I’m not sure when exactly I started to feel like one of those East India Company trading ships when traveling to France.
No one witnessed that perfect mother-and-son moment but I don’t care. It’s already stored into my forever-cool-moments-with-Mark database.
Bienvenue en France. The destination may be considered “glamorous” but my first stop after landing isn’t—I need to go to the restroom.
It’s almost 1 a.m. in Canada. Seven in the morning in France. It suddenly occurs to me how unsettlingly easy it is to kill people if you want to. Just grab a weapon and shot. That’s it.
People were walking around him as if he was street furniture. “He can’t stay here!” I sighed to myself.
There is no way to ease these early-morning departures; I didn’t even try to get a full night’s sleep. What do I need to be rested and alert for, anyway?
Half of Nantes’ small businesses are closed for the entire month of August (les vacances!) and the summer sales period is over, anyway.
In addition to locals and tourists, there are roughly four kinds of people who hang out in the streets of Nantes: homeless people, street artists, beggars from Eastern Europe and “guys with dogs”.
This year, the first time we walked by the carousel, Mark asked for a ride. “Are you sure?” I asked. “I’m not going with you, I’m standing on the side.” “Not scared.”
Here is another installment of the “things found in Nantes” series, with the latest pictures! Today, toilet paper, macarons, bowls and grocery receipts.
Is he talking about my ass? Probably. The street is empty, it’s past 8 p.m. and it’s a quiet Monday night. There are no other asses around.
Here are 4 classic cookies you can probably find in any French food cupboard.
I “bonjour” people. “Bonjour, une baguette”, “bonjour, juste le journal”, “bonjour, un ticket de bus”.
“I… I spent most of my holidays here as a kid,” I say because the two seventy-something obviously expect me to explain my presence here, in their supermarket.
Nine humans from 2.5 years old to 86, two cats and a beach house. The more the merrier… right?
The supermarket had closed an hour earlier, it was empty but you could still smell the usual Saturday rush complete with overexcited kids running around, products spilled in aisles and cheques being written for a week worth of groceries.
“Plane! I go plane!”
Yeah, I wish Mark. But the flight was being delayed, originally at 4:30 p.m. it was pushed back to 5:00 p.m., then 5:30 p.m., then 6:00 p.m….
I mute the French anti-police slogans that automatically play in my head when I hear the word “police”. Grow up, Juliette. You are no longer an angry teenager. “The police help people when they have a problem,” I reply to Mark, almost convincingly.
“Fingers in the nose!” I laughed. “Les doigts dans le nez—it’s a French idiom, it’s used to describe something that’s super easy. I guess they want to show that buying the pass is the easiest and cheapest way to ride the tramway.”
The Canada Day stage is almost set up in front of the Parliament, but this year again, we will miss the festivities: we are heading to France!
The flight to Toronto was packed and it was a long one too: 8 hours and 55 minutes. That’s when it went downhill. Feng and I were exhausted but Mark wasn’t and trying to keep him relatively still and quiet on my laps was hell. It felt like dealing with a feral cat in a small enclosed space—yes, I got scratched too.
There is a French saying that goes “thou shall always cut your kid’s nails.” And…
Et merde. Pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong—not in a major way (we did make it to France) but in a series of small annoying ways.
I have always refused to fly “home” for Christmas. Because I ain’t going to Europe during the crazy holiday season, in the middle of the winter, just to eat a freaking bûche de Noël. As everybody knows, when you have a kid, you lose neurons, time and common sense. That is my excuse for booking a last-minute trip to France.