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The Bataille des Fleurs Parade
Under awnings and umbrellas they awaited the Bataille des Fleurs, a parade that arrives in June like a right of passage into summer. Girls in lace up leather boots kicked in time with a marching band lead by Mickey and Minnie mouse in wedding white. At the head of the procession a brass section of aging Italian men in pink polka-dotted bikinis flirted with onlookers. Clowns and elephants rudely fashioned from carpets of flowers were pulled behind tractors. From these floats frilly-petalled carnations were showered on the crowd. A whole bouquet of roses that I caught by their thorny stems gave me a sense of why it’s called a battle of flowers.
My ear to eat smile outlasted the procession that wound its way down to the port where millionaires dock their yachts as I walked home with an armful of flowers like a pageant winner.
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