I cannot even start to explain the beauty of this place and the emotions that are running through me. I am awestricken by everything, the language, the people, the streets, the beautiful Mediterranean colored buildings and so forth. Even though much is similar to what I see in Spain, the experience of this foreign land is definitely different.
I woke up this morning still not believing that, yes, one of my biggest dreams was coming true. I am living in Europe. This is my new home for a while. I am being forced to learn this beautiful language. I love every single thing about it. Granted, I am in the honeymoon stage where perfection is everywhere, yet I hope I can enjoy it as long as possible.
I landed in beautiful Nice, and outside my window was the sea. I couldn’t help but smile wide and big, because the sea is an amazing view. I hadn’t seen it in two years, yet I will always be like a little kid waking up on Christmas when I see the sea because to me, it is a rarity.
I found my family easily and gave each of the members a kiss on each cheek. The little girl at first was shy but within five minutes was talking my ear off. She is an adorable petite fille. I cannot wait to play out the adventures that wait for us.
Yesterday was taken slowly. My family respected the fact that traveling had been a big part of my day. Before dinner, I was handed a glass of beer with lemon. Then dinner was meat with vegetables (white wine was the choice of the night) and for dessert was cheese, or as the French say, fromage. It all seems so cliché. It feels like I am living out of the textbooks I had been handed in high school.
Today, I started off my bucket list right. I got to swim in the sea. It took a little pushing from both of the parents, telling me that the cold of the water would go away once my whole body was in. I seemed like a little kid. I put my feet in and I shook my head. “This is a lot colder than what I remember the water in Spain to be like.” The parents explained to me it was due to the southern wind that had been blowing through the past couple of days. Finally, I convinced myself to do it (I would have been quite disappointed in myself otherwise) and walked in. I would have ran but the shore was not sand, but rocks. The mother and I swam quite a ways away, and I just let myself relax. I could not even remember the last time I actually swam in the ocean. It seemed too long ago.
Afterwards, it was time for ice cream and we went into town (Saint-Tropez). I smiled as I passed bread shops, sweet shops, meat shops, bars and so forth. Roads are narrow, cars are manual… I just definitely am not in the states anymore.
I can assure my parents that I will definitely not be hungry here. We bought a cake in town and went home to have dinner. I was served seconds (including the wine) and we made jokes about the serving sizes in the United States. The food here tastes differently, even the same things. Nutella has no palm oil in it, yet the one in the states does. Coke has sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Cheese has a stronger taste (heard of walnut cheese? Apparently that’s a thing and delicious). Even meat is stronger. I am enjoying my food instead of taking 15 minutes to force it all down my throat. It is pure delicacy.
I love the sound of kids laughing and yelling when the sun is going down. I love the fact that people are out and walking, forgetting what we call driving and cars. I love the excitement that even small towns, like the one I am staying in this week, Vidauban, hold. There’s something that feels just right here. Just give me a few weeks on the language.