i had a flight back to marseilles, where i would stay at the airport to catch yet another flight to bordeaux. from there i needed to get a bus to the train station and get my ticket, which i had already reserved online. the head to dax, where a good friend of 10 years, a bearnaise girl named quitterie, would meet me at the station.
the flight was easy and i had a nice chat witth the felow beside me about our travels. a crummy lunch of pasta, but at least with a little bottle of rose to accompany it. then my next flight and some time in bordeaux before my train left.
bordeaux always reminds me of my sister erika. the first time i spent the summer in france she came to visit me in pau and after wanted to go to bordeaux, wine country. i was still in the midst of studies at the time and couldn’t go along. i thought of her as i had my red wine and salade chevre chaud. my solitude with the memory of her solitude at that time. she could always handle being alone, like me, but i know that she wanted more of me than i realized when i was that age. still stuck in teenage style selfishness. c’est la vie.
i hung out till time to get on the train. the station in bordeaux is old and grand looking, though there are modern lights and accents in the plaza surrounding it. there was a plaque inside remembering a time when nazi resisters were taken from there to dachau and half of them died en route, half of those who survied the trip died there.
sorry to start this one off on a bummer note. in fact, once i got on the train and went the easy distance of and hour and a half, i was greeted happily at the station by my friend quitterie and her boyfriend william. they are spending their holiday in a surfing town called seignosse, on the atlantic coast. i had never heard of it, but it is apparently the capital of european surfing. it was midnight when i arrived and we went to their little beach bungalow and retired for the evening. the house shuts up tight at night, southern france being known for it’s bright sun, all houses have a great system of shades that block out every last little sliver of light. that first morning (afternoon, it turned out) i had no idea if it was cloudy or bright out till we opened the blinds. “pleine soleil” said quitterie.
we all went to the beach together and the water was refreshing and not too wavy, comparatively. we swam and sunbathed and then quitterie had to go in to rest before her tennis match that night. william and i joined her and watched the match, which was difficult, though she won in two sets (i know nothing about tennis and william was trying to explain it to me. i know a little more now, but still, for a simple game, very complicated scoring!). we returned to the house and made dinner of pizza and salad and drank jurancon wine, the sweet white wine of the pays bearn, where quitterie is from. i hadn’t tasted it since i was 22! william and i sat outside discussing sci fi and god and spirits and all sorts of things. his accent when he speaks english is very french indeed. quitterie’s is a bit better, but all in all we speak mostly french, which is the way i like it.
the next day was equally sunny and we slept equally late, which was heavenly after so many late nights and early morns. william and i went to the beach and quitterie stayed in. she had the finals of her tournament that night. in the end, she won and we celebrated by going out to dinner and exploring the neighboring town of hossegor, which was full of partiers and revelers and just plain drunk people.
and now today is my last day here. tonight i will take a train to paris, a sleeper, and arrive at 7am tomorrow. a little wondering and then a 7:30pm flight back to new york. hard to believe i will be there tomorrow night, but that is the truth! if i have time, i’ll send something from paris demain.
love and miss,