Susan's sketchbook log: Tuscany


Cassis harbor lighthouse A fool for boules

Given that the apartment TV did not include access to EuroSport -- a hideous oversight by the owner -- and the Cassis-Carnoux football team caused eyes to roll, the best spectator option by far was to stroll down around the port and sit on the low wall surrounding the Place Baragnon and watch the evening pétanque.

By 5pm, the action on the uneven dirt surface under the plane trees was fast and furious -- well, "fast and furious" is relative in boules. I'd never seen so many games going on at once in such a small space -- Thursdays seemed to be the equivalent of "league bowling night."

There was something quite soothing about listening to the metallic clink of boule on boule and the cries of, "Il est bon! Il est bon!" From what I picked up of the conversations, it seems that boules doesn't differ from any other sport -- the sarcastic comments about lucky shots and miraculous ones being "oh, you know, my usual" were just what I'd hear on a U.S. tennis court. Only the Gallic shrugs were different.

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