Friday, April 4, 2008

Pilgrimage to Avignon

Today's my pilgrimage to Avignon. Avignon, home to the popes in the 14th Century (Palais des Papes) & immortalised in this children's song.

Sur le pont d’Avignon
On y danse, on y danse
Sur le pont d’Avignon
On y danse tout en rond

But that's not exactly where I was. I went to the zone - centre commercial - north of Avignon. It's similar to the American malls in the suburbs with megastores & shopping complexes. I do this every 6 months when I need to get the Girl new clothes, stuff for the house at my favorite household store Alinea, toys & basically anything I can't find in our little town Aubenas.

The reason I only do this twice a year is not because I'm not much of a shopper but because going to Avignon involves driving on the autoroute (highway). It may come as a surprise to some of you but I got my first ever driving license only in Jan last year. I never needed to drive when I was living in Singapore, HK or NY - subways & cabs worked just fine. Given that the nearest autoroute is an hour away, I don't get to drive on it all that much. In fact some people around here have never driven on one, they just take the local roads.

I've driven on the autoroute quite a few times now but each time, it still stresses me out. Which is why all the shopping bags are laid out on the dining table untouched. I'm exhausted. Shopping & driving on the autoroute has that effect on me.

BTW If you like the image above, it's a poster I found here.


Dutchess said...

I've lived in Europe for 5 years and still stubbornly refuse to get a driver's license. We live in a small town and I run all my errands on foot or bike. If I ask really nicely, Hubs takes me on Saturdays for the big grocery shopping in a nearby mall. I get my shopping fix in Maastricht (a big city) via the bus. Everything else is done online. :P

And yes, I can now view blogs hosted by Blogger. Nice blog you have here. I have already bookmarked you.

petite fleur said...

When I first arrived, I thought I could get around by foot, bike or scooter (I have a Vespa which is hardly used). But we live in a little village where buses are infrequent & do not go to where I need. Becos we're in the mountains, I'll admit that I'm just not fit enough to bike it here.

And yes, I do shop online too. We have to share our favorite online sites.

Beau Lotus said...

Dutchess, stubborn you are alright :-).

Me I don't cut off my nose to spite my face, I'm the KS girl, got my license in Singapore ages ago though I had no money to own a car nor would need to drive - just in case.

And thank God I could drive since without a car the kids wouldn't be able to go to school and I wouldn't be able to shop for food. Still, I try not to drive when it's dark as I'm very cocked eye and I do not have a fast reaction. To me, driving is a necessary evil. And you wouldn't catch me doing it in cities like Paris. That would be suicide.

Having said that, Petite Fleur, what did you buy in Avignon? Lovely city, have been there twice. Not done any shopping there though.

petite fleur said...

For the first 3 years, I always had to rely on someone else to ferry me around. Being the independent person that I am, it was extremely frustrating. So now it feels really liberating.

I just bought new summer clothes for the Girl, arts & crafts stuff to keep her busy during the long vacation, new dishes, table cloth... nothing for myself tho. I know France being a fashion centre & all but I have a hard time finding clothes I like. Maybe it'll be different in the big cities or maybe I'm just more biased towards Italian designers.

Beau Lotus said...

Aarrgh! Not one for Italian designers ironic enough. Find them either too sobre or too bling. I usually shop in Paris or wait till I return to Singapore. I even like some of the German brands. In any case, I'm too fat now to shop for anything. So now I just buy er furniture.

I've answered you in my blog about the email. Could you please ask the Dutchess for it as I do not want to publish it in my blog and like mine yours allows instant publishing of comments. Chat with you soon, I hope!