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Love and Passion in France (standard:humor, 786 words)
Author: scouserAdded: Jan 23 2003Views/Reads: 2988/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Memoirs of camping in France and more!

Love and Passion in France 

Having just finished watching the Sydney Olympics on television and
being absolutely fascinated by the amazing stories of achievement and 
disappointment that emerge from such a huge event my mind was filled 
with memories of another great sporting spectacle, one that I actually 
attended. I wondered whether the overseas visitors to Sydney 
experienced the love and passion I experienced at the 1998 World Cup 
finals in France, memories that will be cemented in my memory forever. 
Witnessing Brazils biggest defeat in World Cup football, the 
celebrations on the streets of Paris after Frances historic win, the 
disbelief in reports of Ronaldo the world's greatest footballer 
swallowing his tongue through pre-match nerves and how the hatred of a 
nation turned onto a young English player for being sent off after a 
moments loss of control. Not since USA 94 and the senseless shooting of 
Colombia's Escobar has so much controversy surrounded the finals of a 
World Cup. But there was another story in France that was not reported 
on, not a story of “German Nazi Hooligans” or rampaging “British Lager 
Louts” but a story of true dedication a story of love and sheer 
determination to be part of one of the greatest shows on earth, a story 
I'm sure that was bigger than any to come out of Sydney. What story 
could be bigger than Sydney? Well the answers quite simple, I survived 
four weeks in a two-man tent! “Big deal” I can hear you mutter. “The 
mans gone mad” how can this be bigger than Cathy Freeman winning the 
400 metres or Thorpy and company breaking world records at the drop of 
a hat. Let me start by clearing up a misunderstanding, the term two-man 
tent is a loose interpretation used by the psychotic descendant of a 
tribe of pygmies who was impersonating a camping and adventure 
salesman, who assured me that the picture on the box was not and I 
repeat not the actual size, lying midget it soon became obvious to me 
that I actually owned a pair of underpants which had more room in them. 
Lesson number one. When contemplating living in a canvas jockstrap 
firstly take the contents out of the packet before reaching your 
desired destination. Now for someone who hasn't actually bonded with 
Mother Nature for over thirty years, spending four weeks in a pair of 
Y-fronts can be very traumatic, and the memory has a habit of twisting 
the truth. My head was full of distorted scouting memories, sitting 
around campfires drinking cocoa and singing “ging gang gilly gilly” and 
sleeping all feet to the pole! I now know modern tents don't have poles 
(probably because there is nothing to hold up) and having reached 
France with my accommodation (such as it was) firmly in place (without 
a pole) and my sleeping bag unfolded it was time to catch up on some 
well deserved rest. Lesson number two Sleeping in a padded condom 
directly on the ground is like trying to sleep on top of a bag of 
walnuts, sponge matting is highly recommended. The camping grounds in 
France are of a high standard and offer all the conveniences a camper 
could want, showers, toilets and shops to buy your food supplies from 
such as beans, spaghetti and soup. Lesson number three Never go camping 
without plates, cutlery and a can opener or the very least your genuine 
Swiss Army knife; it can be very embarrassing having to ask your fellow 
campers if they can open your dinner. So I made some basic mistakes and 
sure the tent was small and I should have known that terra firma is 
bumpy and that cans are difficult to open without tools, but there is 
one more lesson to be learnt if you are thinking of ever going on a 
camping holiday, never and I repeat never go camping without a toilet 
roll, campsites offer excellent clean amenities but do not supply 
toilet paper in the cubicles. Sitting on the throne with only a pair of 
shorts hanging around your ankles is not a nice situation to find 
yourself in as it is highly unlikely you will have your French phrase 
book available at the time “parlez vous anglaise, parlez vous anglais” 
World records will continue to be broken at the next Olympics in Rome 
and new heroes will emerge in Japan and Korea at the World Cup. 
Ronaldo's fears will be overcome, Beckham will be forgiven and my lower 
back will eventually respond to treatment.  I'm sure we will all be 
back with a passion supporting some great event in the future and 
whichever sport you decide on I hope you choose your accommodation 



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