Sunday, 12 July 2009

Living like God in France ... or maybe not

So for our first meal as staff at the cec assembly we ate outisde in the cité internationale in Lyon. Although bottled water was on the table (which costs a fortune - really we must run an Ecumenical Water Network campaign against bottled water) there was no wine in evidence. I suspect the CEC finance director may have been in charge of the menu!
We talked about how in our different languages we try to ask for a jug of tap water when in a restaurant. Apparently when Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris the way to do it in a restaurant there was to ask for some "château Chirac".
Despite the lack of wine, which is surely almost a sin agaisnt the Holy Spirit in France, the company and conversation over supper were wonderful. I was honoured to be sitting next to Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and all Albania who was keen to know how the translation of his sermon for the opening worship on Wednesday was progressing. I was happy to be able to tell him that it is both translated and printed, and that we should be able to give him a copy once the boxes from the printers arrive tomorrow.
So despite Lyon's reputation for being the capital of French gastronomy, this evening we have not been "living like God in France" as the Germans call living well. Given the heat and the work we have waiting for us tomorrow it's just as well I think. My teetotal non-conformist forbears would approve of the water only approach of course.
Meanwhile the stewards have been on a treasure hunt through Lyon today, sounds quite fun, though it will have been hot work today.