C'est si bon!

Bonjour à tous! Je suis Vanessa, étudiante de 20 ans en France pour le moment. Je viens de Pékin, mais j'étudie à la fac à Chicago.

Hello! My name is Vanessa, a 20-year-old student in France for the moment. I come from Beijing, but I go to college in Chicago.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Made in China, made in Nature

Emilie and me in front of a vineyard
Bonjour à tous!

The past weekend I was away from basically all modern technology - no WiFi, very poor phone reception, no TV, no laptop, and sometimes even no electricity! You ask why? Oh yes, because I went to the countryside to a vacation house with my host family and another French family. There, I had the most relaxing weekend I have ever had in a looooong time. Being away from technology was in fact liberating! I focused more on my surroundings and on the conversations that were going on around me instead of checking my Instagram feed three times a minute or something. (Yes, I do that from time to time, don't judge!)

vacation house
As you can see from the pictures, there is not much in the countryside. Our vacation house was two hours' car ride away from Arles. As we drove away from Arles, more sky came into view, and gigantic mountains and miles and miles of grapevines... It was quite a sight. Just... so refreshing. Such a change of view from the urban sphere I am used to.

Our vacation house is a traditional masonry style house that was passed down from the great-grandparent generation! It might have even existed even earlier than that, unfortunately I forgot to ask my host parents. Adorning the houses were bushes of naturally grown flowers, in full bloom at this time, making the old stone house come to life in this ripe summertime.

flowers by the house
candlelight lunch when the electricity went out
Because there was no TV or other things to busy oneself, we all just played sports, walked around, tasted wine, made fires, watched stars, swam in the river under a waterfall, and picked berries! It was quite the rustic life, as Emilie (the daughter of the other family who was also at the vacation house) put it, but I absolutely LOVED every bit of it! 
a very bad picture to give you an idea of the amount of stars
Every day in the countryside, something fascinated me: the dormice that live between our roof and ceiling who party hard every night and make lots of funny noise, the complete darkness in my bedroom even with no curtains (seriously, I couldn't even see my own hands), the wild berries that turned out to be not only safe to eat but perfectly delicious, the star-sprinkled night sky, and how bright the night really is even with no artificial light at all... It is in fact impossible to sum up my weekend experience in such few words, but I hope these little examples can give you a sense of the abundance of things to marvel at!

To finish, some beautiful pictures of handmade sausages and hand-picked peaches directly from the field (pourquoi pas).

I hope you all feasted your eyes well!

Vanessa :]

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