Blogs from Marmande, Aquitaine, France, Europe


Europe » France » Aquitaine » Marmande October 14th 2008

The Wilson’s have taught me many lessons during my two weeks on their farm. One thing I’d like to clear up from earlier is some phraseology. I mentioned a couple entries ago that their “garden” was hardly such, but much more. The other day Enid explained that in England, the small houses were allotted a tiny patch of grass behind the building, and this was called a “yard”. Therefore, when a Brit hears that someone has a yard, they feel sorry for the poor sap who can’t afford more than a tiny plot. But a “garden”, that can be acres of fruits and vegetables. Now that explains why Enid would always say we were working in the garden. Another gem of information was giving while driving to town with Kevin. The area of La Bretonie is ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Marmande October 11th 2008

Enid and Kevin have left on a mini-break weekend to the Pyrenees, and left me in charge of the grounds. It's amazing how I can get people to think I'm trustworthy. Normally I don't have to work on the weekends, so I could sleep in if I wanted, but now as head farmer, I have to wake up with the cats to make sure all the chores are done. I thought this morning I would just get a little bit of a late start, but a starving cat cacophany got me up earlier than normal. First step is to put cat food in the otherwise-disinterested cats' bowl. I didn't even know there were cats until yesterday. Then, I have to feed the dogs, and let them out of the barn where they sleep. Animals get so ... read more
Chickens 2
Chicken Run

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Marmande October 7th 2008

I came on this trip to learn something. I think that's ninety percent of the reason anyone travels (even if they don't realize it). When I travel, I mostly learn about myself, which is a selfish way to look at it, and I don't intend it to be that way, it just happens. Also I hope to learn about a different culture. Right now, I'm not learning too much about French culture, but more about the British. Good thing I'm not particular, since nearly everyone I'm staying with is a Brit. I'm one of those people that loves accents, and when a foreigner chooses to live in America for an extended period of time, I'm always disappointed when his or her accent fades. Some even feel this loss of vernacular is a form of "selling out". ... read more
My Private Gite!
One Foggy Morning

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Marmande October 4th 2008

I've travelled through a good dozen countries in my life, and I maintain that American men are the best looking. I believe this is because of the vast diversity in our fair country, so I find it a bit ironic. But I suppose it's just genetics really, you mix two breeds and get a much superior specimen. Therefore, I find the term "Ugly American" a bit misleading, though extremely deserved. As America is going through a tough, and controversial time politically, most of the world has taken note. Most people I meet for a prolonged period, when trying to make conversation, ask about my stance on the impending election. In Spain, my sweet, broken-Englished cab driver asked me if I was "voting for Obama, or the other guy?" I told him what I thought, and he ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Marmande October 2nd 2008

I have hit the Mecca of help exchange. One of the reasons I picked this spot, other than the location near Southern France, was the large number of positive reviews from previous Help Exchange participants. It's always a little nerve-wracking showing up at a train station, and getting in a car with complete strangers. It even crossed my mind that some people could write reviews of themselves, posing as Exchangers...if they were really twisted. I saw their picture from their website, and they looked like a sweet, old British couple, both with glasses and white hair, one balding. Very grandparent-ish. Of course, maybe they put up a picture of someone's grandparents because they were deformed in an acid accident, and went crazy. When i got off the train in Marmande, I realized I had no way ... read more

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