October 5, 2009

Searching for my paradise

Posted in la vie bordelaise tagged , , , at 7:11 am by Fat Girl Dancing

A week ago, V., the elementary school teacher who’s friends with one of my WSU professors and who showed me around Bordeaux, told me that the museums of Bordeaux offer free admission on the first Sunday of every month.  With this bit of knowledge, I set about organizing an outing of the assistants to the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle for yesterday afternoon.  I really like natural history museums, more than art museums, so I was looking forward to seeing the different exhibits.

I arrived right on time and saw three assistants walking towards me.  “The museum’s closed,” they told me.

“Oh, yeah, it doesn’t open until 2pm,” I said.

“No,” they said more slowly, emphasizing the point.  “The museum is closed for reconstruction until 2012.

There will be no Musée d’Histoire Naturelle for any of us during this year!  Fortunately one of the girls had a Bordeaux guidebook, so we waited for all the expected people to arrive (and they brought people, who brought people, so it turned into quite a group!) and we set off on an adventure.

First we visited the Roman Ruins at Palais Gallien.  Just sitting there, right in the middle of the city, some 1900-year-old ruins.  I love that about France.  History just taking up space right next to that drunk guy on the bench.


Roman ruins

Roman ruins

We wandered to a few more monuments, and then half the group decided to climb the Pey Berland tower.  I had already done it last weekend and decided not to spend the money or energy, so I stayed behind with a few others and chatted.

Once the other half of the group had returned from the top of the tower, we walked over to a café for drinks.  I had a hot chocolate with whipped cream, decadent, yes, but I hadn’t had one since Paris!

After taking up tables for too long for only buying one drink, we left the café, and four of us wandered around Bordeaux.  We just happened upon an art show, so we looked at beautiful artwork as we walked to the water mirror by the river.  I love random street treasures like markets and art shows!  At the water mirror, one girl convinced us to take our shoes off and walk around in the water, and it was amusing.

Mirroir d'eau

Mirroir d'eau

On the way to the trams, they got my big secret out of me.  I told them how old I was going to be on my upcoming birthday.  Thankfully, the general reaction to my age is still “But you don’t seem that old at all!  I would have thought you were much younger!”  Still, I hate the questions that comes next…”So why are you here, instead of at home with a real job and a family?” (no one has asked a question that directly, but it’s been asked indirectly and implied)

I’m here because life is too short to do something you hate just because it’s making you money.  I’m here because life is too short to stay with someone who abuses you just because they might provide you with the outside appearance of a happy home.  I’m here because I want to be, and it’s currently making me happy, and for the rest of my life I’m just going to do things that make me happy.



  1. Dana said,

    I suspect that your classmates haven’t encountered the hard truth that most adults do not do what they thought they’d be doing for their careers when they were 22. Some of them will have to down grade their dreams and others will realize they have a lot more in them than they ever dreamed. Most will just realize that the career that really inspires them isn’t the one that they first trained for. Almost all of them will require more collage education to follow their new dreams. I don’t think your difference is that you are 30 (almost) something. I think your difference is that you’re willing to engage with your younger classmates and really participate in a peership with them. A lot of other people would just tuck their head down and get their education without bothering to do neat things like traveling to France. I think its great for those younger folks to see that we don’t all follow one path. In fact, almost none of us do. I wish some of my older classmates in collage had stuck around to let me in on that little secret.

  2. nicci said,

    pen pen:

    it was good to talk to you today. it sounds like you’re having quite the adventure over there in France. and… the age? doesn’t matter. we all have this idea that you’re meant to be settled and established and this and that by age 30, but very few of my friends are, and i think they’re happier finding their own ways.

    i didn’t like France when i was there 14 years ago, but hearing about it on your journal makes me think it could deserve a second chance. =D i was obviously just in the wrong areas! i hope it proves to be an enriching experience… and i hope to see a travel logue or journal published in zine or book format when you get home! xox


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