The New Trottinette and a Crazy Idea

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Nantes hasn’t changed much in a year. The atmosphere, the streets, the landmarks are the same. I suspect a few shops and restaurants closed or are under new management but I can’t tell for sure because all crêperies and boulangeries look alike. For a while, I thought the downtown McDonalds’s, the one where we used to have breakfast at when the first class of the day was cancelled unexpectedly in high school, was closed for good but it turned out it had “just” been ransacked after a protest—the windows were replaced last week and it’s as good as new… until the next protest, of course.

The city hasn’t changed but everything else did. Like my mom puts it, “it was a shitty year.” There’s so much family drama going on I don’t even know where to start both when I try to explain it to Feng and when I attempt to “fix” issues.

It’s exhausting.

“Let’s be positive,” I state several times a day in my most confident Canadian voice.

“Let’s all freak out together and solve absolutely nothing,” my inner French voice nags me.

Mark is oblivious to the drama unfolding. His life revolves around eating pains au chocolat, chouquettes and fromage and watching Terminator or Mad Max… and riding his brand-new trottinette around Nantes.

We had promised him an upgrade from the “baby” trottinette he got “a long time ago when he was four.” Feng bought a bigger model at Decathlon, his favourite French store ever. “For 9-14 year-old-kids,” Mark repeats proudly. “I’m just so good at it.”

If you see an orange trottinette powered by a kid with orange sneakers, please, tell him to slow down. He usually only stops for two reasons: 1) to cross a street (“I need an adult for thaaaat!”) 2) to pick flowers and offer them to my mom and me (“Let’s just hope no dog peed on them…”).

My mom and I are behind, talking, arguing and trying to take problems one by one.

“You know my way of solving problems,” I said a few days ago. “I run away. Not forever, just for a while to step back and clear my mind. Let’s do that. Let’s run away. Let’s go somewhere together. We’re good travellers, you’ll see. Deal?”

Deal.

Quai de la Fosse, Nantes

Quai de la Fosse, Nantes

Pont Anne de Bretagne, Nantes

Pont Anne de Bretagne, Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

Passerelle Victor-Schoelcher

Passerelle Victor-Schoelcher

Quai François Mitterrand, Nantes

Quai François Mitterrand, Nantes

Quai François Mitterrand, Nantes

Quai François Mitterrand, Nantes

 Boulevard Gaston Doumergue, Nantes

Boulevard Gaston Doumergue, Nantes

 Boulevard Gaston Doumergue, Nantes

Boulevard Gaston Doumergue, Nantes

CRAPA, Nantes

CRAPA, Nantes

Quai Marquis d'Aiguillon, Nantes

Quai Marquis d’Aiguillon, Nantes

Quai Marquis d'Aiguillon, Nantes

Quai Marquis d’Aiguillon, Nantes

Quai Marquis d'Aiguillon, Nantes

Quai Marquis d’Aiguillon, Nantes

Quai Marquis d'Aiguillon, Nantes

Quai Marquis d’Aiguillon, Nantes

Parc des Oblates, Nantes

Parc des Oblates, Nantes

Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Nantes

Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Nantes

Place de la Bourse, Nantes

Place de la Bourse, Nantes

Place de la Bourse, Nantes

Place de la Bourse, Nantes

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

6 Comments

  1. Cecile Puertas on

    Wow quelle super trottinette ! Mark a l’air très à l’aise sur son nouveau bolide orange et noir !
    Super idée d’emmener ta maman avec toi pour la sortir de Nantes.
    En général je trouve très judicieuse la stratégie de fuite vers un autre lieu pour se permettre de faire le point et prendre du recul. Car on sous-estime le pouvoir immense de la nature pour nous guérir des blessures de l’âme.
    En ce qui me concerne, la destination la plus propice à l’introspection et au lâcher prise c’est n’importe où à la montagne, loin de l’agitation des villes et des gens, là où je peux voir le ciel étoilé la nuit.

    • Mon équivalent de la montagne, c’est la mer 🙂 J’ai grandi près de la côte, instinctivement, je vais toujours vers l’eau. La montagne a au contraire tendance à m’angoisser (je sais, c,est bizarre et complètement irrationnel, c’est probablement parce que je ne connais pas bien cet environnement!).

      Cette sortie de Nantes nous a fait un bien fou 🙂

  2. a) Trottinettes are 2019’s hottest fad. Looks like Mark was ahead of the curve 😉
    b) Did you hear we’re getting a Decathlon in Ottawa this year??? Best news ever.
    c) I’m like you, I always seem to gravitate towards water (shocking, I know).

    J’espère te voir à ton retour!

    • I’ve heard about our new Décathlon! I’m excited too, although I suspect it will be more expensive than in France. I visited a few Décathlon stores in Brazil and products were pretty different. Less gear, more clothing…

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