moving around

Summer is the busiest season in France where you will find yourself doing the same thing as everybody else - moving around. Not only that there are so many displaced people everywhere, a silent tension is also present mainly due to the heat & the crowd. Summer crammed within a two month period is part of the holiday craze. Italy-France (to Gap) border.

When home is a tourist spot. Carry le Rouet is a small, typical barrio by the sea in the south of France where the calanques are the only main attraction. Due to the heat wave, we have more local tourists this year & living here is a total nightmare. As our apartment is situated right in the tiny center town, everybody that goes in & out of Carry passes right in front of our windows. For two whole months (and a couple of weeks more), we witness our little barrio come to life from morning till midnight. Noisy teenagers, crazy drivers, honking cars, and I've already received a finger from a teenybopper. At 11pm, parking is still a problem even in our building's private parking filled with visitors of a friend of a friend of a friend. But the good thing about living here is that we get to be quiet at least 9 months in a year.

From France & beyond. Thanks to the EU, moving around Europe has never been as easy. The first time I crossed the border of France & Belgium, I was ecstatic. Coming from a country that shares no borders, the thought of having the option to visit at least 25 countries to date by merely an automobile ride was amazing. Road trips on different countries are already a sight in itself - France is one truly crazy country for speed limits & radars, not to mention the very pricey toll charge. I don't remember any tollbooths in Germany, Swtizerland works by "vignettes," valid for a year for 25€, Spain & Italy has reasonable road passage fee. And France border is also known as the most bustling border cross. Last weekend, while crossing France-Italy border via Ventimille, traffic was horrible in entering France. The only country I experienced border check aside from France is Switzerland via Geneva & Locarno. I suppose it says a lot on the relationship of what one country has to another & I wonder. The only one thing that makes me love the roads of France is the aire de repos (resting place some with picnic area, or restaurant, or gas station but always with public rest rooms) - there are 596 for every 30 kms or more in autoroutes (freeway). There's your toll charge.

Aire de repos

From the tropics to Europe. Europe is a vast variety of culture & differences from border to border. But there will be little things that will remind me of home. Now that it's summer, road trips remind me of family vacations - fresh fruit stands by the road, halo-halo, dirty ice cream, ripe mangoes & watermelons on the beach. Then there are getaways with friends. Ah, the magic getaways with friends. Last weekend, we were at a friend's surprise party in Switerland that became the familiar party I used to go to - se lacher (to let go) - except I couldn't just let go even if everybody was. Is it the ambiance? Is it the level of familiarity?

Open air candlelight dinner in the BRRR Swiss mountain

Well, one thing is for sure - never pass a chance to move around. It is the only moment where you truly know where you want to be. After 6 borders or so, France is beginning to grow on me but I still want to grow old in the Philippines.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. Makis, I agree that as much as we have already adjusted to a new country and culture, there are still a lot of "home" that we miss from time to time. The one thing I'd really like to do is travel and hopefully explore more of Europe. You're lucky as you only need to get in your car and cross those borders. I'd like to go back to France again and see more of it aside from Paris. Anyway, have a great weekend.

  2. Marseille is too crowded during summer that's the reason we always want to run away from it. We prefer to spend it in the mountain where we can embrace the real nature! And you are right some things that I miss in the Philippines is the road trips with the whole family or bond of friends ready to spend overnight in the magical and splendid beaches way back home. I miss the fruit stands by the road, bagong lutong mais (hhhmm), halo halo etc etc. but we can also make our vacation memorable di ba! Have an enjoyable summer Makis ! See you soon I hope with our KFC tripping at home with Kala of course & the kids!

  3. iba talaga pag home at home na. I eat crabs and shrimp here in France, its not the same taste, pareho lang naman ang luto!
    basta, agree ako, kelangan if got time (and money) hala sige gala.
    Pag nakatungkod na at "bukay" na ang buhok, di na pede akyat eroplano!
    all the girls in France, hala mag holiday! Hahaha!
    shh, meron ako bagoong ginisa, galing bisaya..!

  4. oh dear, you must hate the turistas by now. but hey, it's almost the end of summer vacation, back to normal na ulit.

  5. Hi Rose! Do come back & visit our part of France in the south!

    It's true, Hazel, too crowded in the summer in our region! It's almost over na! See you soon!

    Sarap naman ng bagoong mo, Francesca! Naku, ang bakasyon talaga eh is about money, then time :)

    Naku, analyse, I was getting nervous already because we couldn't even find parking in our own building's parking lot! Parang ayaw mo na ilabas kotse mo, hehe! Eto na nga, slowly getting back to normal na.