I find it a prerogative of mine to act as the locals in each countries, this way I receive an experience most like those living there. So, per this decision, when in France this past weekend I did as the French do.
I, after some hesitation and surprise, properly greeted friends – with two kisses on the cheek. I had the largest crepe I’ve ever seen – and let me tell you, it was completely worth it. The ham, egg, and cheese filled me up for the rest of the day! I ventured new seafood: Moules Frites (or mussels and fries). I devoured several macaroons and a true, chocolate-filled croissant for the first time. I would say I could have passed as being French.
It was a process to correct the two-kiss greeting and definitely a shock the first time. I couldn’t help but let out a giggle when a nice gentlemen leaned in on me and my reflexes almost slapped him back. What a sight that would have been! The language barrier was also unexpected. The only non-English speaking country I’ve traveled is Mexico, and even then I was able to use the little Spanish I knew to communicate. This was more of an adventure, and a little struggle. I was thankful to be guided by someone who had a grasp on the language or there would have been far too many times of me standing, deer-in-the-headlights, staring back at those speaking.
Overall, this visit was my favorite. It could have been the new atmosphere of Aix-en-Provence, or the tour of the lovely Marseille, or the familiar face of meeting up with a great friend from America. I cherish those short days we were able to share our European undertakings, laugh together, and encourage each other. France would be worth a return trip – more adventure, more fun to be had.