The past few days have been a mix of wonderful and completely annoying. The annoying parts have been the lack of internet connection. Even though Tilly isn’t an internet-aholic like I am, even she finds being without the internet a major problem as we travel.
How do you find your way? What’s going on in the city tonight? Where do we go for the best deals on meals? Where do we find accommodations for the night or longer? All these questions and more can easily be found via the internet. But without that luxury, after depending on it for so long even in our home city/country, we find it extremely difficult to figure out what’s going on in any particular area. Add to that the language barrier and you can tell we’ve had a fun time here recently.
But, even with all that trouble, we’ve had nothing but good luck (or Providence guiding us) to the most fantastic people.
We stayed for 15 days on Estelle and Manu’s couch, who we met through CouchSurfing.com. One night, they arranged a meeting with other couch surfers in the area to hang out at the local absinthe bar.
Then, once we finally figured out all the complications of getting this new flat in Théoule we were worried about being in a new town without any friends again. The same evening we started to think about that, we heard some english coming from down below. Two gentleman were taking out some old furniture to leave by the side of the road and their wives were chatting with them from above. It just so happens one of those couples lives in that flat most of the year and spend the other portion in England. We said hello, struck up a conversation between flats out the windows and they eventually invited us over to help celebrate the other couple’s 35th anniversary with them. The four of them have been friends for 15 years. All 4 of them are amazing.
Not only did we enjoy champagne and sweets with all 4 of them, they invited us over to Sam and Jane’s flat across the street, overlooking the bay (the ones with the anniversary) for “secs” (“seconds” in British english), along with a tart and coffee. We had such a fun time with all of them that we felt like we’ve all been friends for years. It was pretty surreal.
Then, Peter and Mav (the couple who live in the same building as we do) were nice enough to lend us their garage door key so we could get in and out of the building. We have been able to do so only by the grace of Mr. Libert, who lent us his key fob to get into the building for the week. He needs it back this weekend, so we were going to be stuck… until we met these wonderful British folks.
This morning Sam and Jane even offered to have us over for lunch so that I could use his wifi. They gave me the password and I helped them with their computer a little. Now I just need to walk around the corner to get wifi, which is pretty sweet because the beach is right out their front door. If the weather is nice (and I’m not sunburnt already), I can work on the beach for a few hours, put the laptop away and go for a swim in the Mediterranean sea. Not a bad life, if I can say so.
I am now just hoping that we can get wifi hooked up for ourselves so we don’t have to use theirs too much (and if it’s raining, it’s nice to have some connectivity too).
Regardless, it’s been quite the culture shift. We’re still practicing our horrible French, mostly by ordering food and going to the grocery store. We’re learning little by little.
Welcome to the French Riviera.