Sunday, October 22, 2006

Medically declined.

During the past week, work has slowed down quite a bit. Friday, we pressed the final tank in the winery. That means we not longer have any grapes fermenting – only clear wine and pressed wine. While the fermentations will continue for the next couple of weeks, the majority of the work in the “cave” is complete. From this time on, we will perform routine tasks with the wine, such as racking (draining the wine from one tank to the next, and removing the sediment that has fallen out of solution), blending (self-explanatory?), and bottling. We will split time between the cave and the vineyards, where we will prune the vines in preparation for the next growing season, which I assume begins in March (or sometime around then).


On Friday, I went to Montpellier for my required doctor’s visit. It was only a small step in the unending process of applying for and receiving my carte de sejour (work permit) – at this rate I’ll receive final approval at about the time I leave the country.


The trip to Montpellier was actually really nice. I took the train from Beziers and got to see a lot of country (and a lot of Mediterranean Sea). The town of Montpellier is gorgeous. However, to really enjoy it, you must move past the first sight after leaving the train station – a giant McDonalds. After clearing that hurdle, it’s beautiful.

I don't know if you can spot it, but the 7 sets of golden arches may help. I took this shot from the terrace inside the train station.

My visit to the special government-employed doctors went well. After the basic height/weight measurements, I was informed that AIDS is not good and I was given more condoms than I knew what to do with. I actually had to give some back before stuffing the rest into my backpack. In the next room, I removed my shirt and had an X-ray taken of my chest. In the third and final room, the actual doctor listened to my heart and gave an initially disturbing interpretation of my chest film. He said my lungs and heart looked good. However, when I asked, “What is that,” he replied with something that sounded like “s’ tooma.” I asked if it was bad that I had an obvious tumor growing in my chest, and only confusing me more, he explained that it was NOT a problem. After seeing the apparent horror on my face, he realized our miscommunication and corrected himself. He had meant to say, “It is the stomach.”

"'s toomah"

Leaving the doctor’s office, I didn’t have much time to spend before the final train of the day to take me back to Beziers. I grabbed some food (the traumatic experience must have made me really hungry) and a [necessary] beer and bought a train ticket. I’m trying to work something out to spend a weekend in Montpellier soon – it’s the most happening town I’ve visited yet.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My limitted radiology skills allow me to say for sure... it's definitely your stomach.