Friday, July 16, 2010

Ultimate sloth

This morning, I drag the kids off to the beach. They tell me they have no interest in making friends on the beach, as they will never see these people again. As we plunk ourselves down on the overcrowded beach of Juan-les-Pins, the kids wade into the water, and immediately befriend another group of kids, who Ooh! and Aah! that my kids are from California. They want to know if my kids see Brad Pitt often.

On the way back, my older daughter Aya takes the passenger seat. As I calculate the price of gas in my head, and wonder why we paid 45 euro to have the gas meter go from "empty" to "almost empty", I miss the turn back towards home. My younger daughter, Camille, who has always had a sense of direction, informs me of this, whereby I wonder whom I would prefer sitting in the passenger seat - a person with good sense of direction but not willing to consult the map due to tendency to become car sick, or a person with bad sense of direction but with ample willingness to look at the map. Neither being optimal, I feel lucky to have Camille guide us back to Antibes, and promptly promote her to the front seat. Once we hit Antibes, I am a fish in water. I go into the fast lane and make short cuts like a pro. I zoom by the fire station, which is having a "greve", which reminds me of mistakenly dialing them yesterday while meaning to call a 1-800 number in the US. "Ici, le pompier. J'ecoute, Madame." I freeze, and apologize that I have made a mistake. Sorry, sorry. As I shake myself from this trauma, I realize that the gas meter has adjusted itself to "full". For an 18-year-old car, I suppose one has to give it time to adjust.

After a late lunch, I promptly fall asleep on the couch, only to be woken up by the arrival of a cleaning lady candidate, who is better dressed than I am, and who has hands softer than mine. She has recently relocated from Paris, and perhaps has more of a hardworking spirit than the stereotypical French here in the south.

In the evening, I take to the road again with my two sons, and coax a compliment out of the younger one on my driving skills. He says, "Considering you've only been driving for a month here, you drive just as well as Papa, only not as maniacly, if that's a word." We arrive at Carrefour, which I have a hard time pronouncing. This afternoon, after half a dozen attempts to achieve the right pronunciation, I even put my fingers to my daughter's throat to compare vibration which reminds me of Helen Keller. In the parking lot of Carrefour, my younger son proposes that every time I want to say "Carrefour", I should pause and point to one of the kids, who will promptly provide the word for me.

Upon arrival home, my older son declares he is starving, so I put together a quick dinner of quiche lorraine with salad, followed by cheese. My husband and I have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ( the "c" is silent, for all you Californians who insist on pronouncing it) which has cost me exactly 3 euros. It isn't bad at all. I learn that my husband has achieved his "daily" yoga, on his 35th day in France, and has learned that his heels will not touch the ground in down dog. He invites me to join him tomorrow, and I smile neutrally as I am not at all sure that I would like to find out how stiff I have become.

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