An August 2004 trip
to Languedoc Roussillon by studelyknowles
Quote: An exploration of the beautiful Languedoc-Roussillion: towns, villages, lakes, rivers, and of course, gastronomie!
As Bugarach is a village of around 300 people, we were not surprised when the same two teenage girls appeared for the fourth time in yet another guise, this time as belly-dancers, although we had already been treated to renditions of Pink, Shakira and the Grease Megamix. No one seemed to mind the reappearance of the same faces each time, and the applause was loud and appreciative.
When the compère judged that the crowd needed a rest, and the kitchen was not yet ready with the next course, perhaps the only Austrian-style Oompah band in the South of France was enlisted to entertain.
By 10:30, the villagers were all extremely well-oiled, and the waiters in specially printed "Bugarach ‘04" neckerchiefs started to weave through the crowd with dessert, a task which was becoming increasingly more difficult, as the drunken revelers had taken to standing on the benches to better enjoy the dancing (yes, to the Oompah band).
Somehow it was appropriate to dance to the rousing brass chorus with moves taken directly from Wayne's World - the kowtowing 'we are not worthy' arms. In between numbers the crowd took up the call 'wooh-wooh', until recently the preserve of teenage clubbers. One number in particular seemed to require the everyone-on-the-floor dance to 'Oops Upside Your Head', the villagers - young and old alike - dropping to the floor, legs akimbo.
The dancing was led by a group of seemingly disaffected youths, who also seemed particularly taken with the teenage dancers in hotpants. As the meal ended, I suddenly found myself on the other end of a trestle table from one of these lads who had roped me into the clearing up, which consisted of hoisting the tables into the ruins of the old château to make room for more dancing. As I went to get myself refreshing beer after the hard clearing-up effort, I noticed the same young man was now employed behind the bar - talk about community spirit!
Leaving at 1am, the evening showed no sign of drawing to a close - in fact, the band members had taken to dancing with the revelers whenever they had a few bars’ rest. For a remote village in southwest France, they could certainly teach us a thing or two about coming together as a community for a really good time.
London, United Kingdom