A little car rolled to a stop.
And Tom Cruise stepped out, put his arms out, smiled broadly, and said: “Where were you guys? I was looking for you.”
Not exactly like that, but kind of like that …
After about ten minutes, a red, two door, hatchback Puegot, rolls to a stop in front of us. I notice and alert Raegan, who meets me at the pile of backpacks and begins picking them up.
“Go over to him and smile before he leaves,” I instruct her.
She grabs a few smaller bags and does that–jogging over to greet him before he changes his mind. Thankfully, he didn’t leave.
I grab the rest of the gear, bring it to the back of the car, stuff it inside.
Raegan’s already in the backseat, and I hand the overflow–the gear that doesn’t fit, to her. Then, I jump in the front seat to greet our kind driver.
“Merci,” I say with a smile. “Ju mappel, Kris.” I extend my hand, then point to
Raegan. “Raegan,” I say.
He says his name, a collection of syllables with a French accent, which I forget.
“Nice to meet you. Parlay vo Anglais?” I ask him.
“No,” he says, then says something in French that I do not understand.
He’s looks like he’s got stories to tell with his wardrobe, a cap and coat, looking like he stepped out of the 1950’s.
We try to talk to him but we are not French speakers.
He drives to to the village square. There’s a big old church that with a parachute dangling from its steeple.
The parachute is attached to a paratrooper who’s dangling thirty feet in the air thirty feet from the ground.
Apparently, this actually occurred during World War II. A parachutist, on his decent, got his parachute caught in a church steeple and he’s stuck there, hanging thirty feet from the ground. Then later, a lifelike sculpture was placed at the scene to commemorate the event.
The man parks the car in the church parking lot. I get out and take pictures. Raegan stays in the car.
After a minute of taking pictures, I get into the car and close the door.
“Chateau Isle Marie”. I’m speaking in English with a French accent, as if he is going to understand it. “Do you know?”
The driver looks at me, says something in French, then starts the engine and we’re rolling out the parking lot. The small town is far behind us and the road gives way to the countryside, fields and farms all around.
Does this guy know where we’re going?
When traveling, I tend to cover up any apprehension with a layer of lackadaisicalness. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s rather that I subconsciously pretend not to care, in order to preserve my energy and maintain a healthy curiosity to remain open to the possibilities.
I wasn’t worried about what would happen next.
We’re in a car, somewhere in France.
The driver turns on some classical music.
We pass the outskirts of a small town.
A minute later, we’re in the countryside again. Open fields. A pasture with horses.
Then, on the left, I notice massive trees and a knee-high stone wall that runs the perimeter of a yard. Looks very private.
The driver slows the car and steers into the entrance, a dirt road driveway. As soon as we pass the stone wall, we’re in a dark, enchanted forest of trees that tower around us, heading right towards the centerpiece: A stone castle that sits in the middle of the clearing, rising up from the earth with a staircase that folds out from the center, almost like two strong arms welcoming people to its place of refuge.
It’s an awesome site.
This is the Chateau isle Marie.
+ + + + + + +
address: Chateau d’ L’ Isle Marie
description: Luxury bed & breakfast
length of stay: 33 days
job duties: weeding, changing bed sheets, vacuuming rooms
+ + + + + + +
I’m looking around.
I’m thinking to myself, I’m going to stay here forever.
We thank the driver.
He gives a quick smile, mumbles something in French, then drives off.
At the door, we give a knock, but no one answers. Gently, I push the door open and we enter the foyer, undo our backpacks and put them to the side of the door, near the umbrellas.
Inside, the place is gorgeous, living room surrounded by a spiral staircase, with beautiful antique furniture and old paintings on the wall. We’re in a castle from 200 years ago. I feel like we’re in a museum. Everything’s clean and frozen in time.
A few people, a man and two women, exit the kitchen. They look at us.
“Hi, we’re the WWOOF’ers,” I begin. “We’re a day early. I hope that’s okay.”
“Oh, we’re staying here. The owners are out for dinner.”
“Okay,” I say.
They smile and go upstairs.
We leave our backpacks in the corner, near the front door, and sit outside on the stone steps, waiting for the owners to return.
Even though we are scheduled to be here tomorrow, we departed a day early, in order to give ourselves extra time. We were hitchhiking which leaves a lot of room for unforeseen circumstances. We weren’t sure what the ride-situation would be like and were prepared to sleep outside (we had sleeping bags) in the woods or some other secluded area.
I was excited to be here. A chateau. A big stone castle. On the grounds of a huge yard. A driveway that was about 100 yards long, surrounded by a canopy of trees.
An hour later, we heard the crunching of gravel. A car is rolling down the driveway towards the castle. It parks on the side and we walk toward it.
An attractive blonde-haired, blue eyed woman, and man-wearing-glasses step from the vehicle. They are dressed impeccably, a classic preppy style, like something from the pages of a Ralph Lauren ad.
We introduce ourselves. They show us the room where we’ll be staying. It’s actually an entire building, a Manor House, that sits 50 yards from the chateau. And we’ll have the place all to ourselves.
This place is amazing. The house we’re staying in is a three story, old stone building from 1508. We explored the rooms and the entire place is sprawling, one room leads to another, and most of the rooms seem to be unfurnished. We’re staying on the second floor, sharing a queen sized or king sized bed, I think, in a room that has high ceilings, maybe 15 feet, not sure, but something close to that.
The building we’re staying in is called a Manor House. It was used as a servant’s quarters. Just outside of our building is a DoveCot, a circular structure comprised of stones, that rises about twenty feet in the air. The roof is long gone and there’s vines crawling up the sides.
A DoveCot is a shelter with nest holes for domesticated pigeons. Historically, dovecots were used to house the pigeons and the pigeons were used to carry messages back-and-forth and, sometimes, the pigeons were eaten for food. The pigeon excrement that was collected and used as fertilizer.
We met Dorothy, one of the caretakers of Isle Marie, this historic, 3-story chateau where we’ll be working in exchange for room and board. Our room is one the 2nd floor of a Manor House, a 15-room, 500-year old building originally used as a servant’s quarters, that sits about 50 yards away from the chateau. The manor house is massive, with a walkable attic and it’s private, shrouded by trees that keep it hidden from the chateau. A dirt pathway leads from the chateau to the manor house.
Our work will likely consist of gardening, cooking, and helping out around the chateau, which operates as a working hotel and bed-and-breakfast. The chateau brings in $250 a night per room.
During the day and evening, we set up our laptops at the table in the ground floor kitchen area. Simon, who is Dorothea’s cousin and co-caretaker of the chateau, talks to us about promoting the chateau, by posting historical articles related to the chateau. He talks about TripAdviser.com, a travel review website, and dismisses the website as being full of paid reviews.
The ground floor kitchen of the Chateau Isle Marie, where Raegan and I spent a lot of time doing computer work for Simon, one of the Chateau’s caretakers. Our work consisted of article marketingówriting articles with backlinks to www.islemarie.com in order to increase traffic to their website. Raegan also did a lot of photo image editing.
The ground floor kitchen of the Chateau d’ L’ Isle Marie, where Raegan and I set up our laptops to do computer work, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and photo editing for the http://www.islemarie.com website.
Saturday, June 25
At 9am, we met Dorothy in the basement kitchen, where she offered us Muesli cereal and yogurt. We mixed it in a bowl and ate. At some point, Simon, her cousin, came downstairs and we introduced ourselves. Soon afterward, he left. She left us with instructions to turn off the burner for the potatoes, once they had reached a soft point, then pouring them into a colander, and returning the potatoes to the pot, with the burner still off. While eating cereal and yogurt, she discussed the politics of farming and such movies as “Food Incorporated”.
Dorothy is a classy lady, a blonde, who was wearing a khaki dress with a scarf, and has pretty features. She is Dutch and knows how to speak Dutch, German, French, English, and some Italian. She said that she grew up in Holland where the American TV programs are not dubbed, but are subtitled, which makes it easy to learn English.
Before leaving, as she has a busy day, she told Raegan where the key was to the barn so we could get the bicycles to ride later, and also pointed to the bicycle pump sitting on the floor, just outside of the mud room.
Raegan and I just took a bunch of photos of the rooms of this house and uploaded them to the computer. She just left, with her Macbook Pro in hand, to go to the kitchen, where she’ll probably go online to upload them to her Flickr account. She’s a good photographer and skilled at making adjustments to the photos in Photoshop.
Earlier today, we wandered the grounds of Isle Marie, this beautiful bed and breakfast, located on several wooded acres and connected by walking paths that are surrounded by towering trees on both side, providing shade and an amazing kind of natural sanctuary.
There is the main Chateau and then a few hundred yards away, two other chateaus. Raegan and I are in one of them, the one that would require further renovation to rent, that is strewn with old furniture, suitcases, boxes of delightful repositories from the past including 8mm film reels, and three antique pedal cars for children, as well as other items like chests, old hats, and more. It was around noon and we took photographs of the inside of this beautifully treasured storehouse and it’s things.
In the afternoon, since Simon had said we could borrow the car to run errands, we returned to the Chateau where we, Raegan and I, saw Dorothy attending to food preparation in the basement level kitchen. She’s a classy, blond haired lady who dresses well, speaks articulately, whose entire life seems pronounced and to the point, as if she’s unglued herself from unnecessary detritis and engages only in pragmatic missions.
Raegan and I greet Dorothy and I mention that Simon mentioned the car and would it be okay if I borrowed it. She said it would, then walked us to where the car was, parked near the old building that houses the maintenance tools and collection of riding bicycles.
I drove to the gas station first, where we put $10 into the car, the four door Citron, then to the market, where we purchased additional food–bread, avocados, butter, potato chips, canned mackeral with mustard, a marinara type sauce, Muesli cereal, red potatoes, yellow onions, and maybe some other stuff, too. Back at the house, Raegan put together a delicious sandwich–whole grain bread, avocodo, tomato, herring with yellow mustard. Great idea to add the fish. We ate the table in the small room off of the first floor dining room, the sunlight pouring in, us eating happily in this chateau that was built in 1508, being part of history. A beautiful experience.
This morning, I asked Raegan if she wanted potatoes and eggs. She said yes, and also agreed to help in the preparation. We walked down the stairs to the kitchen and began chopping the potatoes, onions. I fried the potatoes in a big saute pan, covered with another one upside down on top of it to keep in the heat, then fork whipped four eggs in a bowl, moved the potatoes to one side of the pan, and poured in the eggs on the other side. Raegan added spinach to the eggs and cheese. It was a delicious breakfast–eggs, cheese, spinach, potatoes.
After breakfast, we walked the pathway, with tremendous trees towering overhead providing shade and cool, to the main chateau, featured in the Isle Marie website and many notable publications. It’s historic and has good reviews as a classy place to stay.
This morning, we would be finding out our jobs, our roles as WWOOFers (World Wide Organization of Organic Farms). Although, technically, the Isle Marie is not an organic farm, it’s ground are maintained with organic methods, so it’s participation in the WWOOF program shows that their definition of organic farm is quite elastic, which is fine with me, and probably the other WWOOFers who’ve come before.
Raegan and I arrived in the basement level kitchen and greeted Dorothy, who offered us coffee, tea, a wholegrain baguette, and proceeded to tell us that we could weed at the two story chateau close the chateau where we were staying, and that, also, we could sweep the tennis courts if we had time today.
I drank a cup of coffee, poured another, and finished half of it, and sliced some of the baguettes which I buttered and shared, along with the coffee, with Raegan.
As usual, Raegan looking gorgeous, with her penetrating blue green eyes, red lips, cute nose and happy face, and stylish, too, wearing a fitting black T-shirt I purchased for her from H&M, blue jean shorts with a brown leather belt, gray stockings and her cute brown boots. Sometimes I just watch her, almost hypnotized by her good looks. And she has these gestures too, that are birdlike and fluid, almost like a ballet dancer. If she rubs up against you, you’ll probably find fairy dust on you.
Raegan and I finish the coffee and bread and then walk to the second chateau, sit down, and begin pulling weeds, plants, and stray flowers from amist the driveway, which is covered with small white rocks. Thankfully, the roots to the weeds are
shallow. They come up easily. Raegan continues pulling weeds diligently, while I make small excursions to go to the bathroom, take photos, or refill the water bottle.
We continued weeding, then took a lunch break. Raegan made this terrific sandwich–wholegrain bread with avacado, tomato, and mackeral swimming in dijon mustard sauce.
After lunch, we resumed weeding, then walked to the tennis courts and began sweeping the leaves into piles. It was hot. I removed my shirt. I continued working. I looked at Raegan and she was looking at me. She smiled. I smiled.
I put my thumb to my mouth, and began blowing, as if I was blowing myself up into a big balloon. We both laughed.
After sweeping the leaves, carting them away, dumping them into the forest just outside the courts, we sat on the courts, our backs leaning against the old stone walls that, perhaps, had witnessed tennis games for the last hundred years or so, and talked.
I mentioned that I remembered a teacher in high school saying how when he was younger, he thought that, at some age like 22 or 24, he would just become an adult, and have a job and a wife and a kid and, that, it–adulthood–would just happen. He said that as he grew older he realized adulthood is something you have to prepare for, otherwise you’ll end up being a kid in an adult world, something like that.
“Like you?” Raegan said, smiling.
“Yeah, sometimes I feel that way.” I said, smiling. “I remember thinking about what he said years ago.” I said.
“That’s interesting,” Raegan said.
We returned the tools, the brooms, the rake, the cart, to their respective places, and greeted Dorothy, who was putting together a wall rack, screwing it together.
We talked with her, telling her about the tennis court clean up, and Simon mentioned that the net needed to be loosened. Dorothy said it did, too. So, Raegan and I returned to the court, loosened the net, then walked back to our private chateau.
I asked her if she wanted to help me make dinner. She said yes, and we walked downstairs to the kitchen. She boiled half of the bag of penne pasta, while I sauteed butter, milk, a can of mushrooms, and cheese. Raegan, wisely, added more cheese.
Because it was milk, and not cream, the sauce failed to congeal, but it was still tasty. I also added some salt. After tasting it, Raegan added some marinara sauce that had eggplant in it, and it tasted almost like an a la vodka sauce, but without the vodka, a sauce that combines red sauce (marinara sauce) with a white sauce (alfredo sauce) to make a delicious orange colored sauce.
Raegan, preparing breakfast in the first floor kitchen of the manor house, the building where we stayed at the Chateau Isle Marie. Picauville, France.
We also cut some baguettes into smaller pieces, opened them, and spread butter on some of them and pesto on others, then put them into the oven. The meal was delicious. After eating, we watched an episode of “Freaks and Geeks” on Raegans laptop.
It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. We weeded today, starting at the nearby chateau, finishing the front left side, the left side, and the back, then taking a lunch break.
For lunch, we sauteed potatoes and onions in oil, then added tofu, continuing to fry it by leaving another pan, upside down, on top of it. Once that medely was cooked, Raegan added pesto and I added butter, flavoring it to a delicious finale. Raegan sliced apples in a bowl and drizzled them with honey, beside sliced cucumber and sliced tomato. We sat at the table in the small room adjacent to the the main dining area living room. It was a delicious meal.
After lunch, we started weeding the front of the main chateau, along the stone walls that rise up to support a bed of hedges, in front of the raised driveway that rises up to the front door. Raegan brought out two cups of steaming tea–spearmint, lemon, green tea mix. We continued weeding and drank the tea when it had cooled to a sipping temperature.
After drinking the tea, we went into the basement kitchen and chatted with Dorothy, who runs the chateau, and she said she would meet us around 3:30. I told her that we would either be in the chateau where we are staying or in the kitchen, on the internet.
This place, the Isle Marie, with all of its grand majestic beauty, towering trees, old stone buildings, rich in character and history, is a storehouse of wonder, an open suitcase of epiphanies. The place is romantic and being here with Raegan makes it even more romantic. I like it here.
Yesterday, we finished weeding the rock laden perimeter around the second chateau which appears to be two stories but it could possibly be three stories if you count the attic, if there is one. These old stone houses, these chateaus, are giant affairs, sprawling in their expanse and conneccting rooms to rooms. Once you’re inside, you are surprised at the number of rooms for, on the outside, even though these houses are huge, they do not appear to hold so many rooms.
Being here, in Picauville, France, at the Isle Marie, sleeping in the second floor room of a building that probably contains 18 rooms, doing a few hours of menial work–gardening–in exchange for room and board, including food, is a rich experience that, likely, less than 1% of the population has ever experienced. I’m grateful for this experience and I hope to inspire others, through writing about it, and taking photographs, to participate in this kind of experience as well.
After finishing the weeding around the second chateau, we weeded around the front of the main chateau, the Isle Marie chateau. At some point in the early afternoon, we took lunch. Raegan assembled a delicious bowl of vegetables and fruits with sliced tomato and cucumbers and apples with honey drizzled over the apples. We pan fried potatoes and onions in oil, sprinkled salt into it, then added tofu, pesto and butter. Eating delicious food in a castle with someone you love is a wonderful experience.
At 8pm, yesterday, we met with Dorothea and Simon, her cousin, to eat dinner. Dorothea plated sliced cantelope. She offered us prosciutto wrapped cantelope and we declined politely. We sat at the outside table, eating cantelope and drinking Evian. There was also Perrier sparkling water, too. A basket of sliced, whole grain baguette bread sat on the table. The main course was a glass tray, hot, with steaming mashed potatoes mixed with fish, with a crispy coating on top. Dorothea used a spatula to carefully slice it into four sections, one for each of us, then lift it from the glass tray to our plate. It was delicious and Raegan and I told her so.
Dorothea and Simon held court in the conversation, telling us stories that did little to disguise their efforts to remain royalty in this world and show their knowledge of things considered worth knowing for people in the upper echelon of society. It was interesting, somewhat, but as the conversation continued, it grew somewhat boring.
I’m not really interested in name dropping or famous people or talking about things. I prefer participating in conversations that revolve around concepts, like philosophy, and discoveries about human nature, science. Being told stories is fun, too. But when the stories are strained through someone’s ego that’s hoping for compliments on the other side, it becomes more of a chore than anything else.
Dessert was brought out, an apple tart pie, cold, which was an apple pie with cheesecake filling in the bottom part, just above the crust. It had a hint of sweetness which made it all the more delicious.
Soon after finishing her pie, Dorothea excused herself and we were left to talk with Simon, who talked a lot about the internet. He seemed to be negative about the internet. I felt he was being dismissive of it, so I brought up some points abou the benefits.
Later, back at the room, Raegan said: “I liked what you were saying at the table.”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked her.
“You didn’t sound awkward,” she said. “Probably because that’s your thing, the internet and websites.”
“Do I usually sound awkward?” I asked her.
“Sometimes,” she said. “But the internet is your thing,” she added.
Friday, July 29
Last night, Raegan and I watched the 3rd episode of “Band of Brothers”, the compelling story about Easy Company, a division of U.S. Army soldiers, and the D-Day Invasion. Earlier, Raegan helped with the tablado, the dinner at the farm house that Jan and Mike put together once or twice a week.
At around 7pm, before dinner, the guests of the chateau gathered in the drawing room of the main chateau, sat on chairs and couches, and listened to Simon, one of the chateau caretakers, tell the history of the Chateau Isle Marie. It was actually interesting. A lot of history in an hour. Some of the highlights included the following:
During World War 2, the German army opened the floodgates nearby, which caused the Isle Marie to flood. The flooding of the Isle Marie, many years ago, would leave water around the main chateau, thus giving it the name, the Isle Marie, or Island Marie.
Anyway, during the D-Day Invasion and days that followed, American paratroopers were parchuting into the area, and landing in the water, which was cold because of the time of the year, and even though it was not that deep, maybe a few feet high, 2 – 6 feet high, some were drowning, as they were parachuting in with 100 pounds of gear, a parachute, probably landing a state of nervousness and confusion, thus obfuscating the situation.
A servant of the one of the original Isle Marie owners was left behind in order to
protect the family treasure, after the family had left during a siege. The servant, captured, was asked where the treasure was. The servant refuses to tell and is killed. Hundreds of years later, around 1900, Simon’s great grandfather hears that the gold is buried in the chapel, the building that is attached to the guest chateau.
So, he begins digging in the chapel floors and finds a chest. His excitement turns to disappointment when he opens it only to find a small boned skeleton. Simon mentioned that it was likely a French soldier since the French have, generally, diminutive bones compared to the English who are bigger boned.
For most of yesterday, Raegan and I were in the kitchen. She diligently sat at her laptop sorting through photos that Simon had chosen and tweaking them with Photoshop.
I admire Raegan’s patience and tenacity. She is capable and when she is working, she is focused. She’s not playing around, talking, or eating, she’s just doing the task in front of her. I hope that rubs off on me.
While she was doing that, I was online, grabbing paragraphs from various websites about different places to visit in Normandy, France. I pieced together an article, called it “12 Places to Visit in Normandy, France in Europe” and started the article with Simon’s article, of original construction, about Mont Saint-Michel, the commune (town or village) that sits on a tidal rock point that’s comprised of a Benedictine Abbey and collection of houses and shops, inhabited by some 41 people. Beneath Simon’s article, I recommended another destination, then 10 other places worth visiting.
Tomorrow we go to Paris. Dorothea is driving us there. She has a dentist appointment. It is kind of her to give us a ride, considering how busy she is with the Chateau Isle Marie.
The chateau, rich with history, grandeur, and acting as a luxury bed and breakfast and a place where memories are made, nonetheless, can be a relentless taskmaster since the maintenance of the building and the grounds consume a lot of hours. Add to that the number of guests that come in and out of the front doors of the main chateau and the guest chateau, which means managing a small staff, scheduling visits, buying groceries for the breakfasts, and other day to day operations, and the beautiful old chateau becomes a relationship with a hungry monster, one that’s continually needing to be fed in order to function.
Yesterday, Dorothea left early with her friend, Peter, this guy who runs a film production company that has offices in Los Angeles and in New York City. They went to Jersey, a beach that, I think, has historical significance as it was a Landing Beach during D-Day, or maybe not, I’m just guessing about that.
Nonetheless, it’s supposed to be a beautiful beach and as it’s in France, the beach will have a beautiful village nearby with old buildings, charm, and rolling countryside on the outskirts.
Dorothea was gone for the entire day and Simon had left the day earlier, so Raegan and I were on our own. Dorothea left instructions to hang the laundry to dry.
Besides that, there was not that much to do. Raegan and I got online, talked, ate, parked ourselves in the ground floor kitchen. In the late afternoon or evening, some guests arrived. Raegan got their last name, found their room, and I helped with their luggage, which was only one bag, since they were here for only one night.
Later in the evening, I gave that family a tour of the place. They were a husband and wife and their children. They were from Dublin, Ireland.
The day before yesterday, I gave an English couple a tour and afterward, the Dad mentioned, when I told him we were going to Paris, that “You’ll love Paris. Paris is food for the soul.”
We had a fun game of tennis, laughing and smiling, enjoying the beautiful old court and the the tall trees that stood guard all around us. It’s beautiful being in France with someone you love and who loves you. It’s beautiful being immersed in the joy of the moment and the possibilities of the moments to come.
Raegan is so pretty. She looks like a movie star from the 50’s, with a natural glamour and gestures that are all her own. Every tender bend of her neck is a possibility, and every sideways glance, sometimes nervous, her insecurity shining through, those big blue green eyes can slay the greatest dragons of fear that guard the dark places of the heart. Even in jeans and a t-shirt, her natural prettiness shines through. Sitting beside her, it can be difficult to concentrate, as she’s so easy to look at, getting caught up in the orbit of her beauty.
I’m drinking tea. I’m in France. I’m in the ground floor kitchen of the Chateau Isle Marie. Standing in front of me is Peter, the film producer, looking debonaire, wearing his scart and clean black t-shirt, another gentlemen wearing leather slippers, a collar shirt, nursing a beer in a glass even though it’s around noon, and Dorothea, who’s at the stove pan frying sausages. Raegan, a few minutes ago, wandered off, I’m guessing to go to the farm house, probably to smoke a cigarette.
She’ll probably be back in a few minutes. Me, I’m sitting here at the kitchen table, laptop open, absorbing the beauty of the moment, keeping track of what I see before me, pushing out my observations into the keys of this keyboard.
I just returned from the farm house. Now, I’m back at the basement kitchen of the Chateau De L’Isle-Marie, on our last day here, since Dorothea is driving Raegan and I and her friend, Peter, into Paris around 11am, where we’ll couchsurf for a few days before hitchhiking or taking a train into Weisbaden, Germany. Once there, we’ll stay with Ryan for a week.
Earlier, we watched the final episode of “Band of Brothers”, a moving HBO miniseries. Interestingly enough, Peter, the film producer, was sitting in the kitchen, while the opening scene menu was up on the big, flat screen TV at the end of the kitchen table, and he mentioned that his partner, of the film company where he works, was involved in producing this with Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg.
Peter is a Dutch guy who runs a production company with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He dresses dapper (scarves, high end sunglasses), his luggage is Louie Vutton. He’s a friend of Dorothea’s.