Holiday Mood

Our entrance door is pinched between an Armenian sandwich restaurant and Brasserie Faubourg, a lively place in the afternoon, a spot where we’ve wondered if we should have a beer, but decided it’s a notch too sunny. When you tread inside our two storied block, there’s a light switch we couldn’t make out on the first day, so we carried our bags on the spiral steps in complete darkness and almost fell over. Entering the apartment, you’re struck by its unconventional layout, the bedroom  is huge and the kitchen and living room are crammed together as if you were expected to spend all your time in bed. If you wonder what I fell for, the answer is simple- the wooden beams, the stone floor and the high ceiling, as well as the veranda, that’s sheltered from view, but unfortunately dirty. I had to laugh a little at myself for yet another time having traded facilities for charm. That’s me in a nutshell, all right!

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At night I lie awake on account of the heat, trying in vain to find a position where my hands don’t touch my own body, or even worse, his. (He’s like a stove!) I’m suffering from the heat so bad I go to sleep drenched in water, after the third cold shower, trying to lie as still as I can, so still that I can hear the water drops drying and my feel my skin tickle as if crawling with living things.

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People wonder how I coped back home and the answer is always the same one- I didn’t. I remember one night at my parents house, it must have been under a heat wave of some sort, and they had a mosquito netting for their balcony door, but not for my window. I was supposed to sleep with the door open towards the hallway and that didn’t help one bit. And so I lay there and got more and more frustrated until I opened the window, climbed out in my knickers and rocked myself into a trance-like state for what felt like ages. It must have been 3 or 4 am and nobody was around, or else I would have incurred a bad reputation. 😉 haha!

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Today it’s been raining (for a whole 5 minutes) and so the air is fresher and smells of the sea. It was supposed to be beach day, we go to the beach every other day, but all I feel like doing is drinking Perrier and writing in bed, so this change of plans suits me just fine. We’ll go out for coffee, maybe have some lunch and read our book in the shade. It’s good not to have too many plans, at least I’m starting to get used to it. Before I was so afraid I might get bored, it was scary!

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I love holidays in cities where we pretend to be living and just do regular things, like buying tomatoes from the market and finding second hand books in the 3 euros pile. I really like the combination of broccante and luxury, of fresh veggies in a home made salad for lunch and a really yummy dinner out with oysters and wine. Because there is no higher luxury than time, fresh produce and good weather in the end. And however much I hate the heat, I hate potentially rainy summers in Scandinavia so much more.

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Yesterday we went to Les Estivalles and stuffed ourselves in brasucade, mussels in a broth specific to the South of France. There were adults, there were kids, there were dogs, there was music, a Roma band playing old Gypsy Kings classics and everybody had such a good time, we didn’t feel like leaving. On days like that I never want to go back to Oslo.

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But then I see all the homeless people, all the struggle, all the things that work only halfway and I think to myself, I’m lucky to be able to come and go like that. Or maybe I am the fox that doesn’t reach the grapes and pretends they’re sour, as we put it in Romania. 😉

Time for coffee now.

xxx, Alina

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