Coming to Austin in 2010 inadvertently led to a falling out between the nation of France and myself, when Air France security didn’t let me board my flight due to my not having a piece of paperwork, which was inconveniently in my hold luggage.
Long story short: gate closes, plane taxis away and one lone, lanky Brit is left standing in the terminal, mouth open, eyes somewhat watery, in shock. I made it to Austin but vowed to boycott anything French for the rest of my days.
The boycott gradually diluted–it’s hard to get decent marmalade here and one store only had stuff made in France–and I’ve decided to fully lift the boycott due to the good folks at Agence France-Presse, out of the blue, commissioning me to write a story about reactions in Austin to the Lance Armstrong controversy.
That resulted in a manic day in which I had about six hours to report and write the story. Being a wire service, the best bit was the story appeared in the The Times of India and the Bangkok Post, which I found kinda cool. Viva la France.