New Places, New Faces

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Saturday, October 26

For us, a huge part of the joy of traveling is interacting with people.  Sometimes the interaction consists of watching people pass by while we sit at a sidewlk café.  Sometimes it consists of trying to communicate with people with whom you do not share a common tongue.  Occasionally, it consists of meeting people from a different culture with whom you do share some formal language.

Any of these situations can result in surprising connections that make you realize that communication comes in many forms. In the Place de la Republique in Cruzy, a group of men gather on one of the benches every day to watch the world go by and, no doubt, to solve the problems of at least part of it.

Over the years, the Crazy for Cruzy* folks have had many opportunities to nod, exchange a bon jour or two, smile and get to know these characters of Cruzy.  As the photo above illustrates, even Michael was accepted into their midst if only for a photo op.  And the smiles show that some sort of communication was going on if only an acknowledgment of sharing a pleasant moment in space and time.

Today, friends of Steve and Linda came to visit.  Yann, Karim and their sons, Theo and Jules, are French and live relatively close to Cruzy.  Yann and Karim speak excellent English and the boys, at six and a half, are just beginning to learn it.  They came for lunch, which was a picnic on the terrace followed by a long walk on the Canal du Midi.  What a delightful family and day.  Although the boys were unwilling to use any English other than “bye bye,” we were able to make connections.  And, who knows, this almost chance encounter may develop into a friendship in the years to come.

Regardless of what happens with these casual relationships, the fact that our orbits intersected at all is wonderful and enriching.

*Crazy for Cruzy is the name of the group of people who own the house in which we stay when in Cruzy.

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