Watching this year's Tour de France reminds me of an earlier race.
I was in Paris, gloating that I'd managed to book a very modestly priced hotel, given that I was there for the finish of the race and the city was heaving. It turned out that the modest price of the hotel reflected that it was in a less than modest area. When I set out to get a bit of dinner a young lady wearing six inch heels and an eight inch skirt (or it might have been eight inch heels and a six inch skirt) greeted me in the foyer to inquire about whether I had any other appetites she could fulfill. The hotel was in the middle of the red light district. I declined her offer but asked if she would point me to a restaurant favoured by locals rather than tourists, which she did.
I ended up in a little brasserie, only a dozen tables, the only foreigner in the place. There was one item on the menu I didn't recognise, so totally clueless, that's what I ordered. The waiter raised an eyebrow and asked if I knew what I'd ordered. I said I had no idea, and he explained it was a traditional sausage, a very strong, traditional sausage.
You could smell it coming long before it reached the table, even though it was covered by a salver. When the waiter lifted the salver, the stench was just revolting. I can only imagine that the anaemic sausage before me had been steeped in a bucket of neat ammonia for a month.
I'll try anything once and I reckon I can eat anything once. I did manage to get a good chunk of the thing into my mouth but despite my best efforts to swallow, some survival instinct kicked in and I just couldn't.
I was in some distress at this point, it was so vile, and as I tried to discreetly jettison it into my napkin I caught the eye of the waiter, who was doing a pretty poor job of stifling his laughter. At least he was trying - the couple on the table next to me were wetting themselves. Andouillette.
Be warned. Not for the faint hearted.