Forgive me a long story (does he tell any other kind, you ask?)
We are in Roanne, and the AIRBNB is the BEST SO FAR. Not just in France but anywhere!!! The host speaks not a word of English, but asked her upstairs neighbor to translate. She has a beautiful place…kitchen fully equipped including coffee, orange juice and a loaf of the local bread speciality. And fridge stocked with jam, butter, eggs, etc. And, so far this has been one of the least expensive places, too!!! She pointed out the English Language TV Channel (we are having Donald Withdrawal) and gave us the WiFi Codes (TECHNOLOGY).
Our place was lacking ONE thing, though. A hair dryer. Obviously, Dan cannot go out in public without first using one. What to do? This is where the EXCHANGE RATE and INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (and MORE TECHNOLOGY) Come in…
We walked to a pharmacy where they had some hair products. No Dryer. No one spoke any English to ask where we could obtain one. We tried our best charades example of drying hair, which got giggles but no hair dryer. NO WORRIES. Google’s Translate App to the rescue. I speak “Hair Dryer” into my phone and out comes: ”Sèche-cheveux “ both written and spoken. The clerk said “ahhh” (but in French…and since we have been here a week already we can handle that no need for Google). She said “LeClerc” which is a HUGE Grocery-and-everything-else store in a shopping center. We said “Can we walk” using our fingers to demonstrate. She said “no”…and made her best charades-driving-motion.
More TECHNOLOGY: We walked outside and fired up Google Maps to tell us where…we were ready to drive. Dr. Google told us it was less than 1km away!!!
Here is the INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (and more EXCHANGE RATE) part. Either…a KM is bigger in Europe than the USA (After all, the Euro is bigger than the Dollar). Or, the French lady thinks all Americans are fat, lazy and unfit. Actually, many may be, but not Los Harris! Well, we may be fat after all the great food…did I mention we are eating at Three-Michelin-Star Troigros tonite?
So, we walked to LeClerc, acquired the necessary Hair Adjustment TECHNOLOGY. A nice portable one that we can use for the rest of this trip and for any future 220V sojourns – EXCHANGE RATES again…Our 110V stuff doesn’t work here (110 does not convert to 220 for hair dryers without smoke and fire).
And a final note: Troisgros has a boutique hotel associated. You can spend a fortune on dinner, then spend another fortune on a room for the night (400euro). Our AIRBNB is across the train station (MAYBE 200yards) from Troisgros. It is $60/nite. I am not sure if that falls into INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (taking advantage of tourists) or EXCHANGE RATE (400euro to watch the inside of your eyelids for a few hours) or TECHNOLOGY (AIRBNB just paid for our dinner!). I just mention it because it proves Americans may be fat, lazy and unfit, but some at least are not stupid.