Last weekend Jonas was kind enough to invite me to join him and his family during their vacation to La Baule. I was obviously very excited because I live on the beach back home and haven’t entered the ocean in over a month. When I told my father about the trip he google imaged the city and told me that the beach was just like Newport Beach which obviously made me extremely happy. The only beach that I’ve been to (that I can remember) in Europe is completely different from the beach back home. So after a three hour train trip we finally arrived, only problem was, the sun didn’t join us. Friday night and Saturday the weather was absolutely terrible. We were able to walk around at night, but the rain during the day on Saturday made it impossible for me to catch up on my tan. Thankfully the weather changed dramatically on Sunday and it was sunny and extremely hot.
Some notable differences between Paris and La Baule were clothing and the buildings. When I’m in Paris there is a pretty big variety of what people are wearing. I assume this is because it is a huge city with types of people, not to mention the fact that there are so many tourists that come dressed as they would normally in their own country. In this town though, everyone dressed fairly similar. Everyone was wearing white (either white cotton pants, white shirts, or in some bizarre cases people were dressed head-to-toe in white). Another popular clothing item was stripes. I asked Jonas and he said that people dress in a nautical/sailor style there. Another reason everyone might dress so similarly is because it isn’t really a tourist town, so almost everyone there is a repeat visitor coming multiple summers to the same destination.
Each house was so cute. They all had their shutters and window/door panes painted in a very bright color. I could not get enough of it. Another cool thing about the town was the open market it had (the picture of the striped shirts was taken there along with the picture before it). Usually when towns have markets like this they are only once or twice a week, but Jonas told me that they run it every day. It’s pretty convenient since besides selling souvenirs and clothing they had a section for food products. The only problem was the insane amount of people. It was very overcrowded and slightly overwhelming, but everyone was probably just taking advantage of the fact that the sun had finally come out after a day of bad weather.
Another cool thing about going was the fact that I was almost entirely emerged in the french language. I admit Jonas did speak to me in french when we were having conversations, but his parents don’t speak english so when we were in the house I mostly just heard french. Sometimes Jonas would have to translate but I must say I understood quite a lot. Things were dramatically different when his friends came to visit on Sunday though. I could not understand a word they said. I understand my mother now when she says she doesn’t understand me sometimes. It was a miracle if I could process one or two words. They spoke very fast, and I assume with some slang, so I couldn’t even understand the general concepts that they were talking about. I felt like I was in Russia or Germany. It was extremely difficult for me, but thankfully they joined us on the beach so I just sat quiet and took in the sun. I got back to Paris at about 12:40 am, and by request from my father took a taxi back to my apartment even though my metro line left from the train station. I of course had to wait in line for about an hour and a half, but I summed safety first. All in all it was a great weekend. I love the beach, and Jonas’s family was so nice to me. They really made me feel welcome, which I appreciate because I have a tendency to feel like I’m intruding. Time for me to get my beauty rest, I shall continue trying to catch you up tomorrow, hopefully.