...Just as the squeeze of transitional challenges eased and my little French life was looking up, I stepped in one of Aix’s dirty little secrets as I dashed through town one morning. I felt the squish of a still-warm pile as it filled the tiny crevices in the soles of my shoes like mason’s mortar. In a town of so much water, puddles are never far away. A few skillful dunks and scrapes had me laughing at this dream into which I had chosen to leap.
Later that day, as I walked through town, eyes on the toes, a “Merci, Madame,” caught my ear, offered by a grateful passerby to a woman of a certain age. I looked up just in time to see him tip his hat to her.
As she plucked her dog’s business up with a plastic sac and tossed it in the trash, her too-polite reply, “Mais c’est normale, monsieur,” cinched the exchange between comrades who knew they shared a hopeless cause.
I had understood each and every word and nuance.
Perhaps I just needed to put one foot in front of the other. And watch my step.