Our good friends, Jay and Randi, arrived from Israel on Thursday for a long weekend. They live in Jerusalem, where Jay teaches at Bar Ilan University and Randi is a social worker on a hospice team. Coming here was to be a relaxing, peaceful, enjoyable long weekend, away from the constant turmoil of living in Israel.
And in most ways, it was a peaceful and enjoyable time with the one horrific exception: the events in Paris on Friday.
Because the Rothman’s celebrate the Sabbath, we did not watch any television or look at the web on Saturday, which was a good thing. It gave us space and a bit of a respite. Although we talked a lot about what happened in Paris and what happens daily in the middle east.
When we finally did watch the news — switching between the English language Euro channel and AlJerzera, we actually found AlJerzera to have much better coverage of events. Another irony.
Sunday, we headed out, as planned, to visit nearby Vaison La Romaine, walk in the Medieval village and see the Roman ruins. We never did get to the Roman ruins, but Vaison was bustling with tourists on this sunny, warm, Sunday morning. All seemed very, very normal (and was).
We drove to Seguret — Jay wanted to see a “plus belle village en France” and ate a delightful lunch at Le Mesculun, high up in this gorgeous hill top village. I don’t think we were there last year. Again, filled with families and couples eating delicious food, drinking spectacular wine (we had a 50ml bottle of Domaine Boisson white — we had visited them last year). All seemed well.
And then we headed to the airport for their flight home. Marseille airport also seemed normal — we did see some police outside the main terminal, but that could be normal — we had seemed armed French army soldiers in the same terminal when we picked them up on Thursday.
But, of course, what is “normal” is becoming an interesting existential question.
We are spending our last days in France doing errands, seeing some sights, eating great food, and getting the house ready for the next owners, and hopefully opening a French bank account so we can get a French credit card with a chip and a PIN. We leave for home on Friday, via Lisbon, on of our favorite cities.