Thursday, July 11, 2013

Getting "Madame"-ed

We said a somewhat sad farewell to Utrecht, and a day of train travel later we arrived in hot and dusty Grenoble, France. It was quite a shock after the cool (cold, even) wet weather we had in clean and efficient Holland to suddenly find ourselves in the fend-for-yourself chaos of French train stations. Stroller? Luggage? Baby? Enjoy these stairs! The ascenseur is broken/nonexistent, fools. This is what my bag is full of these days, by the way:
But we made it, eventually. In fact we had scheduled an extra long layover in Paris, so we ditched our luggage in the train station and took a walk over to the Jardin des Plantes, for some much needed green space time and a crepe. Heiko's first crepe, in fact.
After that, Heiko found a hollow stump and sat in it. This entertained him for quite some time, not to mention the many many passers by. The whole Paris stop was a nice if short reminder of why people think that city is romantic. It is grimy and frustrating, but also beautiful and charming. Ah, Paris.
Anyway, we headed south west to Grenoble, nestled in the alps. From there we embarked on a week of speaking French embarrassingly poorly, baguette and croissant eating, and wine drinking (hardly a new feature of the trip really, although we really got into the Cotes du Rhones wines there).
One feature of this stay in France, and to explain the perhaps misleading title of this post, is that unlike previous visits, this time I was solidly in the "Madame" camp. In other words, I was not, not even once, called "mademoiselle" (can you tell it breaks my heart a little?). And I know, by all accounts I am definitely, very properly "Madame". Almost a decade over the 25 cut off for the younger woman's term, I'm also married, a mother, and not to mention that apparently the French have officially done away with the totally sexist mademoiselle delimiter anyway. But still. Still. C'mon. Couldn't someone, somewhere, have called me mademoiselle, even just one time? No, the answer was no.
My own vanity aside, it was a fun week, which i'll write more about soon.

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