Bonjour tout le monde,
I have only been here for three days, however those three days have felt like a lifetime. Aix is incredible- even Aix-ellent, if you understand ;)
Le moyen de vie- the way of life here is much different than in America, and I feel like I have belonged in France this whole time. Everything is much slower paced here, not everybody is constantly in a hurry. Everybody walks everywhere. The only people who drive are those who ride motorcycles or drive small cars such as prius', mini coopers, and in general they just have smaller cars. Because of this, traffic isn't nearly as bad, except for one hour a day 16hr30-17hr30.
Most French people end their work day at 16h30, come home, and don't eat dinner until 20hr-20hr30. This gives plenty of time to relax, walk off your filling lunch, slow down, and cook dinner. I love the timeline of everything here, it is fitting my body quite well. So far, I have been waking up at 7hr30 without an alarm, beginning my days with yoga, meditation, and relaxation. I get ready (which doesn't take long now that I have no hair), and get my bag packed for the day. I eat a piece of fruit (peach, kiwi, melon, etc.) for breakfast with my host mom, or drink French-press coffee while painting or working on Duolingo (an app that teaches me French- or any language).
At 8hr15, I begin my walk to campus. It is a 20 min downhill walk. Every moment is beautiful on this walk, and I get to pass the "Fleurs et Fruits" (Flowers and Fruits) market that occurs every morning 8-11am. Maybe I decide to pick up more fruit, stop at a café, or grab a freshly made croissant from one of the 20+ bakeries (patisseries) on my way. I get to wander past cathedrals that are 1000 years old, and watch as the city gains more and more energy.
Once you step into Le Centre Ville, there are no car allowed (except for the streetcleaners or delivery trucks). Foot traffic and motor scooters are only allowed, this means that some alleyways are completely still. I can get and have gotten lost in these alleyways. They curve and stretch for miles, each one beautifully detailed and some bursting with life. I can't even begin to describe what this city is like, it is like nothing I have ever experienced in America. In fact, this doesn't exist in America.
That is simply the first hour and a half of my first two mornings here. I am constantly in awe of this city and the people who inhabitant it. Elle est très belle <3
There are many similarities and differences that I have noticed in the lives of Southern French people and the lives of Americans. I believe I could already write a book about what I have noticed, and how I feel about them. There are many pros and cons, but overall I feel that they are living much healthier lives here than we are in America. I will elaborate on some of the examples in a later email, because I'm going to go help my host mom prepare une dîner :)
Je vous aime beaucoup!