We arrive, hop into an Uber and find the key in the post-box. We take a shower and change – the signs of taking a 3,5 hour flight are completely wiped out. We do our grocery shopping, taking in the city as we go. We stroll around and have a leisurely dinner. We wake up the next day – completely at home. The clothes are in the wardrobe. Morning, sunshine, nespresso and breakfast. Neighbour’s cat comes up to our terrace to meet us. We greet the neighbours. I don’t know who invented Airbnb, but I think the man deserves all praise and glory. It’s so easy to play locals now. Anywhere.
Завтрак на террасеIt’s Lyon this time. I’ve realised France has a calming effect on me. It starts in the airplane with the murmur of French speech in the next row. It grows with “madame”, “monsier” and “excuzes-moi” as we land. “Madame, we’re very sorry, we’re closed until 7pm” is what we get in this land of good manners, when we show-up (quite foolishly) not having had lunch by 3pm. I’m jealous. These people are privileged to respect themselves and appreciate the very human need to rest and re-charge. Everything is done graciously, there’s no rush How do we get to be like that?
I’m so excited when we get asked for directions in French: “excusez-moi, do you think I can buy the tickets to Marseille in this machine here?” But my French operates in receiving mode only, responding is the tougher one.. My memory is slow – oui, peut-etre – I mumble. My Francais is at its best around meals. Menu in French – that’s my thing! I refer to Google only occasionally to look-up “pierrade” or “rognons”. I try hard to be liked and want to come across as local as I can… What’s wrong with that anyway – in Moscow everybody tells me I look like Amelie!
But the cafe owner switches into English – I struggle to admit defeat that fast and continue in French. Madame offers an English menu – I object. Then she refers to it herself to explain that “pierrade” means “grilled”. We take the local specialities – salade lyonnaise, pike quenelle, tarte matin maison. Oh j’adore the French portion size! One dish is completely enough, and you have some place left for the dessert. We compliment the brilliant cooking and mention we have just arrived and this is our first dinner in Lyon. We get a zesty orange digestif on the house. Looks like it worked;-)