March is the worst month. It’s the tail end of winter and everyone is dying for spring to arrive, and for me, it’s the middle of the semester when all my students take their midterms at the same time, which means I have to write all the tests and then correct about 400 exams in the span of a few weeks, on top of my normal workload. It’s a little like running on a treadmill in high heels.
I’m so relieved that it’s April – spring has definitely arrived, the semester is almost over, and I’m starting to ponder where to travel this summer. (I’m thinking Italy and Portugal, but I’m also tempted by Croatia, Spain, Budapest, Berlin… so many adventures, so little time. Where are your favorite places in Europe?) Even though traveling in France doesn’t always feel as exciting as going to a new country, I’d still love to spend some time down south, and maybe over on the west coast of the country where I’ve barely been at all, and there will definitely be a trip to Paris where I have big plans to Eat Stuff.
Speaking of Big Plans, I’m heading west in the fall – really far west. Back across the Atlantic west, and then some. I haven’t lived in California in about ten years, so it will be a big change! Everything I had to deal with when I moved to France, like learning how to rent an apartment and set up health insurance and a phone plan, I’ll have to re-learn how to do in my home country. Obamacare was barely a thing when I left. (So if you love your American health insurance or phone plan, drop me a note!)
Since I know I have less than six months left in France, at least for now, I’m indulging more often at the boulangerie and buying the good wine while I can. I’ll miss that, and my wonderful friends and belle-famille, but I won’t miss all the cigarette smoke and the general frustrations that come with being a foreigner. I’ve grown disillusioned with France, so maybe if we spend some time apart, we’ll appreciate each other more when we meet again.
Spring is lovely though, even if enjoying the sunshine in the city almost inevitably means a little secondhand smoke. (For a smoke-free environment, you can either stay inside, or go to the countryside and sit on a grassy hill with some cows.) The quais are no longer flooded, and all of Lyon has been out to enjoy the (fickle, but increasingly balmy) weather. I don’t know if it’s the change of season or the end of the semester or all the chia seeds I’ve been eating, but I have more energy lately, and it’s great! The end of winter feels like a heavy blanket being peeled back to let in the sunlight and the fresh spring air.
A few snapshots of spring in Lyon…
IN OTHER MAJOR NEWS I’ve discovered amazing Tex-Mex in Lyon – Two Amigos! I mourn the months that I lived in ignorance of the delicious tacos and margaritas just a short metro ride away. (Incidentally, I also tried some pretty good Mexican Mexican food this month at Don Taco, in case you’re interested.) Two Amigos is just far enough away from my apartment that I can’t go there all the time, which is probably good since their margaritas are the best and most dangerous I’ve ever had. (A far cry from the thimble-sized 10 euro margarita at El Guacamole in Paris!) They describe their style as “California-inspired” so maybe that’s why I like it so much! (Should we call it Cal-Mex food then?) If you’re wondering why this is blog-worthy news, you’ve clearly underestimated my love for tacos.
Are you craving tacos and margaritas now? I know I am.