I wouldn't normally daylog twice in a row with nothing of less subjective substance inbetween, but I am moving, and I want to get even a little bit of my flood of impressions down before this strange, liminal time dies away. Some of the observations I make here will go into other places, with more objective information presented.

As mentioned previously, I have driven 900 miles to get where I am now. This is somewhat like if I had gone from the Ruhr valley of Germany to the coast of Portugal. Quite a difference in climate, geography, local customs, and everything else. The sun is higher in the sky. And yet, by many categories, the town I moved from, and the town I moved to, are very similar. They are both small towns on Federal Highways that are larger than their populations might suggest, because they are the largest town for some distance in either direction. They are both towns that were dependent on a natural resource economy, that are now having to find new means of support, one of which is tourism. And both are the homes of many retired people.

And yet, I haven't just moved to a different version of my old town. Now I must get into vagaries: along with all the objective differences there is in this town (such as this big gigantic Pacific Ocean a few thousand feet away), it just feels different. Something about the way space is used, the way the town is framed, makes me feel disconcerted. And this disconcert only works because things ARE close enough to what I am used to. I am in an uncanny valley of geography, where the basic circumstances are close enough to what I am used to that the differences seem even more jarring.

Like most liminal states, I expect this one to wear off in three days. But I will have this to remember it by.

So, about two months ago, I was standing in the visitor center at the Grottes Préhistoriques de Gargas looking at t-shirts and wondering if my girlfriend would like one. I wasn't the only one there, a group of children probably in the first or second grade were just exiting the attached museum and spilling into the center looking at caveman-centric toys and grabbing at everything that could be grabbed at despite the teacher's protests.

I started to turn away to see if some of the Ticayou: Le Petit Cro-Magnon books were interesting enough to buy. My girlfriend is a comic nut and requested some French comics. I didn't get very far because there was this little boy looking up at me.

He says something like, "Monsieur, où est la salle de bain?"

And I say, "Sorry, I don't speak French."

He gives me a very odd look and repeats his question. I again reply that I don't know what he is asking.

At this point, two more children come over, a boy and a girl. They ask me a question and I again say I know no French.

The first child is now fairly pouting and says something to the others.

The girl says to him, "Il est allemand. Il ne vous comprends pas."

I say, "No. No allemand. American. From Etats-Unis."

The three children all start nodding their heads. They say, almost as one, "Ah. American. Rock et roll."

I say, "Yes. Rock and roll."

They say, "Rock ET roll."

I say, "Rock and roll?"

They say emphatically, "Rock ET--"

One of their teachers comes over and after apologizing to me in French, steers the children off toward their group which is massing at the exit.

They were not the first people to talk to me about Rockets Rolling in France.

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