It's French, dammit!

Kitchen table, Tigny nr Chagny nr Beaune, France




My gite here is lovely.

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I could get used to this. Reading, working in the morning, sitting in the sun to connect to internet (not so fun after dark in the rain) then a three quarter hour walk along a track between fields of sheep and cattle and, just field stuff, into the neighbouring town. I’m so glad I’m walking and not driving- I love the sun and the smells and the shadows and colours. Meander around, lunch of scallops and rosé, then try out the extent of one’s real estate French with an agent who, blissfully, doesn’t lapse into English.

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It is hard when I’m asked my budget as I don’t know what the type of place I’m looking for would cost. The plot - I’ll sell my house in Sydney, spend part of the proceeds to buy here (or somewhere) then will invest the rest. Hence the budget is flexible and rather depends on what I’m getting.

I’ve arranged to be picked up tomorrow morning by an agent who will show me houses in several neighbouring villages. He knows it’s research, and he knows it’s the first step for a sale. What a great way to get to speak and listen to French, and to see the surrounding countryside and learn a bit about it. Wish I’d thought of it.

I pop into the local supermarket to pick up a few things. I think, as I stroll along the aisles, how at ease I’m becoming here. How having driven a car has given me confidence (particularly now that I don’t have it any more) and I know that next time it would be easier, and how using public transport gives a feeling of being able to get yourself around, and an equal feeling of confidence. I’m amused that on the shelf there are bottles of real fish bait, tiny fish and grubs- haven’t seen them in the supermarket at home, and the freezer contains snails (escargots) and duck paté. I sneak a few photos. This is kind of relaxing.

...

“Madam,...Madam...” She was addressing me. I was trying to exit from the supermarket through locked doors. No wonder they were hard to open.

Funny thing is, yesterday I entered through these very doors which were wide open. “Madam,...Madam...” I looked, realised I was being addressed and that every pair of eyes in the place was looking at me, the nightmare of every tourist gingerly navigating new turf. “We’re closed”, she informed me then. I apologised and retreated. How was I supposed to know what the shop looked like closed? I’d never seen what the place look like open...

France is trickier than it appears...

Lovely walk home again.


...There cars are small, slow, aren’t allowed on major roads, and you don’t have to have a licence to drive them

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The owner here has the place on the market. His agent came today for some paperwork and we were introduced. While I tumbled straight into French to explain my position, the two of them conversed back and forth in English explaining to each other what I was saying. Sheesh!