Tuesday, August 09, 2005

High School Reunion(ish)

Ah, well, I've avoided it as long as possible. It's time for an update!
My trip to France has been pretty hectic so far. On total, I've realized that I haven't even spent a full week in Lyon. But I've been everywhere else!
As soon as I arrived in France, I spent roughly a week in Dordogne. Some of our very good family friends moved there in 2002, and we've been going to see them every year since. It's pretty much in the middle of nowhere (seriously... the roads get so tiny that it takes forever to drive there)-- lost in the collines of Province. They bought and renovated an old farmhouse in the region of Perigord Noir, which is characterized by it's soft yellow limestones and many chateaux. In fact, Perigord Noir is called 'la region des 1001 chateaux' because every other hill(or so it seems) has a castle on it. Funnily enough, we have the English to thank for the beautiful buildings; a fair number of them were built by them during the 100 year war!
It's very quiet and relaxing in Dordogne. There isn't a whole lot to do, apart from walk, swim, paint, visit the town's market, and relax in general. Most cell phones don't work there, and forget about the internet! To pass the time, my mom and I try to visit a castle (or garden, or bastide...) every other day. After three years, we've only scratched the surface of what there is to see!
After Dordogne, I had to rush back to Lyon to greet Scott and Beata, and then spent a week in Poland.
The day after I got back from Poland, my best friend Chantal invited me to her house by the Mediterranean, right next to St. Tropez. St. Tropez is the super-posh city by la Cote d'Azur that Brigitte Bardeau (a very famous French actress) made infamous back in the 1960s. Ever since then, St. Tropez has been basking in its own fame: tourists flock there to try to catch a glimpse of French actors, visit the very expensive shops (Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton... they're all there), or stare at the ridiculously huge yachts in the harbor. We did spend a day in St. Tropez, but the rest of the time we spent at the beach (there were so many people I couldn't help comparing myself to a sardine in a can), or sitting on her terrace, enjoying the stunning view of the sea. It was so nice to see Chantal again... she's so easy to talk to, and I've missed not seeing her daily this past year. She also made me discover Iron & Wine, which is my musical epiphany of the summer! The worst part is that I KNEW that I would love them, I was just too darn lazy to bother listening to their music.
When I got back to Lyon I felt strangely blue. It feels like Montreal is so far away already... like it's some dream that I'm forgetting as the day progresses. I'm starting to feel the-day-before-school-starts nervous... only university is a month away! I can't help but feel that Montreal will be different somehow when I get back.
Anyway, yesterday I called my good high school friend Marion (her and Chantal are the only I've bothered keep in touch with... is that bad?), who just arrived in France via Kiev (where her parents live now). Well, she's arriving today! It'll be a very welcome distraction, and I can't wait until I can make her visit Lyon. It's so nice to see old friends. There's no effort to be made; they already know you, you have no one to impress (having embarrassed yourself in front of them many a time already), so you can just relax.
I leave to Madagascar on the 12th of August. I'm feeling nervous about that too, although I try not to acknowledge it. Not that Madagascar isn't great--I'm incredibly lucky, and I know it-- it's just that last time I got so sick, and I ended up leaving more tired than when I arrived. I hope things go better this time.


Blogger Kate said...

what beautiful places you're visiting! it sounds like an awesome trip. all i know about provence comes from reading books by peter mayle. it sounds really gorgeous and relaxing.

10:44 a.m.  
Blogger 007 in Africa said...

Don't be nervous about Madagascar, but here are some tips if I may:
1. onlyonlyonly drink water that you know is safe
2. Go easy on the food, even if Norou is the best cook in the world--perhaps tell her to cut the bacon out of the bernaise sauce with extra butter and cream
3. Wear tons and tons of mosquito spray
4. Stay away from Mom's criticisms

That should do it! OK joking about the mom part. Kind of.

Also, I think that you should change your profile picture to that nice one that Ammo took of you in Montreal :)

11:32 a.m.  
Blogger Beaver said...

Sounds like you're having a lovely summer.

Beleive me, I've been staring at MTL all summer - looks depressingly like the same old North-American town. Cheer yourself up with the perspective of making new friends :) and meeting some strange humanoid beaver(he he he!)

What ! Ammo went to Montreal ? Better be while I was in Senegal, cuz I would have wanted to know about that ! Otherwise... my wrath will be limitless ! he he he :)


1:45 p.m.  

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