Monday, 28 September 2009

A farmer called Jean-Pierre

Armed with just a phone number and my backpack, I arrived at the small train station of Belleville Sur Saone. I’d been told by the ‘grape picking’ agency to call ‘Jean-Pierre’ when I arrived. Well, as is the usual case when travelling, nothing ever goes quite as planned. The number didn’t work, it was getting dark and I had absolutely no idea how far the farm was from the station. I decided to sit it out and see if he would turn up of his own accord.

10 minutes later a pickup truck rocked up and out jumped a farmer type. A guy stood next to me asked in French whether he was Jean-Pierre, to which the farmer replied yes. ‘Great’ I thought, ‘Sorted!’

I introduced myself but the farmer drew a blank. My heart sank thinking bureaucracy had gone wrong somewhere along the line. Consulting my little black book I asked whether he was Jean-Pierre ‘Desmolle’. The confusion vanished. He explained that he was a different Jean-Pierre but that Jean-Pierre Desmolle was his neighbour and asked if I wanted a lift. I didn’t have to be asked twice...I couldn't believe my luck!

Chucking my rucksack into the back of the pickup, I thanked the God  of travel who was looking down on me once again!

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