Due to overwhelming interest of a strange and twisted nature this post is about prostitutes.
The first few times we spotted them sitting in their parked cars along a minor route to one of our favorite market towns we thought maybe they'd broken down and needed help. Perhaps they were waiting for someone or just stopped to finish a phone conversation so as not to drive dangerously. And then we began to notice it was the same women and strangely they had their scantily-clad legs sticking out of an open drivers' side window or suggestively crossed halfway out of an open door while they smoked cigarettes languidly. In the summer they'll sit in a lawn chair reading magazines and catching some rays, bottle of water at their side like they're relaxing on la plage.
There are two that seem to be regulars and they respectfully distance themselves by a few hundred metres. Both await clients in small cars parked just off the two-lane highway. But the last time I went that way I noticed a third entrepreneur. And she was bringing the competition by being parked, wait for it, in an RV. Enterprising, non? And George W Bush said the French didn't know the meaning of the word 'entrepreneur'.
It's very creepy to see them there, waiting. And then, if they have a taker they're gone, car standing empty. Or in the case of the RV lady the curtains are drawn and the doors are closed. Actually, that's much, much creepier than them being there.
It reminds me of when my little family went to Italy for a holiday. We didn't have the Baby yet and the Big Kids were Little Kids. We arrived at the Rome airport and drove our rental car down to Sorrento. Alas, there was construction work around Naples and we got stuck in a detour traffic jam. While we sat in Neapolitan traffic in dusky rush hour we noticed the strangest thing. There were gorgeous, legs-to-heaven, hot pants wearing, African women placed every 50 yards or so, standing there looking bored, sometimes in groups of two chatting as the chain of cars moved slowly past.'What are all those ladies doing, Mommy?' Answer that one.
This bizarre experience prepared us for the reality that the roadside parked cars were 'businesses'. I tried to take a photo of one car for you but I was driving, using my phone, and didn't want to slow down too much as I'm sure you must understand. It's not like I can stop the car and ask for a photo now is it?
There you have it. The oldest profession is alive and well here in the South of France. That's something they don't tell you in the guide books.