I realized I never posted pictures from my trip to France! Ah... what a trip.. totally and completely not what I expected... ended up being very lonely by the third week. But what came out of that loneliness- me becoming a warrior in a sense, to fight for my path to be uncovered again. I actually left the house I was staying at on a Sunday morning (left on peaceful grounds with the woman I was staying with though she becoming extremely gruff towards me) and went to Orleans where I knew there was a big trainstation because I had been there a week or so before exploring around. Of course the country practically closes on Sundays.. so I didn't know where to go to get to all the hotels.
I ended up asking an elderly woman for directions and she smiled and helped a lot.. then she came back and offered to help me find a hotel- well turns out she was so thoughtful and kind that after helping me look around for a hotel, she offered her house to me for the night. It intuitively felt right, so I went with my gut and just did it. It was amazing... her house was in the suburbs of Orleans. Such a cute house! There were items from all around the world everywhere; masks, books, shells, everything! Her husband passed away seven years ago, so she's been alone from that point on.
We just ate awesome meals, like meals I thought I was going to have in France but never had- like cheeses and bread, a cucumber salad, pink wine, melon, many different jams... all in different little waves. It was so cute!
I also got to hear many cool stories- like how her husband went to Africa for 25 years (left when he was 20) to collect and examine insects and shells. There were drawers and drawers full of butterflies and huge beetles- she even had an entire cabinet full of thousands of types of rocks.
How thrilling it was to experience this, this flurry of intuition and trust. I think the entire three weeks I was sitting in the countryside not really knowing why I was there, eventually becoming lonely and defensive, were worth me being able to find this lovely woman in her 70s... and to wrap up my trip like this.
This trip is so special to look back on- all the people I met, from my first restaurant waitress to the man running the book flea market (who thought I was Russian), the man who runs a little decor boutique who let his puppy run around the store, the woman who helped me find where I was going... the man who took me to the bus stop when I was lost another time... the man who followed me for a while (this was unintentional, haha), the Brittish couple who cracked me up when they called their camera a "wee little thing" and refused to open its case while going through security, my first and only taxi cab driver who made fun of me for making him drive me to La Gare de Lyon a mile away, the guy who told me how to say 'frog' in French while we were hauling 180 bales of hay onto a tractor (didn't have a choice...), the guy who helped me haul my suitcase onto the train..
to the French: thank you! Yes, the French will watch as you have a meltdown, a gaunt and numb look on your face as your crumbled map is once again torn open, but they will also help you as much as possible when you ask for help. To Eliane, thank you for being as embracing as family when I literally had no where else to go!