(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

telling time by traffic noise ...

wow folks, I think about my blog and blog readers daily ... but with sufficient projects to fill 48 hours in a day, I am woefully neglectful (hangs head in shame).

but I refuse to give up my blog all together and cling to the fantasy that someday I will be able to write everyday again. of course, it is probably all a matter of will. henri says to write a little story every day and in a year I will have a book. hmmmm....

so, the season is nearly upon us here in my corner of the Sud Ouest. By this week-end, thousands of visitors will begin to descend on our region and our village. many thousands. 3/4 of the year, the fact that my house is next to the main road out of town makes no difference at all. But during this part of the year, a steady stream of traffic flows by at particular times of day...

I never ever use an alarm unless I have an early plane to catch. I do not wear a watch. and I try not to look at clocks, relying on church bells for managing the shop hours. One blissful advantage of my new life.

But during the season, the road guides my timetable as well. I always know when it is around 8:00 a.m. because the road livens up. and then, just about a quarter to noon, it's on again. fast forward to 2:00ish and we know lunch time is ending. Finally, starting a bit before 5:00 p.m., a last flow for the day.

When school is in session (since I live just across the road from the Ecole Maternelle) I am also reminded of when it is around 4:00 p.m. because a few busses arrive. I love living across from the school and hearing the joyous shouts of children on the playground. Do you remember that buzz in the air when you and your schoolmates would rush, en masse, to release that pent-up energy from sitting in a school room? All of the voices merge together to form one large roaring giggle at the simple pleasure of being outdoors, free to run and jump and play.

My first summer here (just when I arrived in July and August) I wasn't so sure if I was going to like this summer noise. I bought my house in April, when the town was quietly springing to life ... soft sunshine, birds chirping, easy strolls through silent streets. I was shocked to hear the sounds just outside my windows ... that was before I decided to open my shop.

Now, the traffic sounds make me smile at the thought of travellers from around the world arriving to ooh and ahh at the beauty of our village. and also smile because maybe they will wander a bit up the road from the 'centre ville' and find my funny little store that they can't figure out... because it isn't exactly a furniture store, or a clothes shop, or a décor boutique, or a jewelry haunt or an art gallery ... no, it is all of those rolled into one ... with an open ateliér/workshop to boot. The french (in general) are more accustomed to a store with one purpose. So they find my little place a bit out of the ordinary.

which is ok. because I am probably a little bit out of the ordinary myself!

I'll keep checking in ... doing my best with an update during the crazy seasonal months. hope you do too!