notes from the road

Catch you later France!

This last week has been one of my busiest, hardest and saddest yet. It was the week of goodbyes and I always forget how difficult it is going to be. I was really surprised at how keen everyone was to see me before I left and each day for the past week I have been catching up with two or three groups of people for a goodbye session. It is exhausting and sad stuff. I’ve been told that the people in the north of France are a lot colder than the people in the south, but once you crack open that hard outer shell the inside is warm and loving. I would have to concur wholly with this. The first six months here due in a large part to my language skills were a bit tough but it has done a full reverse. I have been given so many presents to take with me that it’s actually quite difficult to carry them with my already crammed bag (what a  lovely problem to have). I’ve met many many people recently who I was just starting to hit it off with. And ten people came to see me off at the train station after already seeing me off earlier at one of the many get togethers that I had, and there were tears, real ones! I felt like saying, ‘hey hold up guys, it’s just justo – it’s no biggie!’.

To be honest I’ve felt a bit like a celebrity, always at the centre of attention at these get togethers, accepting gifts and making little thank you speeches – it’s a bit uncomfortable. I love a good analagy and I’m going to through another one on you that always seems to come to mind when I ‘up and go’. I feel like a goey ball, perhaps a bit like bouncing putty. When it is thrown hard at a surface it bounces back quickly, but if you sit it in the one place for a while it melts into the cracks of the surface and you really need to dig your fingernails in to get it out. Each time I move I seem to seep deeper and deeper into the cracks and like an impatient boy told to clean up, I fear that I leave little bits behind.

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