Rennes - Reception to Remember

Trip Start May 30, 2012
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Trip End Nov 07, 2012


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Flag of France  , Brittany,
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our favourite train schedule website, OEBB, has been so good to us. But leaving Morlaix, it gave us a wrong train schedule time, and as a result, we were one hour later coming into Rennes then we had told our new couch surf host family. So Jess used her great damsel in distress skills, and talked the ticket office people into letting her use their phone (after the guy originally said his phone didn't work). Jess was able to get a hold of Anne and Yves, the couple we were staying with and let them know the situation. We were originally going to walk to their house (about 25mins), but Yves would have none of that, and made sure we would call him once we got to Rennes. After a sweet train ride to Rennes, with amazing scenery and two crib games (the trip crib score is Ryan - 16, Jess - 14. Jess was very close to double skunking me though), we finally made it to Rennes and called Anne and Yves. They picked us up and drove us to their home. In the car Anne explained to us that one of her friends heard we were coming and wanted to meet us to practice her English. Anne and Yves' son Felix went to Seattle for a couple weeks and stayed with a family there. Having us over for four nights was their way of "giving back." They are wonderful people, and I think whether they were giving back or not, we would have been treated just as well. Once we got to their home, we were greeted by Anne's two sons Etienne and Felix, and Anne's friend Catherine. Felix and Catherine (we didn't know who they were at the time) were standing straight up holding their arms in front of them with a towel hanging down like a waiter and waitress. They did not smile at all, and did not make eye contact. Whenever we would say something, they would just nod and say thank you. For a brief a second I thought Anne and Yves had servants, but then a quick head count told us that had to be Catherine and either Etienne or Felix. After all the introductions, we all headed to the backyard to start a socializing time/meal that lasted pretty much the whole night. Everyone loves culture sharing here, and when word got out there were some North Americans coming, they made their way on over. Every so often Felix's phone would ring with another one of his friends asking to come over. By the end of the night, the table had grown to 12 people. Of Felix's many friends there were Titouan (Catherine's son), Chloe (Titouan's girlfriend), Clement (the guitar player), Faustine (Catherine's daughter), Benjamin (the "sex symbol" or ladies' man), Yves' family, and Jess and I. Everyone did their best to practice their English and ask us questions in English. We tried our best to learn some French phrases too because the conversations were also in French half of the time. I found everyone loves to make fun of each other in good humour when they say something wrong in English. Felix and his mom were just about rolling on the floor laughing at Ben when he said he "wants to have a man" (trying to say when he has kids, he wants to have a boy). One by one the friends left, and eventually we all headed to bed.

Rennes is going to be our home base for the next four days as we do day trips to nearby places. Anne and Felix had Wednesday off so they offered to show us around the old town that day. The four of us first went to a French market, which was a bit better the one in Paris. Anne then drove us to a junkyard where a community of metal/wood workers are temperarily staying. The community makes sculptures out of metal and sells them to various places, then moves their caravan onto different places. They also have a bike repair business and welding shop. We were free to walk around their yard and look at their art. Although their appearance does not show it, they are very friendly people, and very hard working. We then drove to the town centre and walked for the rest of the day around some of the older town and into some fascinating art/photography shops. Staying in Rennes has been a very interesting cultural experience. New friends would come over almost every night for dinner, and we would have many discussions about everything and anything. We would also help to make the dinners, and learn new recipes doing it. I think we have met our smoke intake quota for a couple years though. Smoking is very much a part of French culture, and we got to experience it...second-hand...Har har.

Ryan
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Comments

Mutti & Father on

Other than the second-hand smoke it sounds like you have wonderful hosts again. It also sounds like you are celebrates now. Can’t wait to hear all the details about your stories when you get home, sure do miss you both. Love the pictures, keep working on your crib game, I don’t think you can beat your Mother yet Ha! Ha!

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