And it begins….

Ok, so we’ve finally moved into an apartment in Lyon, pretty much got all the paperwork sorted out (only thanks to Léa who saved me on all that stuff) and we’ve been in the apartment for a few days.  So we’ve been here in France for just under 7 weeks. It’s been quite a roller coaster of emotions and amazing experiences so far. Tonight was the first night it really felt like I was living here. It still hasn’t quite sunk in that i’ve jumped so far out of my comfort zone, having lived in Australia for the majority of my life to now be set up in France, it’s a strange feeling, to say the least. The first part of our stay was with Léa’s mum who lives north of Lyon. So when we needed to hunt for an apartment or just stuff about we jumped on a bus which cost a whole 2euros each for an hour trip and headed to Lyon. I really didn’t mind catching the bus regularly because the scenery in this country is spectacular and something i’ve never seen outside of Europe. The small towns and villages that are just everywhere are breathtaking. I’m a sucker for cool old style buildings and rolling hills etc. It’s something i don’t think i’ll get sick of any time soon…maybe ever. So i owe a big thanks to Léas mum for putting us up for the beginning of this crazy mission, it would’ve been a real pain if she lived much further away, but as it turned out it was al good and Villefranche is a nice little place. We’ve spent time in a few different places which i’ve been writing about in my blog and i’ve loved them all for similar reasons. The people, the location, the food, the cottages etc it’s all great.

Now we’re in Lyon and i feel like this is the real beginning. I did my first gig on Wednesday which seemed to go down quite well, had an african jam session last night and i did a jazzy jam session tonight which was fun. There’s just so much going on in this city it’s crazy and i must say that the vibe was pretty cool. It was the first night i’ve been out in a while and it just felt great. We started with a nice Japanese meal which was delicious, jumped onto some bikes and rode to the venue where we drank and jammed and then cruised home on bikes again. It’s such a convenient way to get around. For those not in the know, in France (and more recently Australia) there’s all these bike ranks everywhere and you pay practically nothing and hire a bike and go where ever you want within 30 minutes. You can keep going but you will pay more, or you park it and grab another another one to avoid any more cost. It’s pretty cheap when you consider what a cab would cost you it’s a pretty cheap alternative, for instance i got a week pass for 7euros…NUTS!!! and the bonus is that you don’t need to wear a helmet. People are so aware or bikes and it’s part of the lifestyle, so i didn’t once feel like i was going to be run over or abused unlike in Australia where i stopped riding years ago, so there’s a cool plus for this place (amongst all the other ones) The food here is completely of the wall (not literally). I’ve eaten so much amazing food and most of it was completely affordable. Anything from the nannas organic vegies to an amazing 3 course meal for 14euros that blew me away, washed down with a highly potent, large and delicious beer..Good times. The living expenses here seem to be quite low compared to what i’m used to in Australia and i keep getting nice surprises, por example, i started up french lessons through some government run thingy and Léa said that it was one of the expensive ones. I laughed at this because it cost me 22euros a year for a 2 hour lesson per week and the other one i signed up for was 7euros a year…well, i think i’ll be eating noodles and rice from now on….erherm 😉 haha

Hmmm, what other stories have there been….oh yes, i saw a delivery van reverse parking. Not too exciting you say?? well, the thing is, the space was too small for the van see he reversed slowly into the car behind him and proceeded to reverse and push the car back at least a meter so he could fit. Well, the sound of my jaw hitting the ground was louder than the noise of this guy touching bumpers, i only wish the driver of the car came back a little earlier but he was about 30 seconds too late to witness this amazing park. I’ve witnessed some cool stuff here, i’m just trying to recall it. Hmmm, I ate some Eel for the first time yesterday…can’t say i’m a big fan but i do like to try different cuisines just so i can say “yup, done that”

OK, so the apartment we found is cool. It’s was a funny thing because Léa had a good feeling about it as soon as she saw it online. We’d seen some that were ok but not quite right for what we were looking for. When we got to this particular one Léa struck up a conversation with the guy doing the renovations and it turned out he was a lawyer with a friend in common, bingo. He was really nice and we chatted for a while, when i say we, i mean Léa and him laughed away and i supplied the stupid confused look…I do it all the time here. Anyway, we got good vibes from it all and filled our papers and went through all that poop and we got the place. As it turned out the guy we met pushed for us to get the place because there were heaps of other people interested in it. THANKS MAN!!!!

Now we’re in and we just got all the stuff we shipped from Australia today and the place is full. Got the new TV, fridge and all that, we’re just waiting on the washing machine which shouldn’t take much longer, so we are set up. The location of the apartment is great. There’s so much on our doorstep it’s crazy. There’s at least 2 bakeries, a butcher, 3 cafes, 3 bars, asian, kebabs, laundry place and the list goes on….and on. It’s crazy cool. It’s pretty quiet which is great and it’s a nice street and one of the bike rental spots is really close by too. Super handy!! And, anything that isn’t within 20 meters from our front door isn’t far away at all.

Well, today i saw a girl on a little scooter get hit by a car. It was like they always say.. it was in slow motion. She was waiting with me at the lights to cross and on comes to green man. She starts to scott across and i see a car coming around the corner and before i could even muster a french aware word DONK!! The car hit her. Now, i must say that the girl who got hit did the most elegant job, she gracefully slid across the front of the car and onto the ground and then proceeded to stand up and say something like “Excuse me dear, did you not realise the man was green, oh woodsy do sorry if i dented your lovely car” and the car drove off and she scooted away into the distance. There was a brief spot where i asked if she was ok and she said she was fine. Crazy, especially after saying i felt so comfortable on the road…..hmmmm

They say pictures tell 1,000 words, and i believe now that smells & tastes tell a thousand stories. It’s amazing how you won’t think of something until you breathe in a smell you haven’t smelt for years or decades. When we go up to Léas country house, every time i go into the shed there’s a smell that reminds me of my childhood in england and my grandparents house. It’s a smell i can’t describe but its a amazing. Then there’s the tastes. I’ve eaten some food here that takes me back. One thing here reminds me of the pork pies i used to eat as a kid. It’s fun and i’m sure there’ll be more of that.

Well, it’s been a whirlwind 2 months and i couldn’t have done it without my lady and her friends and family so a big thanks to you all and to my family as well.

Check out my travel blogs for photos.

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About thguitarist

Guitarist, composer and graphic designer.
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