Across Continents

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Home from home

It seemed perfect. Manicured privet hedges, a friendly welcome, gleaming facilities. Helene, the campsite receptionist, greeted me with great enthusiasm – she too had a dream to cycle around the world and had clearly given it a lot of thought.

But something wasn’t quite right. A man was washing his already spotless caravan. I wandered into the bar. The young woman behind the counter looked surprised when I ordered in French.

They drifted in slowly at first. The odd football shirt, some shell suit bottoms, and the flip-flops. Soon exhausting their usual golfing repertoire, the alpha males amongst the group quickly moved on to trying to out do each other over who’d killed what with a .22 rifle. I was thankful there were no bison in France.

I wouldn’t have minded so much if they were going to sample the local cuisine in the adjoining restaurant. But no, they preferred to order take-aways – with frites of course – and retreat to their little piece of home. You wondered why they’d ever left. Les Anglaise.

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