Je Cherche un Village . . . et une Enseignante.
I’m starting to think about another European trip. By the time I’m ready to go I’ll have accumulated enough American Airlines miles and getting to London won’t be a problem. So it’s from there that my actual planning is starting.
London is where my most recent trip began this past Fall. I have a favorite niece who lives there and it’s the perfect spot to kick off whatever rail travel is in the itinerary with an under-Channel ride on Eurostar.
There were quite a lot of trains in my trip last October, taking me from England to France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. And back.
I have quite a different idea for this next trip – although always subject to change. There will be some interesting train travel, of course, but I’d like to settle in for a full week in one town in France. Someplace in the Loire Valley, for instance, with some of the more famous chateaux in the area. Or maybe in the Dordogne. The town itself should be big enough to have a few good-but-not-pretentious restaurants, but small enough to be comfortably walkable.
But here’s what’s likely to be the hard part: I want to spend two or three hours every day in conversation with a teacher of French, improving my facility with the language. For example, we could start at, say, 10:30 every morning, chatting over coffee in a local café. Then lunch at one of the local restaurants, following which I have an afternoon free for sightseeing or strolling around the town. Eighteen or 20 hours of that will help my proficiency with the French language immeasurably.
My problem is that I sound a lot better than I really am. I have a good ear and that helps me speak the language with quite a good accent. The trouble is, that good accent gives native speakers the very mistaken idea that I am fluent in the language, or at least close to it. Not so.
Anyway, at least for now, that’s my plan. Now, it I can just find the right town. And the right teacher.