I’ve been in France more than a month and the feeling just hit me, sort of, “Whoa, you live in France.” I thought for sure I’d get it right away but it just never came. The next week I’d think surely now… but no. Only now does it finally occur to me. Perhaps it was a matter of needing some time and distance from what I’ve called home so long. To know when I walk down the street, I won’t run into anyone I’ve ever met before or maybe it’s that now I know my way around a little and I can show someone else the ropes a little.
Our newest housemate, Johanna, arrived this week. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before so if I haven’t, she’s actually from Vancouver Island of all places (Saanich if you want to be more specific.) Admittedly, I kind of liked that we’re from the same island, reminders of home are always good. Don’t we all think fondly of where we come from eventually? …It just took me a while. I had offered to pick her up from the train station with Heather earlier in the week and managed to only stall the car in the driveway and Heather was very forgiving but we did have many laughs as we tried to get home in the dark with the one way streets and momentary confusion seeing as we’re always getting everywhere on bikes, not cars.
Since I’d been so disappointed it took so long to see Arles when I arrived I offered to take her to the market on Saturday morning so she’d have a proper introduction! Not only do I appreciate the market but I found out that there was a wine festival happening this weekend and I HAD to go. I love wine, it wasn’t just a want, it felt like a full blown need (can I get an amen?) Thankfully she obliged even though she’s not really a drinker. We walked carelessly through the old village after we’d seen all we could of the market, sampled cheeses, meats, sacristans (almond pastry sticks – amazing) and meandered into the old cloister in the middle of town we made our way to the Rhone river where we took our goods and hung our legs over the edge and just enjoyed how great life here can be. It may have been a long week, but I know how to recharge when needed.
Heather finally found us in the city and we all rode off toward the wine festival. To our delight we were given free tickets at the door! It didn’t look like much on the inside but one thing was for sure, it was packed and there was MUCH to be taken in! Heather laughed that in Dublin there’s no way they could get away with an even this cheap and this tame (it was 3 Euro’s to get in) and was greeted with our snickering. It’s true, the French are so cultured and classy… most of the time.
Oh my goodness! It was ALL SO GOOD. People were so friendly and I actually felt like I finally had the language. Sure I slipped up here and there but I didn’t feel lost and people were so complimentary and because we could effectively say what we were all doing as foreigners in France they were so generous. Free macarons, cheaper artisanal salami (normally they’re about 50 Euro… but we got a bunch of slices for $5), oh and I got a loaf of GF bread at the market free too! I loved my reds, Heather her rose and Johanna braved many tastings but found she liked the sweeter whites! The man we bought the salami off of filled our glasses of Champagne and we all sat down for one last indulgent meal before our ride home in the black of night. Such a good way to end the day. I’m finally getting the hang of things.
Anyways… I’m gushing and it’s totally bedtime. I’m exhausted.