I’ve just had the pleasure of spending a long weekend with good friends and their entertaining children in Lyon, France. I wrote the last time I visited them about how my first holiday abroad was punctuated by spending a day waiting in Lyon bus station for another friend who’d forgotten his passport (unknown to us) and never made it (although he did a day or so later). As I discovered the last time I was there Lyon is a beautiful city with large parks, old and new sections and lovely weather – amongst many other things.
Despite the fact that my French gets worse every time I visit France and I come back promising myself I’ll do something about it (damnit, this time I will!!), it’s too easy as my friends speak fluent French – which isn’t surprising since one of them actually is French!
There’s always something happening in a place like Lyon and we spent Saturday afternoon attending “Les Invites” festival which was a most curious experience. We were greeted by the following scene:
As I’m sure you can tell, there are a couple of guys (several more out of shot) being led along the street in leather leashes howling like monkeys. Clearly this was some sort of artistic statement (I was guessing it was something to do with the lack of individual freedom we have as individuals thanks to increasing government interference and control making us nothing more than animals in a zoo – or maybe I was reading too much into it). As you might expect they were being led towards a cage where they spent the rest of the day howling and frolicking around:
The quizzical looks on the faces of the passers-by says it all!
I had a really great time (well, it was actually “we” since my good lady was there too – although this is supposed to be “John’s Adventures” so I’ll continue the “it’s all about me theme”) and it was lovely to be in a warm, sunny climate. To see colours other than drab Yorkshire grey. To eat good food. To experience a culture that embraces sport and activity. To see friends I don’t get to see often enough!
Ah well, back to reality and miserable weather…
I think you’ll find that the people on the leashes were people who were caught not smoking in restaurants (in France it’s compulsory to smoke). I’ve seen the same thing happen in Paris. They make a public spectacle of them as a lesson to others.
Ah yes, that makes sense! Thanks for clearing that up John!
I wonder how they’ll react to the non-smoking ban which apparently is going to come into effect soon…