Adam and I rushed back to the apartment time and time again with new finds from the Arles markets with our bags overflowing with treasures: metal baskets, linens, enamelware, old signs, a couple of working old alarm clocks, and very old religious regalia...and on and on.
We could't believe our luck in finding the perfect boxes from in front of the Poste as well. They were sturdy and the a great size for mailing. We had tape, bubble wrap, a scale and now we had all the brocante....what could go wrong?
The next morning we carefully wrapped and packed both boxes, and everything fit. Oh glee! Well, if all was so perfect, we would mail them today and be on our way to Avignon a day early. We notified both landlords of our plans. How perfect. We were well on our way to smooth sailing with our first shipment. If you knew how many years of little failures we experienced over the years with the French post office with the process of packing and mailing boxes, you would understand our need to pat each other on the back.
The landlady comes by to check us out of the apartment, "Oh, you have two big boxes to mail home I see." We exchanged pleasantries, talked about the importance of today's holiday, "The Ascension" and all the festivities that will go along with this in Arles. We said our au reviors to the landlady, who gave us instructions on how to depart.
You know that scene from Home Alone where the parents get out of bed and scream "we are going to miss our plane!" We looked at each other, "A holiday in France, the Poste will be closed!" We ran out to the Poste and found it was indeed closed...on a Thursday and the French love long holidays. AAARRRGH! We did get it from two good sources; a random kind French woman standing outside the Poste and our landlady that we have a small window of opportunity to get to the Poste on Friday morning. Okay, time to adjust our plans. We ended up having to take the train to Avignon to check into our new apartment AND stay in the one we were currently renting. Luckily my dear hubby decided to make an overlap plan "just in case" and in this case, it was the Ascension.
So, this is how travel goes, up and downs, especially when in foreign lands. You do your best to plan, read guidebooks, learn what you can about traditions. You begin to feel confident in your abilities to travel abroad until you are set back a bit on your heels and realize you have so much left to learn and may never know. Adam and I, for all our love of France and the French people and the French culture, will always be visitors. France will always be a little bit "foreign". This can be a challenge, but it can be good too. It deepens our love of travel. This ignorant bliss encourages learning, problems solving, appreciation and increases the sense of accomplishment and adventure for us. It deepens our love for France even more. So, were we finally able send off those boxes this morning?
a bientot, Anastasia and Adam