Turning French

Near Arcachon

Near Arcachon

I’ve not finished any books this week, so rather than review something I read LAST year, I’ve decided to bibble on a little bit about me this week.

See the thing is that I’ve been trying to sort something out for the Spring break. The thought of two whole weeks in the Parisian suburbs is a little bit much for my wandering feet. Plus with a four year old there is a certain amount of entertaining that will need to be done. At first I thought about some kind of package deal. You know the kind where they have a kid’s club and pounding loud music at tea time while the water aerobics class is going on.  I’ve been on a couple of these package deals and I have to say that I found them pretty unrelentlessly awful. I was looking forward to the sun, but unfortunately the price was too high. Next I thought perhaps a weekend break, but I couldn’t decide on a place to break out too.

My next plan involved no wandering, but a week long dance course for the bubba. Reservations began at 8am and the course was full at 8.03am. Hmmm.

So at this point I was depressed and disappointed until a friend mentioned the rental company she used a lot. It was as if a ray of golden sunshine shone down and washed all the sadness away. All I needed to do was rent an apartment, in, Arcachon.

And this is where I get back to the idea of turning French. I don’t think I’m really turning French. We had a little conversation the other week and really I’m always going to be a foreigner here. I read British books, I still eat Marmite, I get low if I don’t get a decent cup of tea at least three times a day, but I’m beginning to understand something.

See the French like to holiday in the same place. At first the Frog’s obsession with returning to Arcachon was just wrong, wrong, wrong. Holidays were for discovering new places in the world. What sort of wanderer was I if I kept going back to the same place? I tried to enjoy the fact that we were going back again, but deep inside I wanted to go somewhere else. The third time we went I think the change was already taking place. I wanted to go to the cool earring shop, Fete de la mer was in a few days and we got our yellow bandana in advance, kept the bubba up and sat on the beach with my hands over the bubba’s ears as we gasped at the wonderful fireworks. And this time I’m actually quite looking forward to it.

But really it all began to make sense as I was having a shower at my parent in-law’s place this weekend. It’s that home away from home thing isn’t it. When we go to the in-law’s the cat starts meowing when we take that final left turn off the big road onto the medium sized road that will take us to the tiny road that will take us to their place. I know where I will sleep. When I fling open the windows in the morning there’s that view over the vineyards and when I’m the last one down for breakfast (again) I help myself and clear up afterwards. It’s just all so comfortable. I don’t need to find the supermarket or worry about what day trips we’ll take or about the water aerobics. It’s not wandering. Well, it’s not wandering in the sense that I’m used to: rocking up to a place and finding a hotel and seeing the sights. But  you know what, it’s certainly very, very relaxing.

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