1990-04-06: Belfort

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6 April, 1015, Melissey

Mme Tessane just stopped by to make sure we knew to go to Mairie to pay ‘chauffage’; a note was left outside yesterday. We are ready to go out, shopping in Belfort & Melissey.

6 April, 2023, Melissey

Though light rain, Belfort shopping was huge success. Bought Meccano set (have to get gears & motors later), & puzzle of French departments/regions. Had lunch at ‘flunch’, which I thought was another fast-food chain; turned out to be more like cafeteria with very large seating area & great traffic at lunch. Had paella – very good – shrimp (large), chicken legs (2-3 thigh/drumstick), mussels(~5), sausage slices, rice, saffron. Many choices – couldn’t keep track. Ordered by pointing (carrot salad etc).

After lunch, too full to get pastries, so went to Bonjour dept store. Got lots of small stuff for ‘gifts from france’. Cashed more T.C. in Ronchamp & mailed 23 P.C.

Today felt colder, walking around, than any other day. Bought gas for tomorrow’s move. Started packing for move, too. Totalled costs so far, approx. 7000 FF spent, total for customs only about 700$. Seems like we’re in our budget (ha! ha!).

On way home, stopped in Melissey market for a few things, then drove north of town sightseeing – very narrow twisty roads. Saw gendarmerie from which our visitors came & town dump burning trash. Many small ponds formed by damming creeklets for fishing. Afterwards S took the car out, C rode in front and I got in back. Right now, C is singing her head off in tub, the first we’ve had in a gite. The first two had showers only, and only the first could hang up the shower; the others (and hotel’s) are hand-held, which makes for an uncomfortable shower.


6 April, 2023, Melisey

The Meccano set was something we had wanted for a long time. We can’t find metal erector sets in US any more; everything’s plastic. I wanted to have something Chrissy could build with (and I could play with), and plastic sets seem to have very restrictive connectors, etc. I also wanted some motors and gears to make powered movable parts. Meccano was perfect, though expensive.

The meal at flunch was also an eye-opener. This is a very good compromise between American fast-food appetite and French full-meal tradition, for those times when we can’t bear another restaurant meal/scenario. The uncertainty and stress involved in choosing a restaurant and ordering/eating a meal detract somewhat from the quality of the experience. When you just want to eat and get on with the rest of the day, flunch (or equivalent) is just about right. Of course, we avoid American fast food chains as much as possible.

Driving around Melisey, discovered that in addition to farming, the area seems to be oriented to fishing vacations. All of the ponds are posted with requirements for permits, and there are camps nearby. Susan enjoyed driving the Peugeot, but was nervous about getting stopped without insurance, and with Chrissy in the front seat (which is also against the rules). (1991-06-18)


On Friday, we went to Belfort. We found a Meccano toy store. Mecanno is the co. that makes erector sets. Bought 1 & a puzzle and went to a

[ sketch of chef with platter ]

lunch. A spunky cafeteria. Nice! We found a department store and bought all sorts of things! Went to a bank near a wood man – M exchanged T.C. – Went around and got home. Then Mom drove, I rode in the front seat, Dad in back. Illegal! Fun!

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