I arrived safely in Montpellier and — after a very confusing attempt to take the bus/train into the historic center, that was only accidentally successful — I got checked into my hotel. I did a happy dance around the bed (overflowing with joy at being in my own room).
Then, it was time to venture out for a little walk around the town. Speaking to the front desk clerk, I tried to confirm the pronunciation of the name of the street where my hotel is located (just in case I had to hop in a cab or ask directions to get back). I have always thought of myself as fairly good at mimicking accents or pronunciation. He told me. I repeated in what I thought was pretty close to what he said. He kindly grinned at me and said it again. I tried again. Three times we did this, but I still felt like this:
Nevertheless, I went on my way. The first thing I saw was a little girl walking down the street, in front of me, blowing bubbles. How sweet.
I know a grand total of 5 words in French, so figuring out where and how to eat has been a challenge. Nobody speaks English (as the lady at the bakery made very clear with a snarl, a “no,” and disinterested saunter away), so it’s a challenge to do . . . well . . . just about everything.
Things are a little strange. I asked a waiter (or tried to, anyway) for water, but instead of a glass, he brought me a little bowl that looks like you should be washing your fingers in it, not quenching your thirst. Drink or dip? I didn’t know! I feel stupid, a lot.
But, there’s a carousel that lights up at night, just one block from my hotel, and somehow this (and watching The Big Bang Theory dubbed in French), puts a smile on my face.