Dutch, German and Canadian Girl Time

A bit of a re-cap of the weekend.

Being at a church again just what I needed. The atmosphere of the Eglise Protestant Baptiste in Menton was so friendly and welcoming. If you know me, putting feelings into words is not my forte. But there was something so heart pounding yet calming about it. I really enjoyed that there was a lot of worship and singing.  Some familiar but mostly new, we sang in French so it was good practice too.
At one point the lady sitting beside me broke into tears, although I had only just met her 15 minutes earlier, I put my hand on her back and gently patted her as she took time to collect herself. I was also on the edge of letting loose tears, but if I did I’m not sure how long it would have lasted. I guess it was emotional and touching to be back in a church and to be feeling close.
Dutch, German and Canadian at one table. After morning service, we stayed in Menton for lunch. It was incredibly hot. I cannot handle the heat, all I could think about was taking a dip in the sea.
We walked in centre-ville and bought some soap. I got the coconut milk and a lemon verbena, ah the verbena especially smells so fresh. It was a good afternoon of girl-time and hiding in the shade.
After returning back to town, I said I was finished with the heat and went straight to the gelaterie. I told myself there’s no shame in eating gelato alone.  In front of me was a young woman and a young man. I tuned in to their English as they asked each other about the flavours. Pushing aside the mental barriers I asked them where they were from and introduced myself. Both originally are from Cape Town, South Africa. The girl is a business student in Monaco and her friend was visiting from Germany. It was so nice just eating gelato by the beach and chatting. Soon we parted our own ways, me back home and them to the beach. I hope I will get to see the girl another time before I return to Toronto.
Yesterday morning after giving some English lessons to host family’s boys, I headed to Monaco. First stop was Decathlon, a sports equipment and clothing store. Finally I found a new pair to replace my forever fogging Speedo goggles along with a pair of loose yoga pants and flip flops. I love swimming in this Olympic sized pool. The water is was from the sea, though I don’t think I will ever get used tasting salt water when swimming. In the picture the swim just finished so you can see the whole thing.

After swimming I decided to go to the Carrefour to get some snacks. On the way I saw two men with their bikes. It seemed like they were backpacking their way through town. Again, I tuned into their English conversation. With little thought, I asked “Hi, where are you two from?”.  Pete was from Germany and has been on the bike for 4 months making his way throughout East Europe and now returning to finish in the West. Graham was from England and has been on the road for a few days and plans to finish in a week. There’s something nice about connecting with people from all around and hearing their stories. They asked me for directions to the Palace but with their bikes there was no chance of going the usual way up the mountain of stairs.

We asked around and I was determined to make sure they ended up where they wanted. It is forbidden to walk through a tunnel for cars so Grahm told me to mount onto his bike. It was probably one of the scariest experiences on a bike for me, holding onto his bags behind me and grabbing onto his shoulders for dear life. Well, long story short, with some clear directions we parted ways and said goodbye.
At the Carrefour I bought some chocolate, wheat crackers and shredded coconut. I wanted to get some almond milk too but it would have been way too much to carry home. Two customers ahead was a man purchasing two full shopping carts of groceries. It must have been at least 30 minutes of waiting…but anyways I had nothing better to do during rush hour.
  I’m glad I tried Ethiquable but I still prefer the 74% store brand chocolate from the local supermarket. Melting the Ethiquable chocolate with 50% chocolate for making reese cups. I said goodbye to Skippy after learning about hydrogenated oils years ago but recently I haven’t visited the health store where natural nut butters are sold. The reese chocolate is firming up in the fridge, I hope it tastes a good as it looks!

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