Market day

by Kim on November 17, 2013 · 38 comments

Europe by train: Day 2. Caussade, France.

The thing I love most about traveling is that I get to try on other people’s lives. I can be, for a moment, Incan royalty walking the ancient path to Machu Picchu, an Indian rickshaw driver, or a Tibetan refugee escaping over the Himalayan Mountains. And because I get a glimpse into these lives, my understanding of the world grows deeper.

I awoke this morning in the dull light of dawn, piled deep under the luxurious down blankets and vintage quilts that cover the beds in this French chateau. I drank coffee at the kitchen table lined with a floral tablecloth of pink and green. And then Brian, Hannah, Lee and I drove thirty minutes into St. Antonin Nobel Val, a 13th century medieval village, to visit the weekly farmers market.

“We’ll shop like the French,” said Hannah, handing me a woven basket. Then we set off to wind our way down ancient cobbled streets, past farmer’s stalls and bread stands and impressive displays of French cheese.

I filled my basket with celery, spinach, onion, thyme and fresh bread. I was making Tuscan Bean Soup for lunch.

“Merci,” I told the vendors, bowing my head. “Merci beaucoup.” I wasn’t fooling anyone with my nonexistent French. Still, the lovely people of southern France humored me. ”Je vous en prie,” they responded with a smile. You’re welcome.

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