Just a few meters from our house, nestled as it is against the Chinese Embassy, is a pétanque court. The most precious piece of furniture in it is the score board. There is a shaded area for drinking beer and a few rotting benches that will be replaced when there really is no more room for maneuver on them.
The pétanque court is the hang-out for the local boys and sometimes the local girls. Pétanque, it must be said, is the perfect sport for these climes.
Slow, easy and relaxed. Have a beer. Move the score marker. Pick up the balls and change sides.
This is all Ed does, and he does it well. No job or profession to speak of. When I asked him what he does, Ed answered, “nothing”. But being a pétanque genius is far from nothing.
The man has an above human ability to smash his adversary’s ball out of the court. Sometimes he plays alone and sometimes there is a whole group of them. Sometimes Ernest, a retiree from the SNCF, shows up.
Every now and then I go and play, just to plant the flag. I am hopeless at pétanque but it is good fun to hang with the ‘hood and have a beer.
There are pétanque courts like this all around the city. Gotta love that Bo Pin Yang Attitude!