Time has slipped away from me and as the days grow longer here in the South of France, my time here is inevitably is getting shorter. I want so badly to fill you all in on the happenings of my life since my last blog post, but that seems like an impossible feat as I’ve also let my posts fall by the wayside. Here’s a quick update:
February passed quickly, as I returned home on a last minute whim to visit with my aunt who was living out her final days here on this earth. I made the right decision to come home when I did. I saw her on an upswing and we thought that maybe she would have a few more months in her, but sadly she passed away last week. I spent most of this month traveling between New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont. I was happy to catch up with friends and family and it was a much-welcomed time to reboot my system after a dull and freezing January here in Sete. The winter blues and the fact that you could see your breath in our apartment had gotten the best of me, thus the beautiful and unseasonably warm weather on the East Coast was perfect for my mental health.
I’m happy to say that my rejuvenation period did me well, and I’m quite content to be back here in Sete. I’ve had visitors for almost 3 weeks straight now, and it is quite fun to play tour guide around my town. The sixth month mark here was a huge turning point for me. The language is now under my belt. I have enough control over it now to feel as though I can manipulate my words in order show some semblance of my personality that kept getting lost in translation.
I realized how at ease I felt with French when I traveled to Barcelona this past weekend. Let’s face it; being mute has never been something I’ve been good at. Alas, that is how I felt the whole time. Not only do Barcelonan’s not speak French, they don’t even really speak Spanish. Catalan, with its lispy sounds and different vocabulary is a far cry from the south of the border Mexican Spanish we are so accustomed to. I could conjure up only a few useless phrases such as “una cerveza por favor,” and “dame mas gasolina” …. before defaulting to some bastardized form of English or French that tumbled around in my head and stuttered off my tongue. Nonetheless, Emily, my partner in crime, and I had a ridiculously good time in Barca. Though the language was unavailable to us, we knew well enough to try and immerse ourselves into the Spanish culture, so we ate 10pm dinners and partied til 6:30 in the morning. We dragged our tired bodies around the most architecturally ridiculous city (!) and marveled at Gaudi’s masterpiece, la Sagrada Familia. Then we took a siesta to ward off the fatigue and hangover from the night before and had easy second night, stuffing ourselves full with paella, listening to some great Spanish music and hitting the sack at the early 3:30 mark.
Tonight I am going to try my hand at some typical Setoise Cuisine. For the sake of my dining partners, let’s hope that these muscles cooked in a white wine and heavy cream sauce turn out well. If not, well, we’ll just drink the wine. Either way it’s a win/win.
All my love,
Ps. check out these awesome French DJ’s I saw live in Montpellier last night!