Himself and I cannot agree on which country to live in much less narrow it down to a state or town. So after much banging on and on about living in France (that would be moi) here we are giving it a try for three weeks after which we are determined to make a decision. That doesn’t seem likely when we traveled the United States for three and a half years earnestly looking to settle down. Three weeks in France won’t make up our minds about where to live but we tell ourselves it will.
In France we will be nearer to some family, further from others. In the U.S. we can speak English and know pretty much what is going on – at least what the government wants us to know. In France we would live in a cloud of blissful French ignorance – a good thing where politics and the news in general is concerned. We are finding wines in the Languedoc region comparable to our favorite Californian and Washington State wines (such heresy, don’t tell the French). They are cheaper here as well, to make up for the higher gas prices. In France we can immerse ourselves in ancient history and ancient architecture. In the new country, everything is available to us: English libraries and cinemas, a post office without special knowledge to enter (see future post), stores with deep discounts and sales, sales, sales! road signs in English, newspapers in English, TV in English, food labels in English and everything else in English (and Spanish and French and Arabic and . . . ) that we need and take for granted in everyday life.
I was convinced I’d bought fabric softener by mistake because of the strong scent and lack of suds until Jimmy deciphered the bottle. “The only thing I can read is potassium sorbate and here’s word that has as many letters as the alphabet.” After consulting the French/English dictionary he pronounced the stuff to be washing liquid. The pictures on the bottle didn’t lie after all.
Every day in France would involve unscrambling the secret code of a foreign language and culture.
That didn’t seem important as we sat on lounge chairs on the Mediterranean coast.
The sand was golden. The sea was aquamarine. The air was soft and warm and the sky a cloudless clear blue. Children dug in the sand and chattered. Music, the lilt of softly spoken French and the tinkle of cutlery and glasses drifted across from the restaurant where we’d just had a late lunch and a glass of wine.
I really couldn’t think about our future any more. I had to have a nap. Jimmy had already fallen asleep. To the sound of jazz no less. And he hates jazz.