old salut!

Colin Randall wrote here on France, things Anglo-French and more......but has moved

March 25, 2007

No show

This site has now moved to Salut!

It was not the start of a foreign trip, as today is (a visit to the UK being a foreign one if you live in France), when you would be rather foolish not to have a passport to hand.

It was dinner along the coast in Cavalaire* and, with the most effusive of apologies, we were turned away.

The way I look? A failure to observe a basic smart-casual dress code? Muttered threats about "this better be good at 38 euros a head"?

No, Mme Randall simply wasn't able to produce ID, and the dinner - one of those sad themed spectacles I am known to attend, this one Brazilian - happened to be taking place in a casino.

Casinos are places of no interest to me. Yes, I did the pools and yes, I still have a punt on the lottery. But not since the days of the Spanish City have I so much as bothered an amusement arcade.

So I had no idea that the law obliges anyone entering such premises in France to have official photo ID. I had mine; my wife had dressed to the nines and was carrying a skimpy little handbag with room for virtually nothing.

No amount of pleading, pointing to my wife's name in the next-of-kin bit of my passport or appeals to reason made the least difference. "Honestly, we only want to eat and watch the show," we said. "We don't want to gamble the night away."

The two jobsworths were polite but unmoved. The law's the law, they said. So we ate at one of our favourite restaurants in Le Lavandou instead.

Everyone more or less knows that you are officially obliged to carry ID in France, so this must be a cautionary tale, not a whinge. It's just that you don't expect to be asked for it when you pop out for a meal. I bet the show was rubbish anyway.

Visits to the blog may be sporadic over the next few days......

* Not Cavaliere as first mentioned, one letter different and maybe 7 or 8 miles apart....and too small to have a casino.

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This site has now moved to Salut!


At March 25, 2007 9:15 AM, Blogger anonyhamster said...

Turning up at a casinoresto' in France without ID is a bit of a gamble in itself, with the odds stacked against you. That's why they wouldn't let you in. They spotted one of you was a gambler, despite your attempt to convince them otherwise.

It's a funny old life.

At March 25, 2007 4:25 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Better, one supposes, not to be allowed in in the first place than to be thrown out. Which probably happened a time or two at the Spanish City. But what were you doing going to a 38-euro "themed spectacle," anyway?

At March 27, 2007 7:03 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Forgot the ID, unable to get into a nightspot….not exactly earth-shattering, even though it is of interest when comparing cultural differences. (Never had this trouble with the Top Hat at Spennymoor!)
But now you’ve moved from the centre of the (French) universe, do you miss the buzz of real news? I also follow the blog of your past ‘discovery’, Petite Anglaise, an English woman who recently seems to be at the centre of news-worthy stories (the arrests and protests outside her daughter’s school and of course her own tribunal hearing). But then she is in Paris.
The capital, like all capitals, generates its own excitement. It is where one can feel being at the heart of things. One can also feel a lot of other things, which you may feel happy to have escaped.
For years I enjoyed being at the adrenalin-pumping centre of a newspaper office when the big stories broke. But then as the decades passed, the big stories became the same old stories. Only the names were different.
In retirement, I don’t miss it at all. I am happy in the sticks (Exeter, actually) keeping my hand in editing and graphic design in a small-time freelance sort of way and for charities.

At March 27, 2007 7:21 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I was at a party at the Top Hat once (someone's 21st, I think, but I forget who; it's a long, long time ago) when Colin leaned on a pinball machine rather too hard and his elbows went straight through the glass. There had been, as the Irish might couch it, drink taken...

At March 27, 2007 10:18 PM, Blogger SH said...

Yes indeed, better not to be allowed in the casino than escorted off the premises. Some time ago I visited San Remo and we wandered into the imposing casino, though rather surprised it was open in the daytime. Having made use of the ladies room, I went into the only gaming room open which was of course the slot machine one. It was dark and horrible, definitely out of Dante's purgatory, if not the Inferno. My husband decided he wanted a photo of this hellhole and got his camera out. He got one shot before a couple of heavies appeared on either side of him and we feared for his camera. We managed to convince them we were total innocents abroad and were escorted outside. We learned later that there was a power struggle going on for control of the casinos on the Italian Riviera and we were presumably considered to be spying for the opposition. The atmosphere of the place did not inspire me to visit any more casinos, though I believe some of them do a good dinner and show. I'll wait till James Bond invites me to the big table in Monte Carlo!

At March 27, 2007 11:41 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

North American casinos often operate around the clock and most don't have windows (or clocks) so you can't tell if it's day or night. Cameras are an absolute no-no, such is their paranoia about security and cheating. And this is supposed to be fun?

At March 28, 2007 8:50 AM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

But Tim, Peter Mayle would have got a chapter out of the incident.........

At March 28, 2007 6:34 PM, Blogger Tim said...

That Top Hat do made me smile, Bill. It wasn't the same time that a certain buxom, blonde junior reporter called Dot danced in the guilded cage was it?
Peter Mayle could have two chapters out of that!

At March 28, 2007 7:58 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

It was indeed that very night, Tim. And so far Colin's not even getting two sentences out of it.


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