Saturday, August 02, 2008

I'm going to miss this so much

A friend of mine who went to the Congo with her husband at roughly the same time that Amynah and I moved to France, summed up the experience with a turn of phrase I've been using ever since: "It's us against the world."

When we first came here, it was very much like that: my language problems meant that I was even more isolated that working alone in a fifth floor apartment would seem to suggest: going to the bakery was terrifying. I couldn't make small talk with the cashiers, people on the tram, my neighbours.

Over time, however, I began to build up a community: the Postal people know me as Monsieur La Canada, the Bakery people know me as Monsieur le pain cereale, tranché, the local café knows me as Monsieur can't quite pronounce kougelhopf after all this time, I have a barber with whom I can make reasonable conversation, my mail delivery woman says hello when she sees me on the street. It's superficial, but I've made myself little connections here that mean a lot when I've no other social contact in the run of a day.

Tomorrow we move. The new apartment is far superior: larger, two t.v.'s, several rooms, two balconies and cleaning lady that visits once a week. However, even though it's only a five minute walk away, I feel like I'm uprooting myself entirely again.

And giving up the best view in town while I'm at it.


Jul said...

That is a lovely view. Good thing you took so many photos!

julie said...

I had a view of a Japanese castle outside my apartment window (yes, just one window) in Japan. Not quite as close as your cathedral, but still - a castle! It was awfully neat. I miss that view (having moved, well, a heck of a lot more than 5 minutes away).

I love the view of your cathedral and am hopeful (fingers crossed!) that I might get to see it next spring, though not from your living-room window per se :)

Mark Reynolds said...

Jul: Embarrassingly, that was only about half of them.

Julie: Perhaps I can copy my keys before turning them in, so I can continue to sneak up there. It's not breaking and entering, if nothing's broken, right?

dmchenail said...

It would be tough to give up that view. I am so jealous you have a place of your own! Doug and I still don`t have any concrete promises of where we'll end up living in Wyoming...