The Civilized Explorer

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When we arrived at Chez Doudou, a waitress greeted us at the door. A shy little boy of four or five years of age grasped her apron, peering out at us from behind her.

He was a cute kid. She seated us on the veranda on the shady side of the house, and the boy soon came around to see us. We were the only ones there at the time. I was changing film in the camera, and I gave him the empty plastic film cannister. He promptly put it into his mouth and spat it onto the table. He smiled sweetly.

He was carrying a little stick, and he began whacking the potted plants set out around the veranda. "MATHIEU!" the woman yelled. He ignored her. I waited until he was out of site and flicked the gooey film cannister off the table, aiming for the ground, but it hit the bannisters and fell to the porch. The sound brought him running, and he took the lid off the cannister and put it in his mouth.

Ptooey! Back on the table. He smiled sweetly.

He put the cannister in his mouth. "MATHIEU!" She came out and dragged him off the porch into the house. He came back, empty mouthed but with his little stick. He stared mournfully at the cannister cap on the table. We ignored him.

A family of three came in and were seated near us. Mathieu soon came around to their table. We missed what he did for them, but we heard the "MATHIEU!" She came out and dragged him off the porch again.

A piercing shriek lanced the air. The decibel level was painful. I marvelled at the perfection of his manipulation. He aggravated the customers, ignoring her yells until she dragged him off the porch. Then he let out a scream that got the attention of all the customers, presumably an embarrassment for her and whoever was running the restaurant.

She brought a man out from somewhere within the house and plainly (but in French which we could not follow) told him he had to do something with that child. Mathieu disappeared with the man, and we finished our meal in peace.

We did enjoy our meal and recommend that you give Chez Doudou a try. Mathieu and she were not there our other trip, and we cannot believe she will be there when you visit.

Return to Dining on Guadeloupe in 1998.