Being a Bolognesi
So yesterday I didn't have anything to do and my host mom needed to go to Marseille so I decided to tag along.
She was going to look at pools but told me we would also go see the city too. So we had about a twenty minute drive into Marseille and the drive in was pretty cool. We took the route that takes us right by the sea. At first it was just nasty ships but then it started to look more like the French Riviera (even though it isn't.)
So we get to this really big gated in shopping center with huge buildings that are probably the size of Lowe's/ Home Depot/ Menards. When we get to the gate we have to pay 4 euro for parking, I mean it is the second city in France so I can understand that. Then when we got to the story Marie told me it was usually 7 euros per person just to enter the store! Luckily she printed off some one day free pass online, but still 11 euro just to look at the pool? I don't know seems dumb to me, but she says that is their way of keeping only serious customers in the store, and i guess if you are going to buy a pool or a gate or any other outdoor furniture you can afford a one-time 11 euro fee.
We get in the store and she tells me I am free to roam, so I do. There are kids riding scooters, and dogs with their owners, and even a few restaurants for the shoppers, not something that you see at Lowe's or Menards. After I see the entire store I sit down with my Ipod to play angry birds of course. I smoked the entire free trial in one sitting. Then the store security guard approaches me and rattles something off in french that I just didn't catch. I told him to repeat it please, and he said you are the American, right? I said oui, and replied with "come with me." I was ready for something like this to go down, but he was lucky. A little ominous, but I mean he isn't that intimidating, he is french. Anyway it turns out that my host mom didn't have my phone number and was trying to find me. I felt like I was 5 years old in the Danville JC penny hiding in the clothing racks and my mom freaking out. I mean Marie didn't freak but you get the idea.
Anyway after that part was done we drove around and went into the city. We found this really cool inlet from the ocean to this fisherman's port. The Port is surrounded my small houses built into the hill and a few restaurants. Kind of a hidden gem in Marseille, and it is important to know where the hidden gems are because if you don't Marseille can be perceived as really rough.
We then walked around the main port. She showed me some of the landmarks, we saw some cool boats then we went to the Mahgrebin market. Everyone there was speaking Arabic, and it was kind of dirty, but it was really cool too.
After that we went to the nespresso store so Marie could get more coffee. Also after you buy something from them they offer you a complementary chocolate and coffee, I of course didn't drink it but i was still cool.
On our way back to Aix we talked about license plates in France, I know exhilarating. She was telling me how a few years ago each car had a certain two digit number at the end of their plate to signify their region. This was later turned into a two digit number that was a different color than the other numbers accompanied by the emblem of your area. Then she said that you were allowed to pick your emblem and number, which seems stupid to me, but whatever. So I spotted some cars with the PACA (Provence, Alpes, Cote d'Azur) emblem and the number 13 which is the correct combo, but I also saw some cars with the Corsica emblem and the number 13, so it is kind of a mess over here as far as that is concerned.
So that was Marseille, There were also two islands in the harbor. She told me that the book and movie "Count of Monte Cristo" takes place on one of the islands. Also, I think they are the same islands that Jason Bourne got washed up on in the book the Bourne Identity where he is treated by the alchoholic doctor, but it might be some bigger islands that are out in the sea further, I don't know, for my purposes they are the Jason Bourne Islands.
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