We’ve been having some fun encounters and experiences that I wanted to share with you:

The other day we were doing laundry, and an elderly couple came into the laundromat. We were in the ending stage of drying mode, and they were taking out the washing and putting some into dryers. I finished some folding, and was waiting for the next batch to be ready – and was pacing the floor. The gentleman offered me a seat on the bench he and his wife were sitting on. I said no, thank you, that I needed to pace to make the drying go faster! He asked me where I was from – was I German? (there are virtually NO Americans around here – maybe a few English, but that’s it!). I told him that, no, I was American.

Therein ensued a brief conversation that will stick with me for a while: he expressed concern about the tornados in the USA, and we talked about the crazy weather. His wife spoke with incredulity about the fact that it had snowed twice this past winter! I suggested that maybe it was due to global warming (which I didn’t know how to say, but after I described it, he said it in French – and it’s the same as in English! Only French words!). We just had a lovely little exchange – and then it was time to finish folding my laundry (and they could put the rest of theirs into our dryer!). As Roy and I walked out of the laundromat, and the couple and I said our goodbyes, his parting words were, “Vive l’Amerique!” Nice.

The day we were in Cassis, as we were leaving, we made a wrong turn at a roundabout. We drove down the road – it was obviously an apartment complex, and this was probably a private road that was part of the complex. We were looking for a place to turn around, and turned into a parking lot just as someone else was leaving. As we were turning around, a gate slammed closed where we’d entered the lot!! A big, strong, solid gate. We got turned around, and pulled up to the gate, expecting an electronic eye to trigger an opening, and nothing happened. Hmmmmmm…….

This not being the movies, we needed to wait for someone to come with whatever the magic would be that would open the gate so we could drive out! This was early afternoon on a weekday, so we hoped we wouldn’t have to wait until after work to leave the complex. Fortunately, after about five minutes, someone drove up from outside and used a remote control to open the gate – and we scooted out! Whew!!

The other little experience was our trip to Costarama. This is like our Home Depot at home. What we learned here was that everything is really expensive here in France! We already sort of knew this, but seeing the prices of sinks, lighting, nuts and bolts, shower enclosures, etc., has really solidified that hunch. No wonder all the apartments and houses are so expensive here! And also no wonder that some of these hotels, apartments, etc., seem to be fitted with “cheap” fixtures. Who could afford anything else? It’s really incredible!

We did see one thing that Roy almost bought, though. One of the things about many of the public toilets in this country is that there is no toilet seat, which is inconvenient in some cases. We saw one for a mere €3, and he allowed as how he could buy that and then take his own seat into the public toilets! Now wouldn’t that be fun!? Fortunately, I was able to talk him out of it!

Anyway, just a few little snapshots of some of the encounters we’re having and the things we’re learning.