All I can hear is a faint sound of laughter in a far distance. Otherwise there is complete silence. I am sitting in a nice garden, typing on my keyboard and being attacked by an army of mosquitos.
From today I am officially on vacation!
This morning I woke up with a phone call. It was the guy who is renting me this place in the south of France, the famous French Riviera. He wanted to tell me that he has decided to come and pick me up at the airport. I kindly refused. We negotiated then that once I get into their town by the bus, he will pick me up at the bus station. When I hung up I thought of my friend who complained to me yesterday: “Why don’t you ever ask for help?”. I had no answer. It’s the truth, I like to rely on my forces.
After passing a hectic morning, I finally arrive to the airport. Unlike my nonchalant approach to train trips, which leads to lots of missed trains, I am very punctual when going to airports. After one long hour of waiting in line, we board into our Easyjet plane. I still don’t understand how not selling numbered places makes the tickets cheaper?
Inside the plane I sit next to a young dad and his daughter. She is about three years old. With her big blue eyes, she checks me out to decide if she likes me to sit next to them or not. Then she gives me a smile, which means, “It’s ok, you can sit here”. To keep herself busy, she picks the security notice from the pocket infront of her seat and starts asking questions. Her dad, patiently, explains to her all the various scenarios in detail. “Here, if we are going to have a breathing problem, I will put a mask on your face”, or “In case we have to jump out of the plane, you will put a jacket and it will protect you”. This goes on for a good twenty minutes. I find it fascinating. I absolutely adore when parents take time to talk to their kids like grown ups and explain to them things. However, I wonder what was she thinking when her dad told her about jumping out of the plane.
Once landed, I get another call from the guy. He insists to come to the airport. I finally give in and accept his help. He picks me up with his SUV and drives me to the town, showing me all the places I might need during my stay. Then he gives me a tour of my studio, which is exactly what I had wanted. A little room with all the necessities, a cute kitchen, lots of nice decoration and separated from their own house by a small but marvelous garden. They have fish and turtles and a dog. I was all set. I put on my bathing suit and head to the sea.
Once there, I have a sudden flash back to twenty five years ago. That one summer when with my parents we came to Côte d”Azure. I saw the same african necklace sellers walking among the people taking their sun bath. The same ice cream carts, the same pebbled beach. I had a moment of nostalgia, remembering how many things have changed since then. Then remembered my new world vision for the year — Do not look to the past, move forward.
I move forward. I am not so convinced by my new motto though. The other day I was trying to sell it to my friend and see if I were a good marketer when she said: “But our whole existence is made out of our past, the future doesn’t exist”. I then told her that she should look forward in order to find her way, if she looks back, she might miss a step and fall. At this point she told me that I am loosing it and that I should go to sleep.
After my summer baptism in the sea, I went to the supermarket to buy some stuff. Since ever, doing grocery shopping has been one of my favorite activities. I was about six or seven when my mom would make me a list and send me to the store at the corner of our street to buy bread and cheese and stuff like that. I was the proudest kid when coming back with the full bags. Today though, I was less proud and more tired.
As soon as I came home, the wife of my landlord came to say hi and make sure that I don’t lack anything. Then she invited me for a drink at their place tomorrow evening. I accepted with pleasure. I just hope that they won’t offer me any Pastis. That is one of the rare alcoholic drinks that I never managed to like and is very common in the south of France. Later she came back to give me a mosquito repellent cream and also decided that I should eat my dinner outside because it is much nicer that way. I was going to anyway, but I found it touching that she cared so much that I have a good time.
For now, I am having a good time and looking forward to warm and sunny days ahead.