Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Heureux nouvelle année

After three months in France, we finally bid a bientôt (see you soon) to the richness of new discoveries, familiar places, often spectacular weather, extraordinary food, wonderful hospitality and challenging lingual communication.  The leaving is always hard when we really want to stay--while at the same time wanting to be reunited with family and friends.  It's a struggle between wanting to be with loved ones and loving to be in France.  

Naturally, it's good to be home despite the agony of international travel--rarely smooth.  There always seems to be some hiccup somewhere along the way.  This time, the pilot in London was involved in an automobile accident en route to Heathrow and a replacement delayed us for over two hours, so we missed our Seattle connection.  The airline people put us on a later flight on a different airline, so we arrived home before the next day dawned, and we were grateful.  Frankly, though, the inconvenience of travel is a small price to pay for the privilege of adventure and exploration.

Now that we're home, I appreciate the ease of life in America.  There's always an open supermarket somewhere.  One can buy gas at any time of day or night--somewhere.  I can cook in my own kitchen, sleep in my own bed, walk the dog and pet the cats.  I understand every single word that's spoken on the television.  And I can simply pick up the phone to talk to my friends and family.  

The sacrifice?  Both the price and quality of bread.  Meals in common, everyday restaurants that send us into ecstasyDrivers who pass only on the left, never run a red light, always stop for pedestrians, and, as mentioned in a previous blog, obey the speed limit.  Sights everywhere you look that take your breath away.

We've just welcomed in the year 2013.  And I wish you all a healthy, productive, adventurous year.  For me, as good as it is to be here, I miss France and will find continued adventure with my French language group of friends, the French Channel (Canal 5), and our enthusiastic planning for the next visit to France.