Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

I went to Marseille only to fly to Istanbul- and absolutely hated the damn place. Except for the street art. I just didn’t connect with the city and had been warned it was a port town (or as the racist French say, the little Africa of Europe) which meant that it really was dirty, sketchy, and somewhat dangerous but also a must-see (who said that? I can’t remember but that’s WRONG). It was a definite low point of the trip, and got even lower when I went to the airport for my 1:55 flight to Istanbul only to be informed that it was at 1:55 the night before. WHAT!? So I had to buy an entirely new plane ticket and wait until the middle of the night the following night. A woman and her daughter who had overheard my ordeal and helped me speak to the morons at Pegasus airlines (don’t ever fly with them, EVER) drove me to Aix-en-Provence so I could at least spend an afternoon there instead of in the airport. However, it was a Sunday so everything was closed AND as soon as I got there it started raining. So Aix was, in a nut shell, me walking around with my big garbage bag covered backpack, in the rain, crying. I kept covering my eyes and saying to Aix

“I’mnotjudgingyoubecauseIseeyou’debegreatundernormalcircumstancesbuttttttthisBLOWS.”

I finally got on the plane to Turkey, but not after a royal shitshow waiting in the airport. I spent two hours bored out of my mind in the regular terminal, then another underground the T3 airport which is where the budget airlines fly out of. Here is another direct excerpt from my journal:

Airport. Its just me and a hundred turkish men. Mustaches, short hair,

big bellies, gray slacks, pointy leather shoes. Deep voices,

halitosis, “ehs” and epic staring. The lights flicker, feels like were

in a ramshackle basement, I don’t understand a word. I got two bags of

liquids, 2 containers of mace, and small scizzors onto the plane.

My back has a piercing pain from shoulder to shoulder, my

knees are buckling, eyes bleary, and my stomach is swollen from the

fibres of lentils and chickpeas. A skinny woman who has just come off the plane casually

carries a baby through the rain; it’s wrapped in a soft white cloth. Cheap. Like

something my parents would use for the back of a car for a dog to lay

on. I can feel the tension, we’re late, they’re staring, I’m so tired.

Everything hurts. This is horrible. What am I doing??

Then, two lines (and one flight later) I write this:  Okay scratch everything. These are the nicest people in the entire world.

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One thought on “Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

  1. France through your eyes and heart — what a treat for stay-at-home Gramma me!. Thank you for putting me in the loop of your travel (travail?– sometimes but rarely). Beautiful depictions of a fabulous place on the planet. Gram

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