An impossibly thin, tall, beautiful women wearing sky-scrapper heels is walking a toy poodle. The leash is a chain of gold, and she’s glancing into the windows of Chanel, Hermes and Christian Lacroix. I want to secretly snap a photo of her, and all the creatures like her, as I’m observing their habitat.
These women exist in abundance in the South of France. They are framed by postcard-like views of shining white boats on the Mediterranean. Many of them live in the colorful mansions that are nestled into the rocky sea-cliffs, though some are visiting like me.
To say I love the South of France would be an understatement. I want to buy one of these houses on one of these cliffs and retire here. I love that I’m surrounded by the best kind of French stereotypes. The tiny dogs are adorable, the gorgeous women are impenetrable, the baguettes sticking out of bags look delicious, and the fashion is something to learn from.
I love that I am sitting outside at restaurant covered in white cloth. On my table is a bottle of blushing rose chilled in a metal bucket. People from England, Germany, France and the United States surround me and the sun is killing us, striking through to our cores, burning away everything.
The Sea is the only way to cool off. It is salty, frigid and so clear that it reflects nothing back. I swim all the way to the buoys and look longingly at those who have boats.
The sand is not sand, but small, smooth pebbles that feel like a hot stone massage on my back. My belly is full of tiny black olives, floating in fine olive oil and foccacia. I’m also apparently obsessed with lettuce and need to eat it at every meal.
It’s different here, the lettuce. It tastes like eating the earth and for some reason I like that.I like the many slanted pathways and stone steps that lead to tiny villages full of items that are too expensive to buy, but I like pretending I can afford it all.
Like last night’s meal, which was a brushetta pizza of artichokes, olives, peppers and ham punctured by the spicy olive oil that was suggested as a topping. After dinner we brought bottles of wine to the beach and talked to French teenagers who wanted to practice their English.
If the French are rude then they’re hiding it from me. People smile, are patient, give directions and are inviting.
And this is all a dream, it’s my dream that I wanted to live for so long, and I am overcome with appreciation for every single moment of it.