I wake up on a Thursday for my 8 am class executing the same morning routine that I have had for years, put on the pink sweater I bought in 2014, and walk out the door. Suddenly, I orient myself in Antibes, a city in the French Riviera that has become home.
As I continue to walk to my bus stop, I am greeted with a pleasant surprise. Although the market is there every Thursday, the rows of vintage clothes, records, and other antiques always seems to catch me off guard as my roommate turns and says with a smile on her face, “Oh! It’s Thursday!”
|Street in the old town|
A few hours later, I am brought back to the same stop with a mind full of knowledge from a three hour class. I walk to the sandwich shop nearby for some lunch. I hear “Bonjour madam. Panini sont tomate?” I could not help but smile like a fool knowing I had not only become a part of the town, but I formed a relationship with a shop owner who few months ago barely would crack a smile.
|People watching on the beach|
After a short walk with sandwich in hand, I approach the sand, sit on the wall facing towards the beach, and unwrap my lunch. My friend and I are silent whilst enjoying warmth of the sun’s rays and the vast sea that lies in front of us.
|Shauna enjoying a panini on the sand|
|Mediterranean Sea view from the tide pools|
I bring little grains of the beach with me in my shoes as I leave a trail of sand during my stroll back home through the old town. No matter how many times I walk around old town, I always manage to see something new. Stores, signs, windows, and other details are strung together to turn a long 20 minute walk into a 20 minute breathtaking experience.
|Adorable balcony above a restaurant|
A funky store calls to me as I trail off into colorful paradise of middle eastern style clothing and decor. The store owner sparks up conversation, and after thirty minutes, I find myself practicing both my Spanish and French with this woman from Argentina. Together, we exchange our experiences with different cultures and languages, our concerns about the environment, and our hopes for the future.
|Plants by a window in old town|
As my apartment approaches slowly, I see the market across the way, the Moscow Market. I pop in to an empty store, just as always, with 5 people in the back. The store owner comes forward while finishing up her conversation in Russian as she asks me in French if I need anything. I put my milk on the counter and pull out some money. I recite a classic “Merci, au revoir,” and continue across the road to my apartment.
The little things that I encounter enrich my daily life here. Things that once made me nervous now actually bring me comfort and are apart of what makes Antibes my home.
Gaby G. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in the French Riviera, France. She is currently a Sophomore studying Communications at Vanguard University.
Gabriella Gebo is the Spring 2017 CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis) in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis), and is currently studying at Vanguard University.