Thursday, October 13, 2011

French Film Crew Visits Outer Cape

Over the past couple days, a French film crew stayed at Chez Sven. The trio is filming Americans, from different walks of life, in all fifty states, for their travel saga “L’Amerique Dans Tous Ses Etats.” The show, in its third season, aims to help the French understand the people of the United States, as opposed to governmental policy or media spin or images from Hollywood, real people, in other words, a reality show with a French twist. Host Gerard Klein was accompanied by producer Laurent Le Gall and Greg Martoglio, the cameraman on the left.

I had a marvelous time speaking French with my guests, who laughed a lot. This jolly crew has already covered California, Louisiana, Texas, South Dakota and several Western states, including Arizona, Montana and Idaho. Had I been responsible for their Cape Cod itinerary, I would have shown them Wellfleet, of course, but I was merely part of the scenery and quite lucky to be, a happenstance owed to a quarter century spent in France.

For Monday, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce organized a visit with oystermen on the flats in Dennis. Tuesday had the trio traveling from Falmouth to Provincetown to meet a Woods Hole potter and a Quahog whisperer. They dined in Wellfleet at The Bookstore.

Yesterday morning Gerard interviewed me over breakfast. I served green smoothies and banana bread, as well as our regular granola, organic fruit salad and yogurt. I cannot remember what I said, so we will have to wait for the DVD to find that out. I know we had a long discussion on how to say “kale” in French and concluded France does not really use it much as a vegetable: “chou frisé.”

Since we had all hit if off so well, Gerard, Laurent and Greg invited me along on a return trip to Provincetown. We took Route 6A and stopped first at Day’s Cottages, in North Truro. In this picture, Greg films Cape Cod Bay. I explained how frequently the cute green-shuttered buildings show up in paintings/photography and fielded questions on the first Pilgrims who spent five weeks at anchor prior to crossing to Plymouth.

The Visitor’s Center at Race Point, with its incredible panoramic views, drew raves from the Frenchmen. Driving through the dramatic Provincelands landscape, Gerard hopped out of the SUV and promptly found an edible mushroom in the brush. We drove on to Herring Cove, a beach I had never visited myself, before reaching the center of town. Gerard headed for his favorite shop to buy a dozen pairs of socks. (Why is it that men find Marine Specialties so fascinating?) We finished our morning at the Lobster Pot.

I was very sorry to wave goodbye as the Frenchmen sped off towards the Hyannis ferry and Martha’s Vineyard. After Cape Cod, they will report from Boston/Cambridge and Salem, then New Hampshire and Maine.

I felt almost like a traitor, showing off Provincetown, unable to share favorite Wellfleet attractions. I did suggest checking out Wednesday’s blog post for links to local photos. Greg may not have filmed our beloved town, but I think the unique quality of the Outer Cape will certainly figure in the Massachusetts episode.

Laurent and Greg live in San Francisco. Laurent told me proudly that he will soon become a US citizen. Only Gerard still lives in France. It turned out that we have a good friend in common, Laurent Boyer, who helped me find my second radio job.

Our morning together reminded me of the French term “joie de vivre,” which one does not encounter so much here in the USA, unfortunately. We are all too busy making a living.

These Frenchmen have managed to find a way to make work fun. Their motto: do work you enjoy = happiness. Are you able to apply this concept to your life?