Across Continents

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It’s not Surrey

At least it had a decent sized supermarket. Etampes, a little south of Paris, offered little else. I spent ages finding the Syndicate d’Initiative – the tourist information centre – to see where I might stay over the next few days. But that would put me in another Department – administrative region – so they couldn’t help. At all. Terribly polite about it.

I wandered around the back streets for a while. It had been a long, hot walk into town and I was in no rush to return prematurely. A few ethnic food shops and afro hair salons. The sort of places I’d become accustomed to when I lived in London. It could have been Tooting Bec. Much more of a multi-cultural flavour than I’d previously come across in France.

A few drunks sheltered from the sun under the odd tree. It was time to shop for some provisions and then return to the gnomes. Charles, back in Fresnay-sur-Sarthe, had warned me about much of the area surrounding Paris. He was right. Etampes wasn’t Surrey.


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