i’m on the train to strasbourg and had one of those “i’m actually in france” moments. looking out the window i see beautiful landscape – lush green grass, flowing rivers, and large patches of trees – along with petites villages everywhere, quaint and charming mike manosque. everything is as i imagined except two things: i think france has more graffiti than all of america and it’s smaller than texas alone! also, you know how sometimes on the outskirts of small old country towns there are those homes that look like they are trying to start a junk yard? well france has those houses too, and the idealist in me didn’t except that i guess. either way though it’s absolutely beautiful.
tuesday mel came over for lunch then charisse and i did some shopping in town. we saw the BEST mullet EVER! then the three of us met for coffee and tea before before catching a ride to aix-en-provence with one of the teachers they both assist. this time i could actually see everything we were passing and as everything else, it was beautiful. (last time i was in an aisle seat on the bus with a large man blocking my view.) mel pointed out her favorite parts of the drive – an orchard with perfectly aligned rows of trees, and this place where it seems like four different regions are colliding, fields of green grass and flowers, cliffs, trees, and a river all in one spot.
in aix char and i walked around while she pointed out buildings, fountains, and shops that we would visit the next day. we grabbed some fresh bread, cheese, yogurt, and wine before heading back to mel’s. mathilde had stayed with her the night before and made a big pot of soup so we ate that along with the other things we picked up.
char and i went back into town with the intention of getting adult beverages but she opted for hot tea and i got hot chocolate. when we got back to mel’s she was talking to her boyfriend patrick on skype. he lives in vancouver and they’ve been together for EIGHT YEARS! he taught us all a new phrase “what’s crackle-ackin?” which is i guess like “what’s up?” this added to the phrases we learned earlier from mel. at the end of fraggle rock they say something in german that literally translates to “that’s the end of the show, and if you didn’t like it, then screw your knee!” so our new phrase is “screw your knee!” there were others that i don’t remember, but i did learn that no one in austria really knows about the sound of music! it’s just an american thing apparently.
anyway wednesday we shopped all morning and met another assistant lauren at a place called book in bar which is an english bookstore that serves food and drinks. the plan was to take the 2:30 train to manosque, but we missed it. i felt bad for char because she wanted to make it back for yoga, so we did some more retail therapy and got gelato.
we took a bus and got back in time to meet another assistant jessica for dinner at barbotine. i had a crêpe bolognaise which had cheese, tomato, and beef inside. then we all got dessert while these guys were harassing us. it was funny, but left us a bit confused especially since we were in manosque!
i was sad to leave charisse, we really had a great time. hopefully she will come to avignon to meet dad and me next weekend. for now i rest up for strasbourg. it’s hard to believe dad comes in three days!