Villefranche sur Mer

Villefranche sur Mer
it all starts with a beach

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Changes in altitude

Je pense que six mois somewhere new can be a life changer. Today I wake under a light duvet after six hours of solid. I rearrange the kitchen while plunging cafe. Back to bed with a smartphone that works! to check email, arrange my French classes (yep, back to school). Last night I discover a button on the tv remote that changes language. I watch 3 episodes of Friends while fixing and enjoying diner. Did I mention that EVERYTHING here tastes better?!! The chicken is phenomenal. Eggs are lovely. Veggies - superb. Butter is better. Olive oil - holy.
            Grateful not to have broken anything from my fall yesterday, I wonder if I should try the new prescription or stick with ibuprofen. Either way, I'll stay close to home today instead of another big trip. Catch up my blog. 
            I head up the hill to the Market, where I am enchanted by the sights, smells, people cueing up for...vegetables! First I get maps and info from Crystel at the Tourism Office. (France does this very well!) At Odele Cohen's Italian silk fashion booth, I run into Hazel and Lynn (Britts I met at La Trinquette)...on their way to Monte Carlo on the bus. They help me pick out a lovely taupe blouse - something more French (Italian) than my t-shirt wardrobe. The square in the morning buzzes with activity. I buy veggies at the Market, enjoy a café at the bar chez Betty, watch rush hour in Villefranche. Downhill towards Rue Poilu, I visit le boucher, le Casino (NOT a casino but a little corner market, perfect for crème fraiche and toilet paper), la patisserie (oui oui).
             On the way home, a couple stops me for directions. "Parlez vous English?" they ask. I chuckle inside then direct them to the bus stop, suggesting they stop at the market on the way.
I make a little salade in my little studio with chicken, blue cheese, olives...c'est bon!!
            I'm learning to nap. Back from a visit to la poste - to change the language (on my new little tele) to English - so I can dial, store numbers, answer, etc. - I curl up...and fall into a deep sleep for two hours. Wake delighted. This is not a habit I've practiced nor perfected, like my father did. It always feels strange when I attempt a nap. Usually I cannot sleep, but often twenty minutes in silence does the trick. Today I sleep!
            In the late afternoon I meet a lovely man sur la plage. He buys me a café, and we speak French for two hours, walking along the seaside. He's convinced I can be fluent in two months. I must admit I'm getting better. The comprehension is good, speaking - still more difficult. I wake with French childhood songs in my head. I speak French on my tele. He's from Nice, born in Italy. He orders a Marguerite, like the original pizza from Napoli (just down the coast), and we sit quietly at Port Santé, watching les poissons, les bateaux, le soleil gradation.
           Sweet days trail each other as I change my eating and exercise patterns, shopping and sleeping habits, language, friends...
and wonder who and where I will be at the end of this journey.

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