Men with bags

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Flag of France  , Aquitaine,
Monday, June 8, 2009

To my surprise nothing very eventful has been going on in Cledat. This is neither good or bad, just different. The days pass calmly, we work in the house and garden, we shop, prepare meals or go to restaurants.
Swim, walk, read and play endless games of scrabble and rummicub. Drink and talk. And of course, there's the markets and the vide greniers.
I've already told you about these things, very pleasant and relaxing, but I must admit I need some excitement, and if it's not there, I'll just have to look closer at what seems like nothing special.
Like men with bags. I could tell you about them, and though nothing really happened, something could have. So it is kind of an adventure; I'll see if I can tell the story.

The first man with a bag, a black leather pouch, reminding me of an old fashioned doctor's bag, I encountered last week-end, driving from Creysse to Martel. The road is narrow and secluded, there are some houses, but far apart and off the road. You won't come across anyone there, save the odd  back packer. The woods are dark, I drove slowly, deep in thought and got the shock of my life when suddenly this man appeared from nowhere, clutching this bag. He stepped onto the road and waved me down. My immediate reaction was to stop, and I did - he obviously needed a lift; what on earth was he doing here? He gestures me to pull the car up a bit further so he can get in and as I move the car forward, intending to do the right thing and help him out, I impulsively step on the gas and drive off, my heart pounding for it seemed such a daring thing to do, to leave him stranded - him and his bag.
It was the bag that did it, adjusting the car gave me just that little bit of time to imagine what might be in it. A small bottle of ether, handcuffs, rope, a knife........I felt so proud of myself for being cautious but also sorry for that perfectly innocent looking man, who probably had a very good reason for standing there, flagging down women on their own, clutching his bag.......

The next man with bag, I didn't even get close to, but I wanted to. Very much.
Walking through the Terrasson high street, the main road with lots of traffic, I was, for no reason at all, feeling particularly happy. I was alone, it was late afternoon and had been hot all day. It  was just starting to cool down, promising a nice, balmy evening. I was holding a sloppy, cotton shopping bag with not much in it, just enough to make it swing nicely and I wondered if I was too old to skip along to the rhythm of it. The thought made me laugh, silly woman, and as I looked up I saw down the road a coloured man with sunglasses and rasta hair, a plastic bag in his hand, swaying it and laughing. He was imitating me and it was such a funny and endearing thing to do I wanted to go up to him and hug him. I actually stood still for a moment to cross the road and do it, but I didn't and I am sorry now I wasn't brave enough to do that for I know it would have been an magical moment for both of us.
Why couldn't I, though - why is it not done?

The last noticeable man with bag I came across yesterday. Idly walking through Montignac, a nice little town not far from us, I saw a place I've always wanted to visit, a hotel-restaurant with a beautiful garden facing the Vezere. It looked rather posh and lunch was being served, so we dithered a bit and were about to leave when a sweet old lady invited us in and said it was alright to sit in the garden for drinks.
Ah, it was good. A nice mature garden, lots of roses and trees, the murmur of the stream. We sat under a parasol, for there was sun and a spray of rain, too. Just one other person was enjoying this spot, an interesting looking man, early fifties?, casual though well dressed, pampered, someone with money I'd say. On the table an unusual bag, khaki coloured linen, broad strap, set off with green leather, at least two compartments. Something you'd expect to see used by a writer, a correspondent or journalist. He reminded me of Meryl Streeps husband in Out of Africa, what's his name again? This erudite man had just finished what looked like a fine bottle of red wine and sat back, relaxed, eyes shut. He was by himself - no wife, gay, divorced?
I realised I was being impolite but I couldn't help staring at him, wishing he would stand up so I could see the rest of him.
Suddenly the garden door bursts open and two rather vulgar women charge into the peaceful scene, go up to him and kiss him. He jumps up and turns out to be unexpectedly short, but what really surprises me are his feet. They are the smallest I have ever seen on a man. I am amazed. This puts the man in a whole new perspective, now I want to know more.
With shrieks of laughter the three prepare to leave and I see he forgets his bag. Would I dare take a peek, I'm so curious and after all, how else can it be returned to him? Just as I give myself permission to get the bag, he returns, picks it up and importantly flings it over his shoulder. And off he goes, my intriguing man with his bag, looking like a busy little postman.

That's it, men and bags.
Yesterday I lost or misplaced mine, much to Mieke's disappointment as it contained the crisps we keep swearing we'll stop eating. Instead of seeing that as a lucky intervention she spent all of last night and most of this morning looking for them. I went to the supermarket and got some more just now and asked the cashier if I'd left my bag there by any chance. She looked at me as if I was mad, why hadn't I come back straight away? Puh, she said, someone must have taken it, what do you expect if you leave your things lying about?

Ya ya - well I don't expect to be told off by the cashier. And I won't believe someone has taken it, but wouldn't it be fun if I ran into some nice man carrying my bag?
I'm trying to imagine that and how I would react.
I'd like to think I'd hug him, just to see what would happen, never mind the bag.........
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katherine-anne on

depends on who is holding the bag, i guess....

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