Thursday, December 17, 2009

Marseille, Marseille..... (Part III)

Our train ride from Paris to Marseille was very calm and relaxed. We rode on the TGV which took 3.5 hours. We had bought some snacks and sandwiches at a bakery in Paris because the meals were at least 8€ on the train. This was also Sebastian's first train ride, which he mostly spent reading, while I listened to music and tried to do our "bookkeeping." However, I fibbed during the trip to Paris, and had a very hard time keeping track of our money, and decided I didn't want to complete it until I saw my statement back at home.

I was fairly excited about this stop because I would be visiting my friends and family. Sebastian had admitted to me that he was a bit bummed out about having to stop at family's, and I told him I understood (I'd be bummed out too if I had to stop by someone's family in a completely different country and not know the language) but I hadn't seen them in almost 3 years, and had been looking forward to it for a while.

We arrived at the station where my brother picked us up. We went to his mother's house where I greeted my friend Ingrid, sister Samantha and her mother Marie. We had a nice dinner and caught up on some current events. My brother speaks english from what he has learned on shows and school, so he was able to talk with Sebastian. My sister is only a beginning english speaker, so spoke very slowly to him.

We went to sleep tired that night, with plans to visit Marseille the next afternoon.

We awoke to an empty house and had breakfast in the computer room as we took turns taking showers. My brother came to pick us up around 1pm, and took us to Palais Longchamps to walk around the garden before lunch.

We grabbed some kebabs and drove up to the Cathedral Notre Dame de la Garde which overlooks all of Marseille. It was very windy and cold, to the point of making our eyes water.

That afternoon, we went to see my brother's friends (his ex-gf Nana and his best friend who just had a baby) and spend time with them. Sebastian and the guys went off into the kitchen to smoke, while Nana and I talked about everything that'd been going- relationships, work, health, school, travel and family. She had come to visit us twice since 1999 when she was dating my brother. We reconnected fairly well when I came back to France during '06-'07.

Later that night, we went to the store to do some grocery shopping at the supermarket for that evening's soirée. While I was trying to pick out stuff (and evidently taking too much time) my brother got frustrated and managed to make me swell up with emotions and cry. My friend Ingrid quickly saw me upset, but I couldn't bear to tell her that I was too sensitive to my brother's comments.  Sebastian didn't know what was going on either, but I kept it to myself until that night when we went to bed.

That night, a few people I had met on my previous visit came to hang out at the house. We played games and mainly just talked and joked around. Most of the girls and non english speakers were in the room with me, while the guys and english speakers were in the other room playing poker. Sebastian managed to get along quite well with the guys. The guys thought him a few phrases such as "Ma boisson préferée est le pastis" as anise resembles licorice, which he loves.

The last night before our flight, we went to a fondue house where Sebastian and I quickly agreed that it was "fun don't." The smell of cheese overtook us as soon as we stepped inside. We sat at a table and waited for our different pots of cheese and bread. That was it. That's all there is to fondue: bits of bread, dipped in melted cheese. My brother joked around saying we shouldn't wear the same coats and jacket on the plane the next day to avoid hearing comments like "Ah, ces français puent!" (these french people stink)

The next morning was my 25th birthday. Sebastian and I had stayed awake past midnight the night before packing our bags and talking about our visit to Marseille. He admitted that he had had a lot of fun and been surprised about the turnout and enjoyed spending time with my family and friends. He said he had been relieved that a few of them spoke english.

The next morning, while going through my notes on my Ipod Touch, I came across the following message:

Hi bright eyes! *kiss*
.___. .___.
./@ \. ./@ \.
\___/ \___/ .

You make my day brighter.

It was one of the sweetest messages he had ever sent me.

Overall, I enjoyed being in Marseille, and I consider it to be the most beautiful stop. I could have stayed up on that hilltop at the church for hours if it wasn't for our limited time.

Next blog- andiamo a Roma!

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