness of the morning, and
thats where i met this goat. he just stood there by
me, so i said hello. he appreciated that, you could
tell. so we chilled up there for a long time until i
decided to get back to paris.
stumbled down the mountain past medieval brick
houses...and this fruitstand in absolute shambles, a
nightmare of a fruitstand, all of its products in
disarray, not the typical yellow rows of lemons, red
and green rows of apples that one might expect. this
one was just the dregs of a once thriving fruitstand.
i missed the first train. the line was insanely long
and slow, and no one was listening to my pathetic
cracked out little "mais excusez-moi, je DOIS
retourner a paris, s'il vous plait..."
eventually i got home.
but later on, i decided to spend some more time in
grenoble, and upon returning i accidentally
encountered the tour de france there.