One of many snow related conversations:- ...

Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
Trip End Sep 11, 2007

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Flag of France  ,
Monday, January 13, 2003

One of many snow related conversations:-
Jay: (drawing the curtains back) Wow look it has been snowing last night!
Jez: "Snow Way" - get out of here!!!"
Jay: Yep all night, I am 'snow snow' glad we came here, it looks beautiful. Hey what time does our bus leave today?
Jez: "Ummmm Snow Idea?"

Part Two " The Two Afros"

As promised Part 2 is here and unlike the other Lord of the Rings you did not have to wait a year... There is a reason for the weird title but I will explain later.

St Jean De Sixth is somewhere in Sthn France, I am not really sure, but all I know is that we had to get a bus, then a train, then a different train and then another bus and we were there. Being on the move again (even though a short distance) does give me a little bit of a buzz, the whole not knowing what is around the corner, or what transport to get onto or just how to order a sandwich in cafe in French!

So as Jez and I get to our last bus, we find one of the 13 other fellow New Years Eve partiers is on the bus already. Introductions and we are off. Now personally, I enjoy travelling independently, but have to admit there is a bonus of travelling with others. For example being able to say " Guys, I am going to snooze away here for a while, wake me up when we get there" is an advantage. The disadvantage is trusting your friends to actually wake you when we arrive at the destination. Knowing my friends, I could end up in Afghanistan for all I know.

So as we get to the main town of St Jean (blink and you will miss it), we alight from the bus and start the hunt for the chalet. Turn left, turn right at the post office - said the instructions. It cannot be that hard, we found what looked like a chalet with people unpacking bags etc - now the smart thing would have been to go up to them and ask if this was the chalet, but we figured we would stand back and stare and hopefully get one of those looks of "Yeah - you have found the right place" - but instead they stared back. So we stared harder and you guessed it they stared harder and longer..... Allowing enough time to break the stare and look elsewhere, I actually saw the sign for the chalet....

Into the chalet to meet the hosts, have to admit the chalet was beautiful. Nice big lounge and dinning room, with an enormous kitchen. 3 Bedrooms (into 13 - will let you work the numbers out). So what to do - with the others not expected until 8pm tonight we would wonder down and purchase food for dinner tonight.

Now personally, I struggle to cook enough food for 4 people, but for 13 give me a break!!! So into the only supermarket in St Jean. Pasta on the menu - 4 packets of pasta, 2 massive French sticks, 3 jars of sauce, 15 tomatoes, 3 capsicums, 2 onions and a shitload of garlic and some breakfast goods and we are done! Unfortunately the shop does not contain any more supplies for pasta.... As the rest of the crew get to the chalet, the cooking begins, now the saying "Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth", but I think it was more like "Too many cooks in the chalet kitchen, means someone is going to get stabbed".....

Being the antipodean's that we are, when New Years eve dawned onto us and breakfast was out the way by about 11ish. The only thing left to do was, to drinking. With only 3 hours before New Years Eve in Melbourne, Australia , a few drinks was definitely in call. As 2pm rollout around and the Men at Work "Land Downunder" anthem began to play we popped our champagne,.... or really just opened another Kronenburg beers and New Years Eve had started!

Oh did I mention that we then continued to celebrate NYE in Adelaide (30 mins later), Queensland (1 hour later) and then Perth (few of hours later of that)- hell at this stage we where prepared to celebrate NYE for Poland, Russia, China and those little islands somewhere in the Pacific that no one knows the name of. And each time, that same Land Downunder tune was cranked out - have no idea what other people in the chalet were thinking.

So as the day ended and NYE eve in France drew closer - time to get changed and ready to party French Style. Or should I say 70's style - yes some smart cookie had suggested that we make this a 70s NYE and I would like to thank whoever that person was - what a funny night.

Before the trip, Jez and I had invested our hard earned cash into two ummm... Arfros lets call them - what they looked like where two animals involved in roadkill. The previous week we had given them a test run in Meribel to get pre-approval and a laugh - the French just did not get it.

So with everyone dressed and running around the house getting drinks and nibbles, I look around and see the Two Afros, a Tina Turner look-alike, A blonde bombshell with crazy glasses (which would be broken before events begin), more afros, flares, bad shirts, headbands, peace beads - well you can imagine it looked pretty crazy. But this is where it gets crazier:-

Someone "Did anyone organise a taxi?"
Everyone: "Ummm no", "Uh uh", "Nope", "Non" Someone Else: "Lets just hitch hike up the mountain"
Everyone: "Great idea".

Now close your eyes (well actually do not close them), but imagine 13 individuals dressed from head to toe in 70's gear going outside in freezing conditions attempting to try and get a ride up the mountain. What we worked out straight away that we do not think anyone is going to stop for 13 - so let's split up.

Jez and I being the smart ones, leapt ahead to secure a ride. Being smartly dressed and with a wigs of love on - it was going to be the matter of minutes before a French driver would pickup Austin Powers and John Travolta.

As vehicles approached I would put my trustee thumb out and Jez would strike a "John Travolta" pose - you know the one, one hand up and one down! As the first couple of cars went by without slowing - we laughed it off. By the time we were half way up the mountain my thumb was getting sore and to be honest Jez's poses were a bit on the poor side.

But then when all hope was lost - a car pulled to the side and showed us his lit brake lights. The Two Afros had a ride!! Turns out that friends of ours had hailed him down and when they saw us asked him to stop - in short he had no intention of stopping at all.. But alas a ride we had (for the last 1km) and to the party we were going!

With all the crew managing to secure lifts from strangers we arrived at approx 10:30pm to the place where it was going to go off - problem was that we were the only people in there, except for a small group here and there... hmmm. But it does not matter. What matters is we look like fools, it is New Years Eve and we are in France!!!!...

I do believe that the bar staffs were quite impressed with costumes as he was the first with his camera out. "Flash" "Flash" cameras left right and centre - oh to be famous!

Note: From here the nights events went should we say all over the place, but I am going to try and give you a summary of things and events, in quotes that I remember hearing...:-

"Jez your shout", "Yeah it is really my hair", "Excuse me can you tell me the way to the Thunderdome", "More beer please", "Who's got my glasses", ", "Hi how are you, what is your name... pardon?", "Yes it is my real hair", "A bottle of vodka please!", "Who has got the ice cube", "Who has got the ice cube now", "Look at those goons dressing up", "Chiiiiikoooo.. What the?","The thunder dome?", "Nice moves maaaan", "That is the worst shirt I have seen tonight", "Get your finger away from me...", "Ohhh Oxford", "Jay your shout", "I think I need to go home", "Just stay away from foreign", "Did those guys just kiss...", "Can I get you a drink", "Who's shout", "So you are french, my french is crap", "Australia not United Kingdom....", "Aussie aussie assuie....." "Who is that guy?", "How many people are here" " Two of your finest french beers please", "Toilets... which way", "5,4,3,2,1 Happy New Year", "You want to wear my hair - no chance", " Who's got the Aussie hat", "Chiiiiikooo" And that is about it... I think. :-)

There was another great mystery that did happen during the night which I am still trying to research. Supposedly there is a french TV celebrity named "Chikko". Now as I was wearing a rather large black coloured Curley Afro hairdo, it gave the French the permission somehow to yell out to me "Chikkkooo" at any stage of the night. By about 3am, I finally found a Frenchman who spoke broken English, who I asked "What is C
Chikkoo". He then continued to inform me:-

Me: "What is chiko"
Him: "Chickko, TV Man, celebrity, he man curley big hair and big and strong - like you my friend (Laughing)!
Him again: (Top of voice) " Chhhhhhiiiiiikkkkkkoooo"
People standing arond: "Chikkkkkkooo"
- He then went and bought me a drink.

From that point on, Chickko was my name and I actually somehow learnt to introduce myself in French as Chikko - that skill has now been erased from my brain forever. And the drinks kept coming!

So there you have it - with NYE gone and the group debrief in the mornig to attempt to put the jigsaw back together. 2003 was here. Everyone vowed to do this and do that - but as for me I think I have vowed to find out who this Chiko guy is....

A great New Years Break held by all! And I think the quote of week came as we spent the next day on the couch talking and laughing about the events of the previous nights actions, most of them embarrasing. "Oh that was so so last year!"

Now I hoped you did not think all we did was drink and party whilst in France? Of course I did manage to see some of the country... so stay tuned for Part 3 "The Return of two guys who went to France" where I put a couple of notches in my hitch hiking belt and talk about time in Lyon, the cold and going to the movies French style.

Take care
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