Bordeaux to Biarritz!!
This morning, I started my day with a lovely walk all over Bordeaux.
I crossed the river La Garonne via Pont du Pierre and wandered around the botanical garden. I stared at the beautiful flowers for a long time.
Then I walked along the riverside. The sun was shining, the impeccably groomed walkway was covered in runners, skate boarders, and fellow walkers. I sat on a bench and stared at the river for a long time.
I made my way to Jardin Public, a beautiful park in the downtown area of Bordeaux. I brought with me a baguette, some chocolate, cheese, and fruit. I sat in the grass with my book. I stared at more flowers for a long time.
One thing I noticed about Bordeaux is that people are SO much more approachable and friendly than in Paris. Every time I went anywhere today, or sat anywhere for a significant amount of time, someone would approach me and start a conversation BUT not in a creepy or harassing way like the drageurs of Paris. These were just curious and kind people looking to chat. I carried myself very well in French during all of these exchanges, so I was feeling pretty dandy.
Except there was one realllllly weird occurrence at the Jardin Public. I was really tired and very much looking forward to relaxing in the grass with a quasi-picnic and my book. But there was this man with a bike…
At first I looked up from my book and he was standing at the edge of the grass staring at me. It was weird but I went back to my book. Then I looked up a few minutes later and he was no longer on the edge of the grass, but sitting on the other side of me…staring at me again.
I looked back at my book. Some time passed, and I looked up again. He was still staring at me. Weird, but whatever. He didn’t look threatening.
About 10 minutes passed and I looked up again. He was once again back on the other side of me at the edge of the grass…staring.
I accidentally made eye contact with him. He came over to ask me what time it was. I told him. It was exactly noon. He said thank you and then disappeared.
THEN about 15 minutes later, I was having a very beautiful moment with some chocolate I had bought. All of the sudden, there he was again! He sat down in the grass on the other side of me but closer this time. He started talking to me. A mouth full of melted chocolate, I tried to be nice and respond but damn…I did NOT care what he had to say. And my chocolate was melting! It was a race against time. The sun was turning my chocolate into soup.
At this point I was getting annoyed and tried go back to my book.
Eventually he left.
What the fack was all that about???
Aside from that strange event, my walk around Bordeaux and sitting in various places enjoying the sun was a great time.
I then hitched a ride via blablacar, a carpooling website, to Biarritz with three strangers. Why not?
The ride was nice. I chatted with the driver a bit.
When we arrived in Biarritz, I was dropped off at the beach. I was so excited to see the ocean! I streamlined it through the sand, right into the water. I was in a trance.
I shed all of my “Paris” (black boots, closed off mentality) and sat in the sand. I stared at the ocean for a long time.
If there is one thing I learned today, it is that….I really don’t belong in Paris. There are so many great, fun, beautiful, easy-going, wonderful cities in France…and I live in the most uptight and least natural of them all…
I ended the day by watching the sunset over the ocean.
It was incredible. I stared at the sunset for a long time.
There was a lot of speaking French today.
And a lot of staring.