At some point during the day, having discerned that Damien is a young man of some smarts and experience, you discuss the possibility/availability of some l'herbe verte. Ever the excellent host, he thinks a few seconds, nods, and says that indeed, he can work that out. This afternoon. He has a friend in Marseilles . . .
So on a beautiful Saturday you head into the freaking bowels of Marseilles in your crappy Renault: streets so narrow only one car can barely squeeze through; people of all ages, races and nationalities on the sidewalks and streets hustling, doing their Saturday routine; tourists; open air markets of every stripe; mafioso, blocking off entire streets with their cars; etc. You see an Arab guy in the traditional flat, close-fitting hat and long robe, wearing a camo jacket on top and bright red Nike's down below. "Do NOT take your wallet out of your pocket," are Damien's clipped, well-chosen words to you; you obey and grip your backpack a little more tightly.
You wander around a bit, not knowing the exact building the Friend lives in. You end up at a heavy wooden door and are buzzed in. You feel like you've entered a darkened chambered nautilus and climb the circular staircase to the fourth floor apartment; you are let in by a young medical student you will call E. She shares the apartment with a guy who is sitting at a table in the middle of the living room with the apparatus to root about a dozen clippings avec la mere. He, and the guy friend next to him who is assisting, nod and say hello in French. You exchange pleasantries; she speaks l'anglaise un peu. Finally the product is presented; it smells and looks right, and you offer to share. E says no (she has an exam Mardi and she has to study -- quelle discipline!), but the roommate and his assistant say yes, so you roll one, and they are surprised/shocked to see you don't cut it avec le tabac. The product (from Spain) proves to be of, uh, high quality. You give a bit back to E for her efforts, along with 115 Euros, make some more small talk and finally leave so she can study. Everyone is happy, très heureux.
Merci Damien et E!