August Adventures: A Cautionary Tale

August Adventures: A Cautionary Tale

Five years ago in mid-August, I visited France for the first time on a family vacation. There were flaky pains au chocolat in the cool, pale mornings, evenings dips in the warm Mediterranean, bottles of rosé drunk by candlelight, and moments of awe and splendor. But none of that is what comes to mind when my family and I reminisce. Instead, what do I recall most vividly about those two weeks?

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Nostalgia for Olives

Nostalgia for Olives

It’s a Sunday morning in May in Nice. I’m wearing shades and a nautical striped scarf, I’m holding street directions in my hand, and my body is buzzing in anticipation of the treats I will find. It’s market day in France. I head out along La Promenade des Anglais in search of the Cours Saleya marketplace. It’s easy to find. People—tourists and locals alike—are crowding the pavement and pushing baskets of produce forward through the herd.

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Taking Advice from Strangers

Taking Advice from Strangers

“You have stunning hands.” I glanced upward from my book and my verre de rosé to see my admirer. He was an eighty-something year old Algerian man sitting at the table beside me. He swallowed an oyster he had just doused in lemon and licked the salt from the shell. The light in the brasserie was amber and danced between the chandelier and the ceiling, creating with its tempo a warm blur that, in my memory, effectively fades most details of the man save for two: he had a low but playful tone of voice and brown eyes that nestled into wrinkles deep as rivers. His sincerity was disarming. 

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