sounds in aix

this morning, i was transported.

i don’t know where to, though, because in any other situation, hearing the sounds i heard this morning, i would be transported to a small provençal town in france, standing in the middle of a bustling sunday morning market. since that’s exactly where i was, it’s entirely possible that i was transported instead to another plane of existence.

aside from the usual “je voudrais un café, s’il vous plait,” and the buzz of transactions of people buying fruits and meats and olives and cheeses and honeys from the vendors, a man entered the market square whilst caitlin and i were enjoying our café and brioche, rolling a travel-size upright piano, and began to play lively jazz and ragtime to the immense enjoyment of all.

am i convincing you to visit me yet?

my haul this morning consisted of herbes de provence (a mélange of provençal herbs), a new kind of olive, prosciutto, artichoke caviar, more figs (oh heaven they’re so good) and lavender honey.

did i mention that the rain has disappeared from the forecast for the rest of the week?

as i reluctantly left the market (the bag was quite heavy), more sounds filled the air. church bells, windows opening, the trickle of water streaming from one of the many fountains, songbirds, the clink-clink of servers clearing espresso cups from tables, the rustling of the newspaper from a couple who were enjoying the sunshine streaming through the plane trees on the cours mirabeau with their respective café au laits… i took the long way home and enjoyed the warmth of the sun. on my way, a french man in a car stopped to ask me directions somewhere, which i happily gave him and proceeded to feel very pleased with myself.

after long weeks and difficult classes, frustrating administrative systems and dearly missing people from home, i think the sunday market may save me. i won’t even think about what i will do when the weather turns cool and the vendors pack it in for the season… until then, i will be there.

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