My open letter to France
It’s time for me to head out on another adventure. But before I do that, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for my time here. When I first arrived, I was a little apprehensive and I wasn’t sure how to act. I quickly learned that you say hi to friends by giving them two kisses on the cheek, that the best time to go to the bakery is early in the morning, at lunch time, or before dinner time, and that there is nothing better in this world that a nice warm baguette.
I will miss walking through your streets in Angers, and hearing passing conversations trying to understand the gist of story. I will miss greeting everyone with a “Bonjour” that sounded like I was singing, and saying good bye with a “bonne journée” and “au revoir”.
I will miss the french songs, and the french clubs were I often saw my friends having a good time. I will miss watching handball and yelling at the top of my lungs even though I didn’t completely understand what was going on.
I will miss going to the market on Saturdays and asking for kilos of fruit and grams of legumes, and sampling before I bought anything. I will miss cooking amazing dinners with my roommates, and sitting down to eat after a prayer. I will miss having a full, four course french dinner that included an appetizer, a plate, dessert, and cheese with fruits.
I will miss walking the uneven cobblestone streets, passing small shops and crepe restaurants. And while I will not miss playing hopscotch everyday as my friend Suzie expressed (trying to avoid dog poop), I will miss walking to class, downtown, to the bars, and other places with my roommates (my colos).
I will miss going to the Spar after class and picking up random things. It almost broke my heart when I went to the corner store to pick up bread, and the cashier told me not to buy any bread because my roommates had already picked some up (we were officially regulars). I will miss people mistaking me for a french national just because I like to wear my hair in a bun and red lipstick.
I will not miss everything being closed on Sundays, but I grew to appreciate the beauty of enjoying your friends and family on this day. I will not miss the hours everything was opened and closed, because it made it incredibly inconvenient to get anything done. But I will miss how this schedule forced me to work on my time management.
I will miss the cheap, delicious wine and the unique cheese flavors France had to offer. Even more I will miss having people around me that actually knew about cheese and wine. I will miss being able to hop on a train and just go to a different town with its own unique history, its own castle, its own cheese, and its own character. I will miss the history that is exuded through the buildings and streets as you walk through town.
I will miss France. I grew to love Angers and call it my home, and while I’m moving on, I will never forget all the great memories it left me.
La chica de cottage du mail