Bonjour à tous !
To begin with, let me ask you. Are you a good friend? Don’t rate yourself and ask to your beloved friends. Subjectively I don’t find myself as a good friend, I can be selfish, lazy and unhelpful from time to time. And I’m not that much of an open-minded person to be honest, wishing I were but realistically I don’t like to be super social and be friends with everyone. I prefer to have a small range of friends and keep them as my best friends and I want to give everything to them. You may wonder for what reason I’m starting to talk about this complicating and depending issue, well, let me explain you.
Give me a welcoming hug, Bordeaux!
It’s always so nice to reminisce about good old memories. I visited Maxime and his girlfriend Florence back then in September 2013, we had an amazing week altogether cooking, exploring Bordeaux and some other cities nearby, talking and playing with their cats. I completely blush to admit it, but I had to fight back tears when I gave my last hug to Florence in the airport just before my departure to Italy. Even after that they have been two of my dearest friends. Oh, Kevin and Lea too, they are good friends of Maxime and Florence, I’d probably say they are like a big family. Coming back to my journey, at first I wasn’t planning to go back to Bordeaux mostly because I wanted to focus on Balkan and Northern Europe but then…
What if I go back to Bordeaux?
Will they welcome me?
Isn’t it too urgent?
Do they even want me to come back?
Or Do I want to go back to Bordeaux?
Frankly speaking, my mind was occupied with various thoughts and doubts. In addition, I struggled with a massive depression and useless worries, I basically had no one to talk about with it since I left Isabelle and my brain was saying “Travel no more than that. It’s enough, go and have fun with your friends!” Well, in that case you don’t really have many options to choose. I asked Maxime if I could visit him and it was like 2 or 3 days before, I honestly felt a bit guilty for making everything so rush. But my dearest friends never say no. “Yes brother, come to us anytime you want.” That’s the way Maxime talks aka “A warm invitation to Bordeaux”.
How can I possibly describe the happiness I felt? Seriously, It was so awkward to see my french friends after 2 and half years. Well for sure we always had been contacting each other through Facebook or Skype but still…It felt so unreal. After a 3 hour of trip from Toulouse, I just arrived in Bordeaux center.
I had a very nice time with my blablacar driver Sebastien by the way, we both are coffee addicts and once we felt that we would need a cup of espresso we pulled up the car and got our endearing coffess at a small grocery store on the expressway. And Kevin picked me up from a very conspicuous museum and we made our reunion all together in the evening. Everything changed, well, obviously time passed like an arrow and we all change. Maxime is still studying at an university, Florence just got a job as a wine specialist (I’m so happy for her, because that’s what she really really wanted), Lea works as a hairdresser which gave me a big surprise, because last time I met her up she wasn’t doing that at all, furthermore, she now has a very short hairstyle. (Probably a good definition of “Being a talented hair designer”) Kevin on the other hand is planning to travel to Canada and South Africa. Probably I was the most indifferent human-being compared to the last time among all of us, just like 2 and half years ago, I was THE traveler seeking for THE right place and being eager to explore the world 😉 I can’t deny it, that’s just who I am.
Bordeaux and its local wines ❤
Fanny and Kinna!
As before, Maxime and Florence have two lovely cats. Kinna, the older one and Fanny the capricious one. Throwback to my first visit to their house, I was afraid of seeing and staying with the cats because I had never experienced with cats and their seemingly ferocious eyes stroke dread into myself.
But the cats were so gentle and nice to me. I’m not ill-informed how good their memory is, but Fanny seemed to remember me (probably my delusion) and seeing and playing with her was definitely one of my favorites in Bordeaux. Crazy, but nothing in life is certain. Who’d have thought I would love cats (or any other animals)?
Bowling night & Moroccan dinner
If my memory serves me alright, it was a rainy day, we all got rained on while moving to a bowling alley, but it was worth our efforts! We had so much fun playing the ball. Oh, I almost have forgotten this –
As usual, we adjusted to put our names on the electronic display, but a bit differently. I put Felicia which is a female version of my name, same goes to Florence who put “Florent”. Maxime put his name as “Justine” which could have been his name if he ever were born as a baby girl 😀 I still remember the hilarious face of the staff. “Why would you do that, guys?”
Some days later we invited Florence’s good friend Kelly. As she was having such a rough time by herself, Florence wanted to be on her side and have a good time to refresh her up. And dinnering at a traditional Moroccan restaurant was such a genius idea of Lea. I don’t think I had that before, at least from what I remember and it was sooooo good. Couscous was definitely my favorite, yummy!
Lack of communication causes misunderstanding
In general, I talk a lot to my friends if the topic we talk is mine, other than that, I prefer to hear and once I catch something that I can cut on I do that. Nevertheless, for some reason I didn’t really feel eager to talk one day and that’s perhaps why Maxime and Florence thought I kept them aloof which is completely wrong. That was completely my fault though, as simple as it sounds, if you feel bad or unsatisfied, you need to be honest and talk to people about your issues, which I never had and never did. Mon amis, if you are reading this, please accept my apologies. Not due to my quietness and the distance, but for my negligence. As a consequence I managed to learn a very crucial matter once again – Talk, otherwise they never know. I hope you still love me as much as I love you all 😉
Of note – Every time I flash back to our old days back then, I unconsciously begin to smile. Especially the day we got on the top of the old building. “Courage, courage!”
France never lets me down
Speaking french with my friends, but also with other people outside home really had brought massive courage. It’s painful to adapt, but let it be. My french was getting worse and worse and I hardly got a chance to speak the language when I was home back then, nobody speaks french first of all and I wasn’t motivated enough to practice it and make efforts to do that. Yet, since getting back to France I became super motivated and tried to speak that language as much as I could. Not to wonder, speaking English everywhere I go wasn’t really an amusing idea, French is way more unique and has a nicer sound than English, or whatsoever.
As for Bordeaux, it really has been changing quite a lot compared to the last five years. When I was there for the first time, there was no Starbucks (aka A super superficial american styled coffee place in France) and it was definitely less crowded, maybe more populations have moved to Bordeaux to settle down or get a work there, I’m not sure, but that’s what I felt. In particular on the period of Bargain sale, the whole city was occupied with shoppers, well it’s not fair to complain about it though since I had a chance to get a very seductive cologne for 2 euro. (I left mine at Isabelle’s house…)
France vs Sweden
I think it’d be a lot easier to compare fire and water for example, haha, I know it sounds a bit ridiculous but near enough it’s very hard to discover similarities between those countries. The way they express how much they love their lovers might be a splendid example. French people like to hear and describe how much they love each other and how happy they are to be together. Well who doesn’t? But in France, it’s beyond average, of course I’m saying it in a good way. I guess it’s probably owing to their captivating language. Even if they argue, they still sound as if they share love and prepare for a romantic night 😀
That’s pretty much all I can write about my 4th trip in France.
I’ll be back with my unforgettable memories from a perfect week in Belgium next time.
Paix et amour.