This week on the show, we discover the French way of giving bad beer flavor, how not to order postage, the vagaries of languages, and the natural car of France. Give us fifteen minutes, and we'll give your ears a taste (?) of what it's like living in the French countryside -- without speaking a lick of French!
Full Show Script
EVO: Our time in France is coming to an end. So far, neither of us want to kill the other, at least not that we’re willing to admit out loud. Spending 24/7 as a couple has, thus far, been relatively easy. Of course, we’ve built up more than a little tolerance over the last 27 years.
SHE: But in all honesty, being stuck inside is starting to wear a little thin. Even though it’s been cold and rainy -- it sleeted for most of today -- we’ve braved the elements and ventured out on occasion. Our local pub/coffee shop is called Carpe Diem, and we’re starting to be recognized. Even if they don’t greet me with the double-cheek air-kissing that’s all the rage here.
EVO: The beer selection, well… sucks. It’s Stella. That’s my only option. Or at least I thought it was, until three locals ordered some sort of beer cocktail. It started with a few ounces of some mysterious black liquid in the bottom of a beer glass, topped off with the fizzy yellow stuff from the tap. By their second round, I decided there was little chance of ruining a mass produced pilsner like Stella, and decided to try it. So I consulted Google Translate, ignored a few words I wasn’t comfortable trying to pronounce, and lay my best French on the landlord, while Sheila was occupied with a giant dog that freely roamed the pub. Gotta love France...
EVO: That mystery black liquid that i thought was an orange liquor is called Picon biere. And yes, you can check into it. (I’m referring to Untappd, where we both have accounts. It’s sort of like Foursquare for beer, and we use it to track each new, unique beer we drink. We’ll put links to our profiles - Evo’s and Sheila’s - in the show notes.) Picon biere is an orange bitter developed in the 1800s with the express purpose of adding flavor -- good flavor -- to thin pilsners and wheat beers from this region. It also brings plenty of booze to the party, clocking in at 18% ABV. Sadly, you can’t find it in the States. Huh. Maybe I should start an illicit import/export business as a way to bring in money? Or not.
SHE: Yeah, let’s go with not. No international incidents, remember honey? Now that we were comfortable enough to order drinks from the bar, we thought we’d test our language skills further. Our twin niece and nephew asked us to send them postcards along the way, and I have a teacher friend in Turkey who’s class is collecting postcards from all over the world. So, with cards in hand, we headed out to see if we could say “three stamps, please” without embarrassing ourselves. We were almost distracted by the food truck, but found the place eventually.
EVO: If we had to do it all over again, we’d definitely spend some time learning the language basics. Because right now, we really stand out, walking around speaking English and looking with interest at all things the locals take for granted.
SHE: You do it too. People who live by the beach tend to not hear the surf. The mountains disappear for those living on the front range, and city dwellers often forget they walk by museums and amazing architecture every single day. For locals, the familiar fades into the background. When someone is noticed paying attention, they’re immediately recognized as “not local.” And when you’re looking through a camera lens most of the time, people start making assumptions.
EVO: It kind make you wonder if a bunch of youtube videographers swarm this place when it’s warmer? I mean, it’s pretty and all, but I’m not seeing it as a haven for vloggers of any sort. But who knows? Maybe we should give this podcast a rest and start with video. Nah. Editing audio takes enough time as it is. Video adds a whole layer of complexity I’m not all that interested in dealing with. Plus, I rather like audio storytelling.
SHE: And speaking of the things you notice when your not local, Evo made what he considers an interesting local observation.
SHE: I really shouldn’t give him a built-in laugh track. It only encourages him.
EVO: I just love hearing you laugh, baby. We have one more clip to share with you, but before we do that, a little housekeeping. This is our fifth show, which means I can officially ask you to do two things: First, go rate the show on iTunes. Pretty please. With sugar on top. There are a lot of travel-related couple casts out there. But I’m fairly certain few, if any, are producing this kind of show every week. We love that so many of our friends are listening, but we want even more people to discover our show, and a rating on iTunes helps that. Second, share this episode with a friend or family member, even if they’ve never heard of podcasting. Tell them it’s a radio show they can listen to online if you like. Just get them listening.
SHE: OK, enough begging. Here’s the clip Evo was teasing. Sorry about the car noises. It seems we picked the wrong time to walk down the road. In the middle of the night. In a place with few street lamps.
EVO: Man, those Picon bieres really sneak up on you. À bientôt!
New episodes of the ShEvo Studios On Tour Podcast are available every Sunday. Of course, Sunday can be a very different thing depending on where we are in the world. Cheers!