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Ahoy there Mateys!

Over here in Provence we’ve been Bastille Day crazy and so I haven’t had much time to write. In fact we made a weekend out of the memorial event. The evening of the thirteenth started off with our village’s tradition Lantern procession, Firework show, and village party. Fun-fun-fun!

On Friday around sunset a crowd, appearing from who knows where, joined on the Place for drinks as the kids anxiously awaited receiving their own brightly coloured paper lantern. Candles were lit and the group of kids (plus parents) followed the Pied Piper, the Mayor Pierre, through the village streets. Who knew that playing the flute was on a french Mayor’s job description!

The atmosphere was magical as Pierre led us up the hill to the church from where we would watch the firework show. The fireworks were splendid, and I’m reconsidering all my previous statements about ‘nothing can make you happy but yourself’. For fireworks friendies, fireworks MAKE ME HAPPY! Yes, this one lasted only for 10 minutes. But for 10 minutes I believed in magic again, fairy-tales, and happy endings. 

The younger children watching the show did not share my sentiment. And so many parents were disappointed at having to leave early with screaming kids in arms. Baby-R? Oh bless, the little boy just clung to his daddy, whimpering in his neck. The last firework’s echo faded away and the party started.

On the village place the stage was set up, and the same band that performed french rock ballads at last year’s aïoli, was getting the groove on with international rock. Since baby had just fallen asleep in his pram, exhausted from the evening’s excitement, daddy-M and I hung around for the party.

And same as last year I was amazed to notice the social culture here which is so different from the reserved culture I experience at most gatherings back home. For here in Provence no one is shy about shaking their bootie, and young and old join on the dance floor, grooving it like no-one’s watching. I’m hoping the relaxed confidence will rub off on me…

The clock chimed midnight as we walked home under the stars, the party still in full swing. Time to prepare for our oncoming trip. 

And so on Sunday we headed over to Cote d’Azur airport in Nice, for our flight to Frans Josef Strauss airport, Munich. Cote d’Azur is an experience you just have to grin and bare. Vanity fair, oh vanity fair! Each person thinks themselves more important than the next. Smiles are a rare accompaniment with the giant sunglasses which is sported even inside terminal buildings. And baby-R cannot figure out why his regular charm is not met with the regular fawning and faffing.

Arrived late evening in Munich, duly impressed by our Audi rental with only 600km on the clock. An hour’s drive to Dietenheim where we are met with a warm welcome and cosy bed by Oma and Opa. 

Daddy-M heads off early the morning for his appointment in Munich, while baby and I spend the day with his grandparents. For us the morning starts with a traditional Bavarian breakfast of Bretzel. The carb-maniac boy does not complain, but when I try to separate him from his second giant Bretzel it ends in an altercation… I get attacked by a Bretzel… and an hour later I still find chunks of bread down my shirt. 

After peace is made we head to the supermarket which entails a walk through the grain fields ripening under the Bavarian summer sun. We stop at the post office for my stamps and postcards, and look at that!, MUCH cheaper than in France.

At the supermarket Oma buys her fresh produce while I scout for the best German mustard. But I am met with confused looks when I enquire from the sales assistants about which Senf would be considered the best of the lot. FRANCE has good mustard…, they reply. Right, eenie-meenie-miney-mo! A tube of Thomy and some traditional Bavarian mild version. Now to sneak the 200g of mustard into my onboard luggage and through sercurity…

On our late afternoon walk to the nearby lake Oma tells me about the Bieber family in the area. Do you have Biebers in your country?, she asks. I’m stunned. Just don’t know what to say. Biebers, she says. They live in the river and eat water-lilly leaves…

AHA! BEAVERS!?! So relieved that provincial Bavaria has not been taken over by familia-baby, baby, baby, ooooh.

To be continued.



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