December 4, 2000
There were no subtitles with the movie. I knew the general premise and most things could be figured out from the visual. My experience in the theater was with that of a very subdued crowd. Typical French? I'm not sure. I couldn't understand the fast dialogue and yet even I recognized humor. But the audience barely chuckled. My cackles filled the theater. I tried to tone myself down. After all, when in Avignon, do as the ... well, you know.
When the movie was over I asked my teen-age daughter what it was like to watch a show without understanding the conversation. She said she was quite frustrated because she couldn't follow the plot line of all the discussion centering around 'with sex' or not 'with sex.' Sex was obviously the only English word she picked out. So she thought. Wessex, I said. Wessex, that was the character's name! We had a good laugh en route to our hotel room. And I was in a very good mood.
Even passing the homeless man sitting on the street didn't dampen my spirits. I was still carrying my bottle of wine left over from supper. He reached out his hand toward me. He may have thought we were of kindred spirits: I mentally stepped back and looked at myself - walking jauntily, carefree, with a half-empty bottle of vin rose in hand. Does this story have a happy ending? Well, depends upon one's point of view. I didn't give him my wine. But I made it to my motel room without the aide of a designated driver, inebriated with the spirit of Avignon.
From journal Avignon: The Pope Slept Here