corders in the hague

It's like having the Corders round for dinner - except the kids don't smash stuff and Mike doesn't drink all your booze. And when you're bored you can get rid of us with a mouse click rather than having to start tidying up the house.

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Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Montpelligay

How did this happen?
I’m sitting in a gay bar in Montpellier typing fast and wondering if patting the owner’s dog is tantamount to an invitation to take me roughly from behind.
I saw a sign advertising free wifi (pronounced weefee here in France) and just barged in. Only when I sat down and had already ordered a beer did I notice that they are playing disco music and there are flags made up of horizontal bars of all the colours of the rainbow hanging above all doors and windows. Now I look around me, there’s also a large painting hanging on one wall of a muscled man in a black singlet with well-coiffed hair and a moustache.
I think I’ll leave the dog alone. Who knows what the etiquette is in these establishments? I feel like a homophobe just for wondering about the dog. I mean, just because it’s a gay bar, doesn’t mean it’s a pickup joint, does it? Straight bars aren’t all pickup joints, are they?
When did I get so out of touch? And how do I keep that little poodle from sniffing at my crotch?
For those of you who don’t know, I’m in Montpellier looking after my mum as she recovers from having a new aortic heart valve surgically inserted last Friday. Apparently hers was bad from birth but doctors waited until she was 60+ before deciding maybe they should do something about it.
The new valve is made from a pig. I think I ate the remainder of the animal tonight mashed up with pepper corns and a bunch of other stuff into a very excellent terrie du maison.
What happens if I kick the stinking little mutt? It’s not sniffing anybody else.
My only previous experience in Montpellier was at the Rugby World Cup last year and then I was with two drunken photographers so I didn’t get to see much of the city – just a bad restaurant and an Irish bar. What is it with photographers and Irish bars? Still, at least they don’t generally take you to gay bars.
Turns out Montpellier is a beautiful old city with a university dating, the guide book tells me, back to the 13th century. What on earth did people learn at universities in the 13th century? How to detect a witch?
I’ve spent most of my time in the hospital watching mum lie there in pain and thinking that her days as a topless model are probably now definitively behind her. The wound where they cracked open her chest to get to her heart is not small.
All is well with mum, who should be allowed home next week after I’ve returned home and been replaced on Florence Nightingale duty by my elder sister.
It’s odd to be looking after mum (if doing the Times crossword with her counts as looking after) after all the years of her looking after me. Still, I guess what goes around comes around. Finally I can see the logic of having five kids. One of her children will be at her bedside pretty much until March.
Hey, a girl just walked in! No, hang on, TWO girls just walked in…
Montpellier appears to be a city of hospitals. They are everywhere. And the buildings that are not hospitals are clinics and the buildings not dedicated to the medical professions are driving schools. I saw a driving school today with a repair shop attached, I suppose for the poor students. Also, everybody here drives a 10-year-old Renault Twingo. Driving a car that ugly, you shouldn’t need to pass a driving test and you certainly shouldn’t take it to a body shop for repair if you put a ding in it. You should just drive it into the Mediterranean and leave it there.
It’s great to be in France again. I went to a very scummy Indian restaurant last night (I don’t get to ear Indian in Holland, so whenever I see a curry house I have to go in – even in France) and a man ordered a half bottle of house red and still insisted that the waiter let it breathe for a few minutes before pouring it into his glass. I had the house red too and, believe me, it didn't need to breathe, it needed life support.
I have to go. They’ve just put on Sade and turned down the lights. And a bloke who was also dining alone in the bistro has just walked in and he appears very drunk. I’m outta here.

6 Comments:

Blogger Beecroft Shields said...

It wasn't the Blue Oyster bar by any chance? Hope you escaped with your dignity (read virginity) intact.
Best wishes to your mum for a speedy recovery. Tim, Kel & kids.

1:28 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Mike
as one JGE to another, none of this comes as a surprise. Remember the winery at Orange? Only one bed had an electric blanket!
Good luck to your mum
dan

3:12 AM  
Blogger corders said...

I hate to ask, but: JGE?
Sorry to see the mighty Southend were unable to hold onto the lead against Chelsea

1:30 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Just Gay Enough - don't pretend you don't know!

9:01 AM  
Blogger Tim and M and Little M said...

Hey Mike, I totally agree. My grandmother had five kids too and was never alone in her final weeks. It's enough to make me reconsider my self-imposed One Child Policy. Best wishes for her speedy recovery! Cheers, Meraiah & Tim

3:18 PM  
Blogger Tim and M and Little M said...

And JGE was totally lost on me too.

3:19 PM  

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