Monday, September 24, 2007
Leaving Leran in the Broad Daylight
Since it seemed village tradition that parties in Leran occurred in pairs, it was good news that Billy and Sally were planning a Thursday luncheon BBQ at the same time we were scheduling our Friday apres-midi going away party. And, luckily, all the usual suspects were available for both occasions.
As we sat on Billy and Sally's patio on yet another perfect summer afternoon, we started to say our good-byes. But before the mood could get too gushy, Alan pulled out his guitar and started answering requests for songs. Billy provided backup support and some of the ladies practiced synchronized hand movements. All went well until Doug called out for "Rocky Raccoon". From the looks on the faces of the Brits he might as well been speaking in Esperanto. They had never heard of the song....a Beatles song off The
White Album! Only us Yanks and the Aussies knew it. What is the explanation for this?
Billy made a comment that one of the great things about parties in Leran is that you seem to take in more bottles of wine than you put out. That's probably pretty close to truth. People are generous, always conscious about bringing a bottle or two.
For our party, I spent most of the day prepping hors d'oeuvres and cleaning around the house. The party went well for the most part. But, when we ran out of wine glasses at our party, we switched to French working glasses. I was very surprised by the reaction of a few people who were hesitant to drink out of anything but wine glasses. I guess they have never been on backpacking trips where you drink out of whatever is handed to you. Later in the evening I was too lazy to wash anymore dishes and I grabbed an empty mustard jar and received a few more appalled comments.
As the evening wound down and only the hard core remained, we once again drifted back to wondering why none of the Brits had ever heard of "Rocky Raccoon". They thought we were off our rocker. Doug went to the Internet and pulled up a website showing that the song was indeed written by Paul McCartney, and there it is on The White Album, right after Piggies. Alan remembered that he had it on his IPod and went to get it so that we could all listen to it, but none of the Brits (except for Andy) were even vaguely familiar with it. Some later Google research informed me that the song was apparently a parody of Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding album, and that it is supposedly meant to sound "cowboy-style". Ha-ha.
Sunday morning's departure, 4 1/2 months after arrival, loomed. Leaving Leran is not easy. We leave behind a whole new life, rich with people and memories. Moab is on the horizon, after two days in London. But Leran is already on the brain.